Famously, Kripke has argued that the central portion of the Philosophical Investigations describes both a skeptical paradox and its skeptical solution. Solving the paradox involves the element of the community, which determines correctness conditions for rule-following behavior. What do such conditions precisely consist of? Is it accurate to say that there is no fact to the matter of rule following? How are the correctness conditions sustained in the community? My answers to these questions revolve around the idea (cf. P.I. §§198, 199) that a rule is followed insofar as a convention is in place. In particular, I consider the game-theoretic definition of convention offered by David Lewis and I show that it illuminates essential aspects of the communitarian understanding of rule-following.
Make the following experiment: say “It’s cold here” and mean “It’s warm here”. Can you do it?
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, 1953, §510.
I can’t say “it’s cold here” and mean “it’s warm here”—at least, not without a little help from my friends.
David Lewis, Convention.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Arrington R. L. (2001) Following a rule. In: Glock H.-J. (Ed.), Wittgenstein: A critical reader. Blackwell, Oxford
Baker G., Hacker P. M. S. (1986) Skepticism, rules and language. Blackwell, Oxford
Bardsley N., Sugden R. (2006) Human nature and sociality in economics. In: Kolm S.-C., Ythier J. M. (Eds.), Handbook of the economics of giving, reciprocity and altruism. North Holland, Amsterdam
Bicchieri C. (1988) Methodological rules as conventions. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 18: 477–495
Bicchieri C. (1993) Rationality and coordination. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
Bicchieri C. (2006) Grammar of society. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
Binmore K. (1994) Game theory and the social contract I: Playing fair. MA: MIT Press, Cambridge
Binmore K. (1998) Game theory and the social contract II: Just Playing. MA: MIT Press, Cambridge
Binmore K. (2005) Natural justice. Oxford University Press, Oxford
Blackburn S. (1984) The Individual Strikes Back. Synthese 58(3): 281–301
Bloor D. (1997) Wittgenstein, rules and institutions. Routledge, London
Boghossian P. (1989) The rule-following considerations. Mind 98: 507–549
Brandom R. (1983) Asserting. Noûs 17(4): 637–650
Cubitt R., Sugden R. (2003) Common knowledge, salience and convention: A reconstruction of David Lewis’ game theory. Economics and Philosophy 19: 175–210
Gibbard A. (1990) Wise choices, apt feelings. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA
Gibbard A. (1994) Meaning and normativity. Philosophical Issues 5: 95–115
Gilbert M. (1989) Rationality and salience. Philosophical studies 57: 61–77
Guala, F. (2012). The normativity of Lewis conventions. Synthese. doi:10.1007/s11229-012-0131-x.
Hacker P. M. S. (2000) Wittgenstein mind and will analytical commentary on the philosophical investigations (Vol. 4). Blackwell, Oxford
Hacking I. (1993) On Kripke’s’ and Goodman’s uses of ‘grue’. Philosophy 68(265): 269–295
Kripke S. (1982) Wittgenstein on rules and private language. Harvard University Press, Cambridge
Lewis D. (1969) Convention: A philosophical study. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA
McDowell J. (1984) Wittgenstein on following a rule. Synthese 58(3): 325–364
McGinn C. (1984) Wittgenstein on meaning an interpretation and evaluation. Blackwell, Oxford
McKenzie Alexander J. (2008) The structural evolution of morality. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
Miller, A., Wright, C. (Eds.). (2002) Rule-following and meaning. McGill-Queen’s, Montreal
Parikh R. (2002) Social software. Synthese 132(3): 187–211
Rescorla, M. (2011). Convention. In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2011 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.). http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2011/entries/convention.
Schelling T. (1960) The strategy of conflict. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA
Sillari G. (2005) A logical framework for convention. Synthese 147(2): 379–400
Sillari G. (2008) Common knowledge and convention. Topoi 27(1–2): 29–39
Skyrms B. (1996) Evolution of the social contract. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
Sugden, R. (1986). The economics of rights, co-operation and welfare (2nd ed.). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Sugden R. (2001) The evolutionary turn in game theory. Journal of Economic Methodology 8(1): 113–130
Ullmann-Margalit E. (1977) The emergence of norms. Clarendon Press, Oxford
Vanderschraaf, P., & Sillari, G. (2007). Common knowledge. In Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/common-knowledge.
Weirich P. (2007) Initiating coordination. Philosophy of Science 74: 790–801
Williams M. (1989) Wittgenstein mind and meaning. Routledge, London
Wittgenstein L. (1953) Philosophical investigations. Blackwell, Oxford
Wittgenstein L. (1981) Zettel. Blackwell, Oxford
Zamora-Bonilla J. (1999) The elementary economics of scientific consensus. Theoria 14: 461–488
Zamora-Bonilla J. (2006) Rhetoric, induction, and the free speech dilemma. Philosophy of Science 73: 175–193
About this article
Cite this article
Sillari, G. Rule-following as coordination: a game-theoretic approach. Synthese 190, 871–890 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-012-0190-z
- David Lewis
- Common knowledge