Gruesome Arithmetic: Kripke's Sceptic Replies

Barry Allena1

a1 McMaster University

Kripke's Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language has enlivened recent discussion of Wittgenstein's later philosophy. Yet it is quite possible to disengage his interpretive thesis from its supporting argumentation. Doing so leaves one with an intriguing sceptical argument which Kripke first powerfully advances, then tries to halt. But contrary to the impression his argument may leave, Kripke's solution and the position it concedes to the Sceptic are deeply allied. Here I shall demonstrate their common assumption, and on that basis argue that Kripke's solution begs the Sceptic's question. Furthermore, I believe we can live with the Sceptic. The sceptical argument can be turned into a reasonable contribution to a kind of nominalism in the philosophy of meaning and truth.