Philosophical Investigations 293: Private versus Public Beetles

Peter Philipp


Some years ago when I read Merrill and Jaakko Hintikka's book Investigating Wittgenstein I found their "most surprising, and ... most controversial, thesis", the thesis of "Wittgenstein's metaphysical Cartesianism, that is to say, the claim that for Wittgenstein there really were private event-like experiences, including pains and other such sensations" [p. 265]. At first I simply considered this to be an original but absolutely wrong interpretation of the Philosophical Investigations. It seemed to be not just a courageous but daredevil interpretation - as E. v. Savigny said in his Wittgensteins "Philosophische Untersuchungen" [Vol. I, p. 344]. But meanwhile I have observed - perhaps my attentiveness for these things has grown - that this thesis meets with approval by quite some people. Among these people there are some philosophers I highly estimate. Hence the matter seems to me worth dealing with in a serious manner.


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; behaviourism; sensation; language game; private language; privacy

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.