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Wittgenstein's Private LanguageGrammar, Nonsense and Imagination in “Philosophical Investigations”, §§ 243–315$
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Stephen Mulhall

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199208548

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199208548.001.0001

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Wittgenstein's Monologuists (§243)

Wittgenstein's Monologuists (§243)

Chapter:
(p.16) 1 Wittgenstein's Monologuists (§243)
Source:
Wittgenstein's Private Language
Author(s):

Stephen Mulhall (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199208548.003.0002

This chapter presents two ways of reading the second paragraph of §243 in Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations. If we follow through with the first (substantial) reading of §243, then the most famous succeeding sections — §§244, 246, 253, and 258 — constitute points at which Wittgenstein shows that given the meaning of the words in the interlocutor's penultimate sentence, the idea of a private language that he attempts to construct out of them must be nonsensical or incoherent, a violation of grammar. If we follow through with the second (resolute) reading of §243, then those succeeding sections appear as points at which Wittgenstein tries to imagine, and then tries out, ways of giving meaning to the constituent terms of the interlocutor's formulation.

Keywords:   substantial reading, resolute reading, section 243, Philosophical Investigations

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