Wittgenstein's Private Language Argument Argumentative Essay

Wittgenstein's Private Language Argument
Looks at whether or not Ludwig Wittgenstein's discussion of private language and its inability to exist in principle is satisfactory.
# 152337 | 3,135 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2011 | US
Published on Jan 29, 2013 in Philosophy (Logic) , Language (English: Linguistics) , Linguistics (General)

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This paper first explains that Ludwig Wittgenstein's argument against private language that centers on the essentially public nature of learning language games is rebutted by A.J. Ayer's argument for the plausibility of private language based on the ways in which we learn language games that pertain to 'internal' states. Next, the author focuses on what is a 'successful' translation, noting that, if the binary of translatable and untranslatable is affected enough, then Wittgenstein needs to rethink drastically the grounds upon which he argues against the possibility of private language. Using the counterexample of Robinson Crusoe, the paper argues logically against Wittgenstein's fallacious use of translatability as something static to support his conception of both private and social languages. Footnotes are included.

Table of Contents:
Wittgenstein's on the Learning of Pain Language
A.J. Ayer's Argument for Private Language
On Translatability

From the Paper:

"In the counterexample Crusoe is alone on his island for quite some time with only himself to communicate with. Crusoe has created a working language, and there is the distinct possibility that his conceptual schemata is quite different from the scheme under which we operate. There is no reason why Crusoe should make (aka it is possible that he has not made) the distinction between 'external' objects and 'inner' sensations. He might do this through noting the relative transience of inner states and the relative permanence (or independence) of external objects. Either way, there is no reason why he would have to make such a distinction. In this way it is distinctly possible that everything is for Crusoe is only an internal event. Such a move does not comment directly on the learning of pain language example from Wittgenstein, but opens the door to very similar I.S. concepts being conceivably functional without the hand of social learning. This seems to be a first argument from Ayer on the role justification plays in the formation of language.
"A second tenant of Wittgenstein's social conception of language that Ayer's is addressing is that of language as one actively justified in social acts."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • "Symposium: Can there be a Private Language?" A. J. Ayer and R. Rhees; Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Collumes, Vol 28, Belief and Will; (1954); Blackwell Publishing
  • Philosophical Investigations; Ludwig Wittgenstein; 2009; Hacker; Blackwell Publishing
  • On Certainty; Ludwig Wittgenstein; Anscombe; 1972; Harper Perennial

Cite this Argumentative Essay:

APA Format

Wittgenstein's Private Language Argument (2013, January 29) Retrieved December 07, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/argumentative-essay/wittgenstein-private-language-argument-152337/

MLA Format

"Wittgenstein's Private Language Argument" 29 January 2013. Web. 07 December. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/argumentative-essay/wittgenstein-private-language-argument-152337/>