Avowals in the philosophical investigations: Expression, reliability, description

Noûs 24 (4):507-527 (1990)
Abstract
In the Philosophical Investigations, Wittgenstein contrues psychological facts as patterns exhibited by `weaves' which include a person's behaviour as well as her temporal and social surroundings. Avowals, in being linguistic elements of such patterns, come to be taken as expressing psychological facts in a way that given the general liberty in pattern description, is normal with all conspicuous elements of behavioural patterns. Speakers come to be taken to express psychological facts because avowals are semantically self-predicating (which is understandable in the light of the normal ways they are learnt). That avowals come to be reliable expressions of their psychological facts is anything but surprising, given normal human capacities of learning to behave in patterns; furthermore, avowals can supplement incomplete patterns and thus define them because articulated sentences add high amounts of complexity. Though not intro-evidentially descriptive, avowals can be descriptions in the way that stating one's impressions of x can be a description of x
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William Child (2006). Memory, Expression, and Past-Tense Self-Knowledge. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (1):54–76.
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