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Paradox and Platitude in Wittgenstein's Philosophy$
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David Pears

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199247707

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199247707.001.0001

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The Private Language Argument

The Private Language Argument

(p.37) 3 The Private Language Argument
Paradox and Platitude in Wittgenstein's Philosophy

David Pears

Oxford University Press

When Wittgenstein applied his account of linguistic regularity to the sensation-language, it generated the so-called ‘Private Language Argument’. He did not use this name for the argument but was coined by early readers ofPhilosophical Investigations. It can be a misleading name because it seems to imply that he employed a single knock-down argument against the possibility of a Private Language but, in fact, both the texts in which the argument is developed present a running battle against Private Language rather than a single engagement. Thus, the search for a single argument may well be the result of an over-simplification.

Keywords:   linguistic regularity, Philosophical Investigations, perception

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