In a well?known passage, Wittgenstein suggests that claims about what I would have said if asked, offered as an elucidation of what I meant, are hypotheses. Some have argued that Wittgenstein commits himself here to the view that claims about what I meant are hypotheses. I argue that this is to misinterpret the relevant passages and is at odds with central themes in Wittgenstein's philosophy, particularly what he has to say about the first?person relation to meaning. This is not of the external kind that the hypothesis model would suggest. Claims about what I would in fact have said are indeed hypotheses; but claims about what I would have said that are used to explicate what I meant have a quite different status. In a final section, I consider Wittgenstein's belief that the regularity of our meaning?governed behaviour need continue ?no further in the direction of the centre? and may emerge out of ?chaos?. I offer an account of these claims which gives no support to the hypothesis theory
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DOI 10.1080/00201749208602278
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