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Rule-Following. From Imitation to the Normative Mind

Rule-Following. From Imitation to the Normative Mind


In this book, Bartosz Brożek attempts to decipher the practice of rule-following with the use of the tools offered both by contemporary philosophy and neuroscience. The Author claims – in the Wittgensteinian spirit – that rule-following cannot be thought of in terms of individual mental states only: in order to explain what rules are, one needs to consider rule-following to be a communal practice. This stance is supported by a number of evolutionary scenarios and neuroscientific theories. The monograph culminates in an explication of rule-following in language, morality and mathematics.

Introduction. Of rules
1. The many faces of rule-following
2. At the crossroads of philosophy
Chapter 1. Wittgenstein’s insights
1. The illusion of the Cartesian theatre
2. Escaping the paradox
3. Rudimentary and abstract rules
Chapter 2. Imitation
1. Out-aping the apes
2. The culture of imitation
3. The neuroscience of rule-following
Chapter 3. Is meaning normative?
1. The normativity of meaning debate
2. The formal view of language
3. The embedded view of language
4. Janus-faced normativity
Chapter 4. How to blunt Hume’s Guillotine?
1. Hume versus Kant
2. The barking of the emotional dog
3. Under the guillotine
Chapter 5. The miracle of mathematics
1. The 3E theory
2. Plato’s beard and Occam’s razor
3. The miracle argument
Chapter 6. Into Popper’s world
1. The three worlds
2. Rules in the world 3
Conclusion. The normative mind