Philosophy's Spring Seminar Series: "Communication Breakdown: Private Language and its Problems", a talk by Ed Witherspoon

Thursday, March 24, 2022 - 12:30pm to 2:00pm
Please register to be notified of any event changes. Abstract: Wittgenstein famously opposes the idea of a private language, where that is a language that only the speaker him- or herself could possibly understand. Professor Witherspoon is going to approach Wittgenstein’s argument by asking a prior question: why would anyone endorse the idea of a private language? It will turn out that a major strand in the history of philosophy, running from Locke through Russell, is committed to the view that each of us speaks a language that is, at bottom, private. Understanding this view and its problematic consequences will enable us to explain the urgency of Wittgenstein’s critique. About the speaker: Ed Witherspoon is a philosopher at Colgate University. His areas of research include the problem of skepticism, the philosophy of mind, and the thought of Wittgenstein and of Heidegger. He teaches those topics as well as logic and interdisciplinary humanities course

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