Dialogue 44 (1):67-85 (2005)

Claudine Verheggen
York University
According to Barry Stroud, Wittgenstein thought that language is social only in this minimal way: we cannot make sense of the idea of someone having a language unless we can describe her as using signs in conformity with the linguistic practices of some community. Since a solitary person could meet this condition, Stroud concludes that, for Wittgenstein, solitary languages are possible. I argue that Wittgenstein in fact thought that language is social in a much more robust way. Solitary languages are not possible because we cannot make sense of the idea of someone having a language unless we can think of her as actively participating in the linguistic practices that fix the standards governing the applications of her words.
Keywords Ludwig Wittgenstein  Barry Stroud  Solitary language  Private language  Social externalism
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ISBN(s) 0012-2173
DOI 10.1017/s0012217300003747
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References found in this work BETA

Philosophical Investigations.Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein - 1953 - New York, NY, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Individualism and the Mental.Tyler Burge - 1979 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 4 (1):73-122.
Philosophical investigations.Ludwig Wittgenstein & G. E. M. Anscombe - 1953 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 161:124-124.

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Citations of this work BETA

How Social Must Language Be?Claudine Verheggen - 2006 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 36 (2):203-219.
The Community View Revisited.Claudine Verheggen - 2007 - Metaphilosophy 38 (5):612-631.

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