Could the beetle in the box not play any role in our…?Or will the similar neurological constituents and the same physical input provide some supports to the "pain",in a (Kantian) way that each person has her own sense perception but is similar to each other,or at least has the same scheme?

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    See the Private Language Argument – Mauro ALLEGRANZA Jan 21 at 14:37
  • Phenomenologists (and continental philosophers of language more broadly) often defend some form of private language, see e.g. Solomon, Husserl's Private Language. Azzouni finds a certain "loophole" in the private language argument in The Rule-Following Paradox and the Impossibility of Private Rule-Following. – Conifold Jan 21 at 20:47
  • The underlying problem you should consider here is "what is language?". If it is communication with symbols about the world, it needs at least two individuals which agree on proper symbol use by definition. The SEP article does a decent job at identifying the main lines of thought culminating in the rejection of the idea of a private language. – Philip Klöcking Jan 21 at 22:15
  • Yeah.actually I've read some of it. But as one may see,person sometimes speak with herself(As platitude"man is complex"),and it may be not principally public? – AnduinWilde Jan 22 at 5:11
  • Well, of course there is such a thing as thought and inner speech. But as Sellars argued later as well: The language that is used here did and indeed has to develop in social context with practical reference to the world. If we are sufficiently adept as a language user, we might become able to develop derivative uses and construct "our own" way to understand and describe things, but arguably, Wittgenstein would say that all the derivative uses of language are what creates nonsense and philosophical "problems" in the first place. – Philip Klöcking Jan 22 at 10:12

Wittgenstein's "beetle in a box" argument is easily seen to be incorrect, simply by our successful operation of internal dialog and reasoning processes, and that we succeed with both even as prelingual toddlers. His presumption that we would no longer be able to reason or think to ourselves, if the rest of humanity died out and we could no longer confirm word meanings with an external community, is implausible in the extreme.

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  • Of course there is still the language even if there's only one person left.But if there is only one man embryologically,it seems no language can be developed in. One can talk with herself,but if the thought is expressed by words,it's not "Not to be learned by others in principle" in some's opinion,hence it's not a kind of private language(if the private language means that). – AnduinWilde Jan 23 at 15:02
  • @AnduinWilde I believe that Wittgenstein's argument holds that there can be NO private language without external definitional reference checks, hence one person cannot have language, as language cannot be private. This is what I cited evidence to refute -- as we operate with private "mentalism" starting from before we are lingual, and throughout life. And even the formal language we use internally is not checked against external definitions, as full syntax and definitions and assumption sharing CANNOT be done, because our external throughput is grossly less than our internal throughput. – Dcleve Jan 23 at 18:33
  • Note most of the replies to your question include this claim -- asserting that language requires external communicability. My test cases refute these claims about language. – Dcleve Jan 23 at 18:35
  • That is definitely not what Wittgenstein asserts in Investigations. – ChristopherE Jan 25 at 23:34
  • @ChristopherE Philosophers appear to be radically in disagreement with each other about what Wittgenstein said or meant. plato.stanford.edu/entries/private-language/#OveWitArgInt I have refuted one interpretation of W, which seems to be the one which most posters here consider to be the "beetle in a box" argument. – Dcleve Jan 25 at 23:40

Are there some kinds of arguments in defense of Private Language?

Well consider the case of a space where all speech acts are public.

Q. How then can one carry out a private conversation?

Because its due to conversations being private that one can plan to ones advantage, and to the disadvantage of others (and in this case, mostly to others; in the sense, the others are more numerous).

Well, in such a public space, one invents a private language. That looks like the public language, but is so coded that one knows what is being said. If you have some physics knowledge, think of a communication signal being overlayed on a carrier wave.

Note however, the advantage is accrued wholly to the private group, who are in charge of the private language. Thus, if you are publicly minded, you might think this is no advantage at all; and in fact, a disadvantage.

So I came to praise private language, and in fact, it seems I have buried it...!

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