Meaning and Practice

Claudine Verheggen

Abstract



I argue that a proper understanding of Wittgenstein’s motivations for the claim that
meaning depends on linguistic practices entails that these practices must be social.
However, contra many (if not all) commentators who attribute to Wittgenstein a social
view, I further argue that this understanding suggests that the relevant practices do
not have to be communitarian but can be merely interpersonal. So having a language
does not essentially depend on meaning by one’s words what members of one’s community
mean by them; it essentially depends only on having had (many of) one’s words,
whatever one means by them, understood by others.

Keywords


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; meaning; linguistic practice; individual; society; communitarianism; interpersonal; standard; correctness; interpretation; solitary language

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