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(2019) Systems thinking and moral imagination, Dordrecht, Springer.

The constitutive nature of rules

Patricia Werhane

pp. 5-19

Following the later writings of Ludwig Wittgenstein, in this article Werhane argues that language is inexorably rule-governed. Indeed, it could not be otherwise if it is a form of communication through which we are intended to understand each other. This is not to conclude or interpret that such rules are a strict set of rules that we must follow; rather that the rules themselves are dynamic. These rules, like grammar, may even be abandoned. But the routine communicability of a shared language depends on a level of consistency in its use and a reliance on a mutual understanding of the rules of grammar or the values of any changes in that grammar.Original publication: Werhane, Patricia H. "The Constitutive Nature of Rules." Southern Journal of Philosophy (1987) XXV: 239–254. ©1987 Reprinted with permission.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-89797-4_1

Full citation:

Werhane, P. (2019)., The constitutive nature of rules, in D. Bevan & R. W. Wolfe (eds.), Systems thinking and moral imagination, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 5-19.

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