Academic year
2018/2019 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
FT0080 (AF:276355 AR:158464)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
4th Term
Course year
The course aims to critically introduce to the reading of the "Philosophical Investigations" by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Part One, §§1-242. The specific reference point will be the theme of "following a rule" and its relation to the problem of meaning and use. Particular attention will be devoted to the interpretation of this theme offered by Saul Kripke (in "Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language") and to the intense debate that followed.
The theme is justified by the great influence that the "Philosophical Investigations" have been playing in contemporary philosophy, and because of the intrinsic philosophical importance that the theme of "following a rule" covers not only in philosophy of language, but also in the ethical, meta-ethical, epistemological field, etc.
Analytical knowledge of "Philosophical Investigations", Part one, §§1-242
- Knowledge of the essential critical and interpretative literature on the theme of "following a rule"
- Ability to reconstruct in their essential lines the main issues at stake regarding both the position of Wittgenstein and the assumptions and plausibility of the critical proposals put forward by the interpreters
- Ability to recognize the relevance of the topics dealt with in other areas and contexts of current philosophical research
Philosophy of Language's first module.
- Wittgenstein's Philosophy: an overview
- Philosophical Investigations: an introduction
- Meaning and use
- Rules and to follow a rule
- Kripke on Wittgenstein
- Meaning and meaning scepticism
- Wittgenstein between Hume and Goodman
- Meaning, rule and interpretation
- The Community View

L. Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, Blackwell, Oxford 1998.
S. Kripke, Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language, Blackwell, Oxford 1982.
Learning will be verified through a questionnaire of 10 open questions to be completed in two hours.
Alternatively, it will be possible to write a paper (around 14,000 characters) on a topic strictly related to the course contents and agreed with the course lecturer.

The course lecturer will explain the main topics, contents, etc. object of the course during the teaching sessions.
Students will be solicited to intervene with questions, requests for clarification, objections. Furthermore, they will be invited to identify possible answers to the problems under discussion, to produce arguments and to find good examples.
Towards the end of the course some of the papers written by the students might be presented and discussed in class.
Additional readings may be found online. I will make them electronically available (I.S.A. material).
The material on JSTOR can be downloaded directly from the electronic resources of the Library.

The seminar (Alice Morelli) will be about Ludwig Wittgenstein’s discussion of the Rule-Following problem as it is expressed in the “Philosophical Investigations”. Focus will be given to Saul Kripke’s interpretation presented in “Wittgenstein on Rules and Private language”. In particular, attention will be given to the fruitful debate that Kripke’s work has generated.
Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 22/10/2018