What Is Wrong with Hacker's Wittgenstein? On Grammar, Context and Sense-Determination




Peter Hacker defends an interpretation of the later Wittgenstein's notion of grammar, according to which the inherently general grammatical rules are sufficient for sense-determination. My aim is to show that this interpretation fails to account for an important contextualist shift in Wittgenstein's views on sense-determination. I argue that Hacker attributes to the later Wittgenstein a rule-based, combinatorial account of sense, which Wittgenstein puts forward in the Tractatus. I propose that this is not how we should interpret the later Wittgenstein because he insists that particular circumstances of use play a necessary role in determining the boundary between sense and nonsense.