Claudine E Verheggen

Department of Philosophy

Associate Professor
Graduate Program Director

Office: Ross Building, S436
Phone: (416) 736-2100 Ext: 77553
Emailcverheg@yorku.ca
Primary websitewww.yorku.ca/cverheg/

My early work consists of several papers in which I defend the claim that a solitary person, that is, one who has spent her entire life in social isolation, could not have a language and thoughts. This has involved developing a new interpretation of Wittgenstein’s rule-following considerations. More recently, I have addressed the question whether and in what sense, if any, meaning is normative and how this bears on the question whether meaning can be naturalized.

I teach introductory courses in philosophy of language and on Wittgenstein, as well as general introductions to philosophy. I have also taught advanced undergraduate and graduate seminars on all the topics mentioned in the above paragraph as well as on the philosophy of Davidson.

Area of Specialization

Philosophy

Degrees

Ph. D., Philosophy, University of California, Berkeley
M.A., Philosophy, University of Chicago
Diploma, Cinema, Institut National Superieur des Arts du Spectacle, Brussels

Appointments

Faculty of Graduate Studies


Research Interests

Philosophy of language and related issues in philosophy of mind, metaphysics and epistemology (these include normativity, objectivity, truth and philosophical scepticism); Wittgenstein and Davidson

Current Research Projects

Book Project

Description: 
I’m currently working on a book that builds upon some of my published writings. Inspired by the philosophy of language of both Wittgenstein and Davidson, I defend a conception of language according to which language is social in that languages can be produced only by people who speak with others but not necessarily like others. Thus I reject both individualism and communitarianism. Along the way, I defend the view that linguistic meaning is normative, in that what we mean by our words commits us to using them in certain ways, and objective in that whether or not the standards of correctness governing the applications of our words are met or not is an objective matter, independent of anyone thinking or checking that they are met or not. I further maintain that meaning is an irreducible (to non-semantic facts, that is) part of the natural world people inhabit. And I conclude that the distinction between speakers and the world they speak about is philosophically innocuous, thereby shedding light (or perhaps doubt!) on the semantic internalism/externalism and the metaphysical anti-realism/realism debates.

All Publications

Journal Articles

“The Community View Revisited”, Metaphilosophy Vol.38 No.5 (October 2007), pp.612-31.

“Triangulating with Davidson”, The Philosophical Quarterly Vol.57 No.226 (January 2007), pp.96-103.

“How Social Must Language Be?”, Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour Vol.36 No.2 (June 2006), pp.203-19.

“Stroud on Wittgenstein, Meaning, and Community”, Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review Vol.XLIV (April 2005), pp.67-85.

“Wittgenstein’s Rule-Following Paradox and the Objectivity of Meaning”, Philosophical Investigations Vol.26 No.4 (October 2003), pp.285-310.

“The Meaningfulness of Meaning Questions”, Synthese Vol.123 No.2 (May 2000), pp.195-216.

“Davidson’s Second Person”, The Philosophical Quarterly Vol.47 No.188 (July 1997), pp.361-9.

“Wittgenstein and ‘Solitary’ Languages”, Philosophical Investigations Vol.18 No.4 (October 1995), pp.329-47.

Conference Proceedings

“Was Wittgenstein a Normativist about Meaning?” in V.A. Munz, K. Puhl and J. Wang, eds., Language and World, Papers of the 32nd International Wittgenstein Symposium, Austria (August 2009)

“Meaning and Practice” in J.C. Marek and M.E. Reicher, eds., Experience and Analysis, Papers of the 27th International Wittgenstein Symposium, Austria (August 2004)

“How Dissolving the Rule-Following Paradox Can Give Philosophy a Future” in R. Haller and K. Puhl, eds., Wittgenstein and the Future of Philosophy, a Reassessment after 50 Years, Papers of the 24th International Wittgenstein Symposium, Austria (August 2001), pp.345-50.

“Was Wittgenstein a Quietist about Meaning?” in P. Weingartner, G. Shurz and G. Dorn, eds., The Role of Pragmatics in Contemporary Philosophy, Papers of the 20th International Wittgenstein Symposium, Austria (August 1997), pp.985-90.

Forthcoming

“Semantic Normativity and Naturalism”, Logique et Analyse (forthcoming 2010)

“Triangulation and Philosophical Scepticism”, C. Amoretti and G. Preyer, eds., Triangulation. From the Epistemological Point of View. (Volume in preparation)


My early work consists of several papers in which I defend the claim that a solitary person, that is, one who has spent her entire life in social isolation, could not have a language and thoughts. This has involved developing a new interpretation of Wittgenstein’s rule-following considerations. More recently, I have addressed the question whether and in what sense, if any, meaning is normative and how this bears on the question whether meaning can be naturalized.

I teach introductory courses in philosophy of language and on Wittgenstein, as well as general introductions to philosophy. I have also taught advanced undergraduate and graduate seminars on all the topics mentioned in the above paragraph as well as on the philosophy of Davidson.

Area of Specialization

Philosophy

Degrees

Ph. D., Philosophy, University of California, Berkeley
M.A., Philosophy, University of Chicago
Diploma, Cinema, Institut National Superieur des Arts du Spectacle, Brussels

Appointments

Faculty of Graduate Studies

Research Interests:

Philosophy of language and related issues in philosophy of mind, metaphysics and epistemology (these include normativity, objectivity, truth and philosophical scepticism); Wittgenstein and Davidson

Current Research Projects

Book Project

Description: 
I’m currently working on a book that builds upon some of my published writings. Inspired by the philosophy of language of both Wittgenstein and Davidson, I defend a conception of language according to which language is social in that languages can be produced only by people who speak with others but not necessarily like others. Thus I reject both individualism and communitarianism. Along the way, I defend the view that linguistic meaning is normative, in that what we mean by our words commits us to using them in certain ways, and objective in that whether or not the standards of correctness governing the applications of our words are met or not is an objective matter, independent of anyone thinking or checking that they are met or not. I further maintain that meaning is an irreducible (to non-semantic facts, that is) part of the natural world people inhabit. And I conclude that the distinction between speakers and the world they speak about is philosophically innocuous, thereby shedding light (or perhaps doubt!) on the semantic internalism/externalism and the metaphysical anti-realism/realism debates.

All Publications

Journal Articles

“The Community View Revisited”, Metaphilosophy Vol.38 No.5 (October 2007), pp.612-31.

“Triangulating with Davidson”, The Philosophical Quarterly Vol.57 No.226 (January 2007), pp.96-103.

“How Social Must Language Be?”, Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour Vol.36 No.2 (June 2006), pp.203-19.

“Stroud on Wittgenstein, Meaning, and Community”, Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review Vol.XLIV (April 2005), pp.67-85.

“Wittgenstein’s Rule-Following Paradox and the Objectivity of Meaning”, Philosophical Investigations Vol.26 No.4 (October 2003), pp.285-310.

“The Meaningfulness of Meaning Questions”, Synthese Vol.123 No.2 (May 2000), pp.195-216.

“Davidson’s Second Person”, The Philosophical Quarterly Vol.47 No.188 (July 1997), pp.361-9.

“Wittgenstein and ‘Solitary’ Languages”, Philosophical Investigations Vol.18 No.4 (October 1995), pp.329-47.

Conference Proceedings

“Was Wittgenstein a Normativist about Meaning?” in V.A. Munz, K. Puhl and J. Wang, eds., Language and World, Papers of the 32nd International Wittgenstein Symposium, Austria (August 2009)

“Meaning and Practice” in J.C. Marek and M.E. Reicher, eds., Experience and Analysis, Papers of the 27th International Wittgenstein Symposium, Austria (August 2004)

“How Dissolving the Rule-Following Paradox Can Give Philosophy a Future” in R. Haller and K. Puhl, eds., Wittgenstein and the Future of Philosophy, a Reassessment after 50 Years, Papers of the 24th International Wittgenstein Symposium, Austria (August 2001), pp.345-50.

“Was Wittgenstein a Quietist about Meaning?” in P. Weingartner, G. Shurz and G. Dorn, eds., The Role of Pragmatics in Contemporary Philosophy, Papers of the 20th International Wittgenstein Symposium, Austria (August 1997), pp.985-90.

Forthcoming

“Semantic Normativity and Naturalism”, Logique et Analyse (forthcoming 2010)

“Triangulation and Philosophical Scepticism”, C. Amoretti and G. Preyer, eds., Triangulation. From the Epistemological Point of View. (Volume in preparation)