Interpretation of Psychological Concepts in Wittgenstein

Antonio Bova


This paper aims to deepen what Wittgenstein says about psychological concepts. He
replaces the notion of psychological facts and phenomena with the notion of
psychological concepts, thereby placing the focus on an analysis of a conceptual
nature. It is the instruments of grammar and linguistic games which provide a
means to interpret psychological concepts reducing the description of internals
states to the description of the use of the words that depict them. The
psychological concepts therefore would take life only in the context of
linguistic expression. Language is not conceived as a static image of logical
rules far from real contexts of interaction, but rather as a living entity which
transforms itself through its constant usage. Thus, the meaning of a
psychological concept, like every linguistic expression, is contained in the use
that is made of it.


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; psychological concept; ordinary language; context; internal mental state; type vs token

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