“How can one follow a rule?” That is what I should like to ask.
But how does it come about that I want to ask that, when after all I find no kind of difficulty in following a rule?
(Wittgenstein, Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics VI §38)
Why is that? – I think it is because philosophical problems are not like other problems; that is, in philosophy we often cannot trust that we know the source of our own difficulty. The philosophical question phrase, e.g. “How can one follow a rule?” typically has no clear context, i.e. motivation. To understand it better, to understand ourselves better, we need to situate our question. We need to recover the source of the disquiet—e.g. our expectations. (This is a kind of context principle, I guess.) Although it will typically not be apparent to us that we need to do that. And saying: “What’s the problem? I just want to know how one can follow rules. Is that too much to ask?” involves a kind of evasion of philosophy.
And what will happen to our questions when we move backwards? – We may find that they change, or that they take new aspects, or even dissolve (like shapes when moved from one background to another). What will happen is unexpected. And this is because our heads are turned in the other direction—not in the direction of the source of our disquiet. We don’t see where we are moving when we move backwards.
It strikes me that it is typical for things to be hidden in philosophy in this way. Does this stand in contrast to their being hidden by being right under our nose?