more from Hilary Putnam

Single Idea 6279

[catalogued under 19. Language / F. Communication / 4. Private Language]

Full Idea

A language made up and used by a being who belonged to no community would have no need for such a concept as the 'meaning' of a term. To state the reference of each term and what the language speaker believes is to tell the whole story.

Gist of Idea

A private language could work with reference and beliefs, and wouldn't need meaning


Hilary Putnam (Meaning and the Moral Sciences [1978], Pt Three)

Book Reference

Putnam,Hilary: 'Meaning and the Moral Sciences' [RKP 1981], p.115

A Reaction

A subtle response to Wittgenstein's claim (e.g. Ideas 4152,4158), but I am not sure what Putnam means. I would have thought that beliefs had to be embodied in propositions. They may not need 'meaning' quite as urgently as sentences, but still…

Related Ideas

Idea 4152 Getting from perceptions to words cannot be a private matter; the rules need an institution of use [Wittgenstein]

Idea 4158 An 'inner process' stands in need of outward criteria [Wittgenstein]