Philosophy and Literature 34 (1):pp. 265-269 (2010)

Marie McGinn
University of York
The primary concern of Stephen Mulhall's book is to investigate an interpretation of Wittgenstein's remarks on private language, associated paradigmatically with Norman Malcolm. On this reading, the grammar of our ordinary concepts of language, reference, meaning, rule, etc. is held to prohibit or exclude the idea of a private language. The attempt to give expression to the idea is held to result in a violation of the grammar of these concepts, which connects them essentially with the idea of public criteria that are accepted as establishing that a word has been correctly used. Something that philosophers have been inclined to regard as a possibility is shown to be excluded: the attempt to describe it results in ..
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DOI 10.1353/phl.0.0074
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