Wittgenstein: Rule-following paradox, forms of life and education

Siu Sing HUEN

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters


This chapter explains the view of the later Wittgenstein, in particular his rule-following considerations and their implications for education. Many people suppose that grasping a rule amounts to getting at the right interpretation of the rule. Through the rule-following paradox, this conception is shown to be deeply misconceived. We are led back to a plain view of practices in which rules are embedded, a view that the criteria which determine the right or wrong of the use of a rule lie in the application, not in some mental entity. Meaning or the extension of a rule is settled on “agreement in form of life”, according to Wittgenstein. But this notion can only be appreciated when we note its dynamic nature and the role the rule-follower plays as an agent. Copyright © 2008 Cengage Learning.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhilosophical Reflections for Educators
EditorsCharlene TAN
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherCengage Learning
ISBN (Print)9814239763
Publication statusPublished - 2008


Huen, K. (2008). Wittgenstein: Rule-following paradox, forms of life and education. In C. Tan (Ed.), Philosophical Reflections for Educators (pp. 51-62). Singapore: Cengage Learning.


  • Early Childhood Education
  • Development of Disciplinary Knowledge (e.g. Sociology, Psychology)


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