Private Language and the Mind as Absolute Interiority

Weir, Ralph (2021) Private Language and the Mind as Absolute Interiority. In: From Existentialism to Metaphysics: The Philosophy of Stephen Priest. Peter Lang. ISBN UNSPECIFIED

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Item Type:Book Section
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

For several decades, Stephen Priest has championed a picture of the mind or soul as a private, phenomenological space, knowable by introspection and logically independent of behaviour. Something resembling this picture once dominated Western philosophy, but it suffered a severe setback in the mid-twentieth century as a result of Wittgenstein’s ‘private language argument’. While Priest has written about the threat posed by Wittgenstein’s argument to the picture of the mind that he favours, he has not explained how advocates of that picture should respond to Wittgenstein. The present essay takes up this challenge, defending the picture of the mind as a private phenomenological space against four lines of argument drawn from Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations § 243-315.

Keywords:Wittgenstein, private language, mind, sensations
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V560 Mental Philosophy
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V500 Philosophy
Divisions:College of Arts
ID Code:45883
Deposited On:25 Aug 2021 13:18

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