more from Ludwig Wittgenstein

Single Idea 4143

[catalogued under 18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 10. Rule Following]

Full Idea

'Obeying a rule' is a practice. And to think one is obeying a rule is not to obey a rule. Hence it is not possible to obey a rule 'privately': otherwise thinking one was obeying a rule would be the same thing as obeying it.

Gist of Idea

One cannot obey a rule 'privately', because that is a practice, not the same as thinking one is obeying


Ludwig Wittgenstein (Philosophical Investigations [1952], 202)

Book Reference

Wittgenstein,Ludwig: 'Philosophical Investigations', ed/tr. Anscombe,E. [Blackwell 1972], p.81

A Reaction

The core of the Private Language argument. But if I drive on the right erroneously thinking it is the law, I can still make progress until I meet someone.