“Treating the Sceptic with Genuine Expression of Feeling. Wittgenstein’s Later Remarks on the Psychology of Other Minds”
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In A. Roser & R. Raatzsch (eds.), Jahrbuch der Deutschen Ludwig Wittgenstein Gesellschaft. Peter Lang Verlag (2004)
This paper is concerned with the issue of authenticity in Wittgenstein’s philosophy of psychology. In the manuscripts published as Letzte Schriften über die Philosophie der Psychologie – Das Innere und das Äußere, the German term Echtheit is mostly translated as ‘genuineness’. In these manuscripts, Wittgenstein frequently uses the term as referring to a feature of the expression of feeling and emotion: […] I want to say that there is an original genuine expression of pain; that the expression of pain therefore is not equally connected to the pain and to the pretence. (LW II, p. 55) “This weeping gives the impression of being genuine” – so there is such a thing as genuine weeping. […]. (LW II, p. 87) […] Genuineness and falseness are not the only essential characteristics of an expression of feeling. […]. (LW II, p. 90) Wittgenstein contrasts the genuineness of the expressions with the possibility that the expressions are feigned. It seems to me that Wittgenstein is trying to discredit a specific version of the sceptical claim that we do not know other minds. I will refer to it as the sceptical innuendo. The sceptical innuendo says that every expression of feeling and emotion may be pretended. Wittgenstein’s approach to the issue reflects his later interest in the philosophy of psychology and, in particular, the problem of the ascription of psychological states (P-ascriptions) on the basis of someone else’s expression of feeling or emotion. Thus, the attempt to reject the sceptical innuendo is done mainly by means of conceptual and psychological arguments. Let’s look at this short dialogue between the sceptic and Wittgenstein. The former asks „How do you know that someone else is in a certain psychological state?“ Wittgenstein’s first reply is „I know that he is glad because I see him“. But the sceptic cannot be very happy with this reply. The sceptic’s next question is: „How do you know that he is really glad and he is not pretending?“ Wittgenstein’s response is not a direct refutation but is composed of a number of related reasons. These may be summed up in three arguments: (i) A psychological argument from the very nature of the expressions. The expressions are meant to be natural symptoms of someone else’s psychological state (P-state). (ii) A conceptual argument about the nature of pretence. It claims that pretence is a psychological property which is rightly ascribed when an observer has evidence for it. (iii) A psychological argument from genuineness. It claims that we are committed to accept people’s expressions of feeling and emotion as genuine.
|Keywords||Wittgenstein other minds expression emotion feeling|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Edoardo Zamuner (ed.) (2004). Wittgenstein on the Fallacy of the Argument From Pretence. Contributions of the Austrian Wittgenstein Society.
Joachim Schulte (1995). Experience and Expression: Wittgenstein's Philosophy of Psychology. Clarendon Press.
Jeff Frank (2010). Imagining Wittgenstein's Adolescent: The Educational Significance of Expression. Educational Philosophy and Theory 44 (4):343-350.
Peter Goldie (2000). Explaining Expressions of Emotion. Mind 109 (433):25-38.
Danièle Moyal-Sharrock (2007). Wittgenstein on Psychological Certainty. In , Perspicuous Presentations: Essays on Wittgenstein's Philosophy of Psychology. Palgrave Macmillan.
Carolyn Black (1990). Very Late Wittgenstein on Emotion. Grazer Philosophische Studien 38:99-114.
Daniel Whiting (2010). Particular and General: Wittgenstein, Linguistic Rules, and Context. In , The Later Wittgenstein on Language. Palgrave Macmillan.
Elizabeth H. Wolgast (1964). Wittgenstein and Criteria. Inquiry 7 (1-4):348 – 366.
David Robjant (2012). Learning of Pains; Wittgenstein's Own Cartesian Mistake at Investigations 246. Wittgenstein Studien 2012 3 (2012):261-285.
Mitchell S. Green (2007). Self-Expression. Oxford University Press.
Jeffery Geller (1988). Introspection in Psychology and Philosophy. Philosophy Research Archives 13:471-480.
Eric A. Salzen (2002). The Feeling of Pain and the Emotion of Distress. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (4):471-471.
Søren Overgaard (2005). Rethinking Other Minds: Wittgenstein and Levinas on Expression. Inquiry 48 (3):249 – 274.
Added to index2010-12-18
Total downloads139 ( #7,508 of 1,413,281 )
Recent downloads (6 months)17 ( #12,694 of 1,413,281 )
How can I increase my downloads?