HOW TO TALK TO YOURSELF OR KRIPKE's WITTGENSTEIN's SOLITARY LANGUAGE ARGUMENT AND WHY IT FAILS

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Abstract:

Abstract:

 In Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language, Kripke's Wittgenstein argues that it is possible for individuals in communities to speak a language and otherwise follow rules, but impossible for a single, conceptually isolated individual to do so. I show that the roots of the argument lie in his general account of the legitimacy of practices, and that he actually argues for two distinct conclusions: (a) solitary individuals cannot have useful practices of rule-following and (b) solitary individuals cannot place substantive restrictions on their own behavior. I show that if it is, in fact, possible for individuals in communities to use language and follow rules, then both of Kripke's Wittgenstein's anti-solitary language arguments fails; and, furthermore, that his general account not only fails to exclude the possibility of solitary language-use and rule-following, it actually guarantees their possibility.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-0114.00171

Publication date: September 1, 2003

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