Wittgenstein's Distinction between Primary and Secondary Sense Reconsidered

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Abstract
This essay discusses Wittgenstein’s suggestion that we may speak of a distinction between a word’s primary and secondary senses. Instead of seeing the distinction merely as an example of a puzzling language use, many commentators have attempted to work out the distinction in terms of a supplement to a general theory of sense that they presume Wittgenstein developed in his later writings. I don’t think it is fair to ascribe such systematic aspirations to Wittgenstein.Indeed, Wittgenstein speaks explicitly of the distinction only at two junctures in his work; this suggests that the distinction in itself was not of great import to Wittgenstein. In my view, it is essential to see how the example resonates with other ideas and problems in his writings, for example, his discussions of rule-following in part one of the Investigations. By my lights, this has not been fully recognized in the standard literature. In discussing the distinction, I will argue for the importance of paying attention to a broader context than what is normally considered
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 1053-8364
DOI 10.5840/jpr_2010_16
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References found in this work BETA

Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?Edmund Gettier - 1963 - Analysis 23 (6):121-123.
Discrimination and Perceptual Knowledge.Alvin I. Goldman - 1976 - Journal of Philosophy 73 (November):771-791.
What Luck is Not.Jennifer Lackey - 2008 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (2):255 – 267.
Knowledge and Credit.Jennifer Lackey - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 142 (1):27 - 42.

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