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The Transcendental Arguments: Part 2—Wittgenstein

  • Matthew Whittingham
Chapter

Abstract

This gives the second transcendental argument against immediacy, picking up where the last chapter left us, with the requirement that experience be mediated by concepts. In this chapter the notion of immediacy being argued against is the rationalist notion of the conceptually given. I outline what a notion of the conceptually given might look like and show that it depends on what Wittgenstein called a ‘private language’. I then give an account of Wittgenstein’s famous arguments against the possibility of a private language and in favour of social practice as the only thing that can ground what counts as applying a concept appropriately or inappropriately. I end the chapter by answering some of Ayer’s criticisms of these arguments, in particular the appeal to a Crusoe-like figure who has developed apart from society but nevertheless acts much as we do.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew Whittingham
    • 1
  1. 1.University of KentCanterburyUK

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