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Wittgenstein and the Philosophy of Mind$
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Jonathan Ellis and Daniel Guevara

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199737666

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199737666.001.0001

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Rules, Privacy, and Physicalism

Rules, Privacy, and Physicalism

(p.107) Chapter 6 Rules, Privacy, and Physicalism
Wittgenstein and the Philosophy of Mind

Jim Hopkins

Oxford University Press

This chapter puts Wittgenstein’s discussion of rule-following and privacy to novel use in an argument for physicalism about the mind. The chapter proceeds with evident concern to keep controversy and complications regarding the issues of rule-following and privacy to a minimum. It thus lays down what he takes to be more or less common ground on these topics and attempts to derive from it a physicalist thesis. The chapter makes interesting use of the distinction Wittgenstein draws between the first-person and third-person perspectives. Only if we attend to this distinction, this chapter argues, will we see that Wittgenstein’s diagnosis of the difficulties concerning rule-following and privacy ultimately supports a kind of mind-brain identity thesis. This is so, the chapter notes, even if Wittgenstein did not himself espouse physicalism.

Keywords:   Wittgenstein, physicalism, rule-following, private language, first-person, third-person, mind-brain identity

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