Class Notes (809,049)
Canada (493,506)
Philosophy (95)
PHIL 4120 (9)


4 Pages
Unlock Document

Dalhousie University
PHIL 4120
Duncan Macintosh

Monday, February 7, 2011 Wittengenstein We should understand a language as a logical picture of the world around us. Each declarative sentence was built of statements which referred to minimum facts. Sentences we utter are pictures of the world, if they’re true it reflects the world. Atomic propositions Philosophical Investigations - Wittengenstein’s attempt at a theory of everything. Reacting against Cartesian Dualism Physical world vs. Mental world – subjective accessibility to whose it is. What the mind knows infallibly about itself. If the mind is the brain, it has the same properties. Ex. Mind is knowable to itself, brain is unknowable to itself. Causal reaction between the mind and brain – brain can create imagery, mind can formulate policies, send decisions to the brain to cause the body How can it be true? Physics say a non-physical object can’t create a causal reaction with a physical object. Skepticism still exists – minds have skepticism about the world and other minds. Theory of Language? Ex. Cup – brain stimulates, association of the word ‘cup’ with the visual image. How could we know we mean the same things by our words? Common objects in the physical world – but there are things individuals experience for themselves (ex. Pain – feels a certain way for you. Have a phrase you to refer to “menstrual pain” – some minds don’t have the apparatus to associate certain words in our minds with the private word.) Public vs. private words Could never confirm the pain of ex. A hammer hitting me on the thumb Colour experiences? Could have an inverted spectrum, words used to describe could be caused by the same stimuli Public language we can refer to, but some things are private (ex. Menstrual pain) Since the words are private, everyone has to guess about them. Only you are an expert. Private language. Reflecting on the possibility that there is even a language in which we can state the Cartesian Theory. Descartes theory can be true, only if it can be stated. Statements can be true or false. Can only be true or false if it can be stated and have meaning Can you have a sentence with meaning when uttered has consequences Language is a bunch of rules, thought of like a game. Rule governed activities – ex. Calling something a watch, saying “Sorry” reflects that you should act in a different way Language thought of as a game. A game only has rules only if there would be something in doing it wrong. Only a game if there’s such thing as doing it wrong. Only a game if there’s a difference between you thinking you’ve done it right, and you actually have done it right. Only have rules if these things exist independently of you having applied them. A standard that exists in principle possible in which someone of the same standard can reject your behaviour, or tell you you’ve done something wrong. Needs to be an expert to know if you played by the rule correctly. Someone other than you must be equally good seeing whether or not you had a pain when you had a pain or not – if it’s possible for you to describe what’s going on in your mind, must be possible for someone else to be an expert. Talking about mental states is public, rather than private. Language must be public for other people to know what you’re talking about. Everyone has to be able to see into your mind only if Descartes was wrong. Private Language Argument What did Wittgenstein think mental states were? What was the relationship between the words and the sensations? Closet behaviourist – All that existed were bodily tendencies to behave a certain ways when someone assigns a description (ex. Feeling “stabs of hunger”) Instead of saying mental objects are physical objects – might be saying no such thing as mental objects – no such things as pains, hopes, dreams, etc. – therefore no such l
More Less

Related notes for PHIL 4120

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.