This is an extract of our Child Mind document, which we sell as part of our Wittgenstein Notes collection written by the top tier of University Of Oxford students.
The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Wittgenstein Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:
Bill Child - Wittgenstein Chapter Six: The later philosophy: mind and psychology
1. Sensations and sensation language i. Wittgenstein's 1929-30 account of sensation language
* Sensation words have two meanings: a private, introspective meaning, which only I understand, and a public meaning, which can be understood by other people
* public meanings are based on behavioural criteria
* Wittgenstein retained the ideas that:
* first person application of sensation words is not based on observation of behaviour
* meanings of third-person applications of sensation words must be understood in a way that makes reference to behaviour
* BUT he rejected the early account as a whole
* it is impossible for meaning to be made through introspection, and
* this account of public meanings of sensations would make the character of sensations irrelevant to communication ii. The private language argument
* We find it natural to think that sensations are intrinsically subjective and introspectible
* it would be perfectly possible for two people to behave exactly alike, yet for one of them to have totally different sensations
* this leads to the belief in epistemic privacy and in sensation words as defined by introspective attachment
* Wittgenstein assumes that our ordinary language is not a private language - i.e. that my saying 'I am in pain' does not refer to something that only I can know/understand
* he then asks if there are any words that could be private in such a way
* Can a private linguist give meaning to signs by association?
* a standard of correctness musty be established, which would mean an application of a term 'S' would be correct if the new sensation is the same kind of sensation as was originally called 'S'
# but we cannot take for granted what it is for something to belong to the same kind (Platonism) - what counts as going on in the same way depends on a humanly created standard of similarity (similarity in what respect)
* why can't the private linguist create a standard of correctness?
# community view - without community, not distinction between what is right and seems right
* What about private ostensive definition?
* ostensive definition works when the role a word is supposed to play in the language is already clear
# but this would presuppose an existing network of words e.g. 'sensation', 'this' etc, and this is the question at hand
# the private linguist must find a way of specifying the kind of thing being name without relying on public language
* here the argument depends on the assumption that ordinary language isn't public
Buy the full version of these notes or essay plans and more in our Wittgenstein Notes.