From referentialism to human action: the Augustinian theory of language

In Arif Ahmed (ed.), Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations: A Critical Guide. Cambridge University Press (2010)
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In this chapter, I present an interpretation of the first twenty or so sections of the Philosophical Investigations. My presentation has three parts. First, I briefly compare and contrast Wittgenstein’s philosophical intentions in the Investigations with his intentions in the earlier Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Second, against that first backdrop, I explicate Wittgenstein’s famous thesis that meaning is use. Third and finally, against that second backdrop, I unpack Wittgenstein’s opening argument for the meaning-is-use thesis. This opening argument is a philosophical roadmap for his other arguments in support of the meaning-is-use thesis, in the pregnant sense that the basic concepts and strategies he later deploys are already etched into it and guide his further moves.



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