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Intersubjective Properties by Which We Specify Pain, Pleasure, and Other Kinds of Mental States


How do people learn names for kinds of sensations? Wittgenstein identifies two possibilities. 1. Direct acquaintance: A person feels a sensation, notes its intrinsic character, and sets about to use the word thereafter for this sensation. 2. Outward signs: A person pins his use of the word to the sensation's outward signs. Wittgenstein rejects 1 and endorses 2. He thinks a sensation name can be learned only if people pin their use of the word to outward signs. I identify a third procedure and show we name many sensations and other kinds of mental states this way.

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  • ISSN: 0031-8191
  • EISSN: 1469-817X
  • URL: /core/journals/philosophy
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