Second Thoughts on Wittgenstein’s Secondary Sense

Vasso Kindi


The paper criticizes aspects of Diamond’s interpretation of Wittgenstein’s
“secondary sense” and offers a different account. It argues, in particular, that
the cases discussed by Wittgenstein as involving a secondary use of words are
supposed to challenge the view that meaning is use. Some of the cases are clear
examples of synaesthesia where idiosyncratic experiences are linked to
particular linguistic expressions, while other cases involve reference to inner
processes. In both it seems as though something inner gives the words meaning.
Wittgenstein’s answer is that even in these cases, the meaning of words is
parasitic upon their use in primary mode.


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; secondary sense; synaesthesia; use; meaning; metaphor

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.