King's College London

Research portal

Thought's Social Nature

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-606
Number of pages22
JournalEUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
PublishedDec 2011

King's Authors

Abstract

Wittgenstein, throughout his career, was deeply Fregean. Frege thought of thought as essentially social, in this sense: whatever I can think is what others could think, deny, debate, investigate. Such, for him, was one central part of judgement's objectivity. Another was that truths are discovered, not invented: what is true is so, whether recognised as such or not. (Later) Wittgenstein developed Frege's idea of thought as social compatibly with that second part. In this he exploits some further Fregean ideas: of a certain generality intrinsic to a thought; of lack of that generality in that which a thought represents as instancing some such generality. (I refer to this below as the conceptual-nonconceptual distinction.) Seeing Wittgenstein as thus building on Frege helps clarify (inter alia) his worries, in the Blue Book, and the Investigations, about meaning, intending, and understanding, and the point of the rule following discussion.

View graph of relations

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454