Language and the society of others

Guy Robinson

in Philosophy and Mystification

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print September 2003 | ISBN: 9780823222919
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235513 | DOI:
Language and the society of others

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Wittgenstein related the concept of following a rule with the limitations of a private language in his “private language argument.” This chapter attempts to answer a few of the questions that arose from this argument: is rule-following, or more specifically, having a language, necessarily social in character? Is his argument valid only for a language that cannot be taught to others? Wittgenstein’s argument referred not only to a private language, but to “private objects” in general; this perhaps implies that something cannot be taught to another without a common ground of experience. A “revisionist” view would point out that an abstract pre-social language is conceptualized wherein the language pre-exists and will have been created by its users.

Keywords: private language argument; private language; revisionist view; Wittgenstein

Chapter.  6420 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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