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Episteme

Abstract

The article looks to set the record straight about the function of Wittgenstein’s private language argument. The topic is the role the private language argument plays within/for the later Wittgenstein’s thinking. The author begins by arguing that private language is not amenable to language games, the notion of natural expression, or the logic of reference. He then traces the highlights of the argument, beginning with a problem that arises from 5.6 in the Tractatus. The message becomes clear: private language is absurd, interesting only to bad philosophers, and symbolic of the grammar-caused errors that abound in the history of philosophy. To conclude, the author critiques Ayer’s employment of the concept “private language,” which distorts Wittgenstein’s usage, clearly would not count as private, and mistakes naming as the essential aspect of language.

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