Ludwig Wittgenstein discusses at length the argument against the coherence of a private language throughout his published works. My question is, are there any objections to the argument that work properly? I have read the SEP entry and while the objections are listed, it seems that there is no discussion of the effectiveness of said objections. The one objection I have interest in for the purpose of this question is, quoting Solomon Radley's blog:

"Ostensive definition does not fix meanings by associating things Wittgenstein insists that every genuine symbol must have a meaning that persists over time. He then notices a problem with private language sensations themselves are occurent, and eventually cease to be. But it might be responded that it’s mistaken for him to go on to argue that the private linguist needs something else (an image of the sensation) to permanently accompany ‘S’ in order for it to have a permanent meaning. All that’s necessary is a permanent possibility – the possibility of linking S with the same sensation. An enduring image of this sensation is no more necessary for guaranteeing the meaning of S than is a sample of sepia preserved in a glass case for guaranteeing the meaning of the word ‘sepia’."

Does the aforementioned objection succeed in derailing the private language argument?

  • This particular objection seems to miss the point, "the possibility of linking S with the same sensation" presupposes identifying private sensation as the "same". But as Wittgenstein points out there is no meaningful way to do so:"Whatever is going to seem right to me is right. And that only means that here we can't talk about 'right'". See Did Wittgenstein consider the possibility of a private language with public content? on the nature of the argument and its potential weak points.
    – Conifold
    Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 23:31
  • @Conifold so I just read the article you linked me and while it was a good read, I have a remaining question for you. In your personal opinion does any objection actually defeat the private language argument? And what's it's relationship to solipsism,which was discussed in the IEP article on "Solipsim and the problem of other minds"? Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 23:39
  • It is rarely possible to "defeat" philosophical arguments, but they have premises, which one can always reject, and make plausible, but not logically ironclad, inferences, which one can deny. The question is whether Wittgenstein's premises are credible enough and inferences plausible enough, and that depends on who you ask. From what I can tell, PLA is still considered a strong argument that places the burden on opponents to plausibly describe how a hypothetical private language is supposed to function. But that does not mean that Wittgenstein's "criterion of correctness" premise is "proven".
    – Conifold
    Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 23:49


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