Chapter

Thought's Social Nature

Charles Travis

in Objectivity and the Parochial

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199596218
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595783 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199596218.003.0011
Thought's Social Nature

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Wittgenstein, throughout his career, was deeply Fregean. Frege thought of thought as essentially social, in this sense: whatever I can think is what others could think, deny, debate, investigate. Such, for him, was one central part of judgement's objectivity. Another was that truths are discovered, not invented: what is true is so, whether recognized as such or not. (Later) Wittgenstein developed Frege's idea of thought as social compatibly with that second part. In this he exploits some further Fregean ideas: of a certain generality intrinsic to a thought; of lack of that generality in that which a thought represents as instancing some such generality. (This is referred to below as the ‘conceptual-nonconceptual’ distinction.) Seeing Wittgenstein as thus building on Frege helps clarify (inter alia) his worries, in the Blue Book, and the Investigations, about meaning, intending, and understanding, and the point of the rule following discussion.

Keywords: Wittgenstein; Frege; privacy; conceptual-nonconceptual; objectivity; agreement

Chapter.  12478 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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