Wittgenstein on Teaching and Learning the Rules: Taking Him at His Word

Chapter

Abstract

In this paper, I reflect upon Wittgenstein’s descriptions of how rules are learned and taught. As background I begin with a discussion of the conceptual connection Wittgenstein makes between words’ meaning and their use or application. I extend this discussion to an account of rules as practices, habits, customs and of the way in which becoming ac-custom-ed to following those rules amounts to nothing more, and nothing less, than learning how to act correctly. Here I provide an account of what, by Wittgenstein’s lights, we are learning and being taught as we (be)come into our ways of being in the world and with others. I then move to an examination of what Wittgenstein says about teaching , learning and educating, paying particular attention to the German terms he uses to express his observations and to any nuances of difference between those terms. In this exercise of taking Wittgenstein at his word(s), I attempt to see the role that each of these types of learning and teaching might play in the process of our Bildung , the process of self-formation that constitutes our (be)coming into the ways of being in the world and with others that become second nature to us.

Keywords

Wittgenstein Language Rules Teaching Learning 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PhilosophyUniversity of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand

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