Word-Meaning and the Context Principle in the Investigations

Jaime Nester


I tie Wittgenstein’s notion of meaning-as-use to Frege’s context principle. Though I
refer to Frege’s context principle, I make clear Wittgenstein attributes a broader
scope to the context principle that extends beyond mere propositions. This move
enables me to argue that Wittgenstein’s meaning-as-use shows how Frege’s context
principle is open to circularity, while his own transformation of it is not. I make
this argument by explaining what Frege’s context principle is, and I show how it
operates in conjunction with his other two guiding principles. Though I contrast
Wittgenstein’s meaning-as-use with Frege’s commitment to the logical contribution
that words make to the truth-value of propositions, I still tie Wittgenstein’s
conception of meaning to Frege’s context principle in the way I have suggested.


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; context principle; early Wittgenstein; late Wittgenstein

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