In this article, I identify three ways in which Wittgenstein opposed an idea of epistemic asymmetry between the first person and the secondor- third person. Examining the questions of 1) absence of doubt about my own experience and uncertainty about the experiences of others, 2) ineffability of subjective experience and 3) immediacy of my knowledge of my own experience contrasted with my merely inferential knowledge about the experiences of others, I see Wittgenstein’s remarks about “inner and outer” as a many-faceted denial of the claim that people’s minds are in some deep way unknowable to others. These considerations also serve to clarify Wittgenstein’s relation to behaviorism.
About the author
Tero Vaaja is a researcher/doctoral student in philosophy at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. In his PhD project, conducted at the Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy, he investigates the variations of the problem of other minds, tracking the historical context in which the problem has emerged, its connections with notions like intersubjectivity, consciousness and solipsism, as well as its role in several contemporary discussions. His work has been kindly supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation and the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Jyväskylä.
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