[C] [Wittrs] Re: Re: Wittgenstein on Inner/Outer, Behaviorism

  • From: Sean Wilson <whoooo26505@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 4 Apr 2010 15:53:27 -0700 (PDT)

... that's "now," not "not."  And it is "his," not "this"

"Even if I were not [<-- NOW] to hear everything that he is saying to himself, 
I would know as little what his words were referring to as if I read one 
sentence in the middle of a story. Even if I knew everything now going on 
within him, I still wouldn't know, for example, to whom the names and images in 
this [<--HIS] thoughts related ....

It's only in particular cases that the inner is hidden from me ... and in those 
cases it is not hidden because it is 'inner'

... Indeed, often I can describe inner, as I perceive it, but not his outer."


This is just a rogue set of passages, not necessarily very near to each other. 
I don't have the book yet, so I'm stuck with Monk quoting certain things until 
it arrives. But my sense here is the following:

Wittgenstein would be denying the Vulcan mind-meld here. He would be saying 
that if such a meld were performed, Spock could only be a spectator to 
the events, not "possessed" of it. In other words, what Spock would see 
would not be that different in KIND from the sort of thing he sees 
when examining the person with his 5 senses. So, if he is confused about what 
he sees outwardly, seeing inward would not necessarily remedy the 
confusion. This is because, to understand the inward, one would have need to 
have lived it.

(This sort of treats "seeing inward" as intercepting a radio broadcast. You'd 
be midstream in the broadcast, and what you encountered there would be made 
sense of just the same as what you saw of the person's behavior. It's like 
having a feed to the coaches who call football plays while watching the game. 
What you see from the feed is really the same sort of thing that you see on the 
field. You might have extra information, but it doesn't make you the equivalent 
of "the person")  

We imagine that if someone could occupy our minds, that they could be us. This 
is merely a picture we deploy. If I were to occupy another's mind, and still 
have my own -- key premise -- what I would find there "on the inside" would 
only make sense to what I already know of my own experience with my own mind, 
and would only give me the same sort of "evidence" that I get when reflecting 
about these things as I do when witnessing the person's outwardly behavior. I 
have to imagine certain things transpiring. 

Wittgenstein says, in effect, that we do get good at knowing "other people's 
minds" the sense that we come to properly know our children. This comes to 
us through the development of insight and experience in the form of life in 
this world -- and this development is surely not equal among all people. Some 
are much better. The thing we use to understand others (minds?) is something 
called "imponderable evidence."  This chain of inference is the same or similar 
to what makes good connoisseurs or artisans.  A mother's intuition is the same 
sort of thing as a designer's eye for fashion. It's the same kind of cognitive 

One quick clarification. I don't mean to say that Wittgenstein thinks 
there couldn't ever be a Vulcan mind-meld. What I mean to say is that if WE 
could peer into the minds of others, this would be the result for us (radio, no 
meld). Perhaps "God" could be thought to have this sort of power.


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