In Peter Sullivan Michael Potter (ed.), Wittgenstein's Tractatus. History and Interpretation. Cambridge: Oxford University Press. pp. 143-169 (2013)

William Child
Oxford University
Cora Diamond has claimed that Wittgenstein’s Tractatus contains an early ‘private language argument’: an argument that private objects in other people’s minds can play no role in the language I use for talking about their sensations. She further claims that the Tractatus contains an early version of the later idea that an inner process stands in need of outward criteria. The paper argues against these claims, on the grounds that they depend on an unwarranted construal of the Tractatus’s notion of use. It is further argued that Diamond’s interpretation makes a mystery of the relation between the Tractatus and Wittgenstein’s 1929 account of sensation language, set out in Philosophical Remarks and elsewhere. Finally, the paper considers and defends Michael Dummett’s contention that the Tractatus is a paradigm of semantic realism, in the light of Diamond’s claim that the Tractatus in fact suggests a form of anti-realism about sensation language.
Keywords private language  sensation language  private language argument  Tractatus  Cora Diamond  Michael Dummett  realism  Wittgenstein
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