segunda-feira, 2 de novembro de 2015




Information about myself:
I am professor at the UFRN (Brazil) and researcher for the CNPq. I live here by own choice, since I have a light degree of autism and feel more intelectual freedom when working alone, outside the influence of a sometimes paralysing society of ideas. 
I made my PhD in Germany and post-doctoral sabbaticals of one year in München (with Friedo Ricken), Konstanz (with Wolfgang Spohn), Oxford (with Richard Swinburne), Berkeley (with John Searle), and hopefully in Göteburg (with Anna-Sofia Maurin) next year. I Published some papers in Ratio and some others international journals. But I will do it no more. I am a proud outsider with no desire to be integrated in the mainstream philosophy, since I believe that regarding the central matters (mainly philosophy of language) it has lost its abrangence and, under the the pressures of scientism, cristalized itself into scolastic disputes.

Minha poesia é tão hipermoderna que só daqui a cem anos, quando a espécie humana se alçar ao nível ômega, ela será capaz de compreendê-la!  Quanto à minha filosofia, essa então nem se fala. Essa vai até o osso. Sua força é como a da explosão de uma supernova. Ela é tão profunda, tão profunda mesmo, que espécimes do gênero humano, especialmente aqueles por muitos anos adestrados na miopia do academicismo cientista da insignificante filosofia contemporânea não conseguirão enxergar dela mais do que traços embaçados.
Por isso, ao temerário que pretender imergir em sua profundidade abissal eu previno: muito dificilmente conseguirá retornar outra vez à superfície. Pois a distância entre a minha filosofia galáctica e quase toda a pigméica filosofia contemporânea é tão grande que não se mede em quilômetros, nem em léguas, nem em milhas... mas em anos-luz! Por isso resolvi denominá-la "filosofia clássica pós-analítica e anti-contemporânea."


Lines of Thought: Rethinking Philosophical Assumptions is a highly innovative and powerfully argued book. According to the author, noted Brazilian philosopher Claudio Costa, many philosophical ideas that today are widely seen as old-fashioned suggests replacing the causal-historical view of proper names with a much more sophisticated form of descriptive-internalist theory able to meet Kripke’s challenges. In epistemology, he argues convincingly that we should return to the old traditional tripartite definition of knowledge, reformulated in a much more complex form in which Gettier’s problem disappear. The correct response to skepticism about the external world should not be to adopt new and more fanciful views, but rather to carefully analyze the different kinds of reality attributions implied by the argument and responsible for its equivocal character. In metaphysics, he argues for a more complex reformulation of the traditional compatibilist approach of free will, relating it intrinsically with the causal theory of action and making it powerful enough to assimilate the best elements of hierarchical views. Finally, according to the author, contemporary analytic philosophy suffers from a lack of comprehensiveness. In response to this, the papers in this collection aim to restore something of the broader perspective, salvaging isolated insights by integrating them into more comprehensive views. The text is written in a clear and accessible style that meets the needs of not only professional philosophers, but also of contemporary students and laypersons.

This is an impressive contribution to answering several important questions of analytic philosophy. Few philosophers have written on such difficult questions with comparable lucidity and originality.
Guido Antônio de Almeida - Emeritus professor of philosophy - Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

Claudio Costa's collection of philosophical essays covers many of the central problems of philosophy - the nature of philosophy and of knowledge, how names refers to individuals, frewill and consciousness. He reminds us of some of the major insights on these issues from the early years of 'linguistic philosophy' and develops important objections to some more recent views about them".
Richard Swinburne - Emeritus Noloth professor of philosophy - Oxford University

(from the back-cover)






   For me, contemporary analytic philosophy suffers from a lack of comprehensiveness due to the growing influence of related particular sciences, and this ‘scientism’ tends to transform philosophy into a handmaiden of science. Partially because of this, I defend the view that many philosophical ideas that today are widely considered old-fashioned and outdated should not be abandoned, but instead should be extensively reworked and reformulated.
    The book Lines of Thought is a collection of published and unpublished papers, presented in a revised and expanded form:
   The most important paper in the collection is a long essay called ‘Outline of a Theory of Proper Names’, which is an expanded and corrected version of an earlier paper published in the journal Ratio.
   In this essay, a new and much more sophisticated version of the cluster theory of proper names emerges. Thus, calling localizing description a description that expresses a rule for the spatio-temporal location of the reference, and calling a characterizing description a description that expresses the rule that is the proper reason for our choice of the name, we can state the following form of the identification rule for any proper name:

A proper name N refers to an object of a certain class C iff in a sufficient manner and more than in any other case, its localizing description applies and/or its characterizing description applies.

 Normal speakers do not need to know the identifying rule, but must know enough from it to be able to insert adequately the name in the discourse.
 The identifying rule, turned into a description, is a rigid designator, applicable in all possible worlds where the object to be referred can be found. This explains the rigidity of proper names.
 Since usual definite descriptions are loosely associated with the identifying rule of proper names of the objects they are usually designating, they are accidental designators.
   To show that this view is right we need only consider cases of definite descriptions that do not belong to the cluster of descriptions of any proper name, for example, ‘the third cavalry regiment of Cintra’. This description is rigid, since it will be applied in any possible world where there is a third cavalry regiment of Cintra.
 This theory not only gives descriptive paraphrases of actual discoveries of Kripke, but allows us to explain the most relevant classical counterexamples to descriptivism more precisely than Searle’s memorable attempt to do it in the chapter 9 of his book Intentionality.

   Since proper names is a touching stone to the theories of reference, a radical change of perspective in the direction of descriptivism should bring with it also a radical change in the way we understand the reference of others terms and expressions.

   Another relevant paper in the collection is the previously unpublished ‘On the Concept of Water’, proposing a neo-descriptivist analysis of this concept.
   For me the word ‘water’ has two nuclei of meaning: an old popular nucleus, and a new scientific nucleus. A complete descriptivist view must extend itself to the scientific meaning too, since ‘Water is made of H2O’ is a descriptive sentence that is found in the definition of water given by modern dictionaries.
   When sufficiently developed, this analysis allows us to give an internalist answer to Putnam’s twin earth experiment, as resulting from our projection of one of these senses in Oscar’s indexical use of the word. For according with the context of interests involved we can emphasize the popular meaning of the world ‘water’ or the scientific meaning of this world.
   Moreover, distinguishing several senses in which we can say that ‘Water is H2O’, our analysis shows more clearly than two-dimensinalist views why it is misleading to see this statement as being necessary a posteriori.  To make it clear: for me in the statement ‘Water is H2O’ the word ‘water’ can be understood as ‘watery liquid’ or as ‘dihydrogen monoxide’, according to the context. In the first case the statement will be read as contingent a posteriori. In the second it will be read as necessary a priori. Kripke simply mixed the contingence of the first statement with the necessity of the second, arriving in this way to the necessary a posteriori.
  As Wittgenstein would say, Kripke’s conclusion results from a metaphysical confusion caused by lack of attention to the ways in which language really works.

  Another relevant paper is called ‘Free Will and the Soft Constraints of Reason’ is a modern defense of compatibilism in which the causal theory of action is used to explain different levels of free will.
 According to that theory, reasoning causes volitions that cause actions. Freedom can be constrained, externally or internally, by pressure or limitation, under a reasonable range of alternatives, in these three levels: physical, motivational and rational, in the last case possibly without awareness of the agent, what makes it important and contestable and demands a detailed explanation.
 The upshot is a view potentially able to incorporate the results of modern hierarchical views.
   This paper is followed by a compatibilist analysis of our feeling that we can do otherwise, with consequences for the arguments of Van Inwagen and Harry Frankfurt.

 ‘A Perspectival Definition of Knowledge’ is a paper revising the old tripartite definition of knowledge in a way in which Gettiers problem disappears without creating new difficulties, since the internal link between the conditions of justification and truth is made fully explicit in a formal way. The basic intuition is that the adequate justification must be able to satisfy the condition of truth to the knowledge-evaluator in the moment of his evaluation. However, the details of the definition are partially formal and too complex to be explained in few words.

The most difficult paper is, I believe, ‘The Sceptical Deal With our Concept of External Reality’. This paper offers shows that both, the modus tollens skeptical argument about the reality of the external world, as much as the modus ponens anti-skeptical argument about the external world, are both equivocal and consequently falacious. The way to get this result is through an analysis of the concept of reality. I show that this concept is ambiguous; it has a sense in the usual contexts and another sense in the context of skeptical hypothesis. Since there is an implicit attribution or disattribution of reality in the different sentences of the skeptical and anti-skeptical arguments, the passages from the premises to the conclusion are implicitly equivocal and consequently fallacious.
   This paper contains an passant a developed proof of the external world. It is in my view in the whole philosophical literature the only proof that really works. It is able to explain why we are so sure that the external world is real.

   What these papers have in common is that they belong to the same program of restoring something from the traditional comprehensiveness of philosophy, often by reviving views that by many are, I believe, wrongly considered outdated.

   A last word: This book is obviously relevant. But I have Asperger syndrome, live alone in a great island, I am an outsider. I sent the manuscript of this book to MIT-press and to Cambridge University Press, which with OUP detain a kind of monopoly of the philosophical market, and they refuse even to read it. And I found this a shame. Then I published the book in the Cambridge Scholars Publishing, a very nice publisher, but without reputation in philosophy, what means that no influential journal will make a review.
   Maybe this helps to explain the lack of originality of most of present philosophy. No one dares to break with the paradigm which seems to be pressured from above. It is as if with the movies; the best movie makers are outsiders while Hollywood domains the market. Maybe it is only my personal case. But maybe we should say, repeating Hamlet, that there is something rotten in the state of Denmark.


Advanced draft for the book "Philosophical Semantics" to be published by Cambridge Scholars Publication.


Nun scheint mir aber, gibt es ausser der Arbeit des Künstlers noch eine andere, die Welt sub specie aeterni einzufangen. Es ist – glaube ich – der Weg des Gedankens, der gleichsam über die Welt hinfliege und sie so lasst, wie sie ist – sie von oben von Flüge betrachtend.

[Now it seems to me too, that besides the artist’s work there is still another way of capturing the world sub specie aeterni. It is – I believe – the way of thought, which so to speak flies over the world and leaves it as it is – observing it from above, in flight.]


My aim in this chapter is not so much to interpret Wittgenstein, as to read, reconstruct and sometimes revise his insights on meaning in a way that makes them more powerful and relevant than they may seem at first sight. What will be presented here is what in his own terminology could be called a surveillable representation (übersichtliche Darstellung) of the grammar of the concept-word ‘meaning’, particularly in regard to representative language. Before beginning, I would like to say something about what could be called the ‘semantic-cognitive link.’

Semantic-cognitive link
The most common viewpoint concerning the referential mechanism, which I intend to support in this book, is that referential expressions can only refer because of some intermediary link able to associate them with their reference. This view originated in classical antiquity. I defend the position that this link has a semantic-cognitive nature in the sense that it can always be considered from two different perspectives: psychological and semantic.[1] From a psychological perspective, the link can be called an idea, representation, intention, conception, thought, and cognition (Aristotle and Locke were examples of semanticists who adopted this perspective). From a semantic perspective, the link is more often called a sense, meaning, use, way of use, intension, connotation, concept, informative content, proposition, criterion, criterial or verificational rule (Stoics, Frege, Husserl and Ernst Tugendhat are examples of semanticists of this persuasion). Here is a diagram:

idea, representation, cognition, intention, conception, thought...
sense, meaning, content of thought, intension, use, application, semantic rule, criterial rule, criteria, proposition…

At this point, an old polemic arises: What is the appropriate link? Which set of terms should be excluded? Should we exclude psychological terms, so as not to contaminate semantics with empirical contingency? Or should we abandon a possible commitment to questionable abstract semantic entities, exchanging them for the more feasible concreteness of the psychological?
   Many philosophers have reacted to this question on the assumption that each alternative excludes the other. I don’t agree. I regard this assumption as a false dilemma that has generated too much philosophical confusion. For the psychological and semantic perspectives should be seen not as mutually exclusive alternatives, but as complementary ones.
   In my view, the idea that we must choose between two opposing perspectives is illusory. The source of this illusion lies in the fact that the abstract character of the semantic perspective is seen as committed to some form of realism about universals, while the cognitivist perspective is seen as committed to some kind of nominalism depending on the particularist contingency of the psychological. Since these ontological commitments are incompatible, the two alternatives also seem to be incompatible.
   However, if we understand that these ontological commitments are not inevitable, it becomes easier to conclude that the intermediary link between words and things can be approached in both ways without conflict. We realize that when we consider the intermediate link from a semantic perspective we are not appealing to abstract entities in a realistic sense, but only leaving out of consideration the unavoidable fact that meaning exists only insofar as it is spatio-temporally embodied in some specific psychological subject.
   To clarify the complementarity that I am suggesting: we can consider the intermediate link as both: (i) a cognitive link, consisting of elements that must be spatio-temporally realized as intentional acts occurring in specific psychological individuals; (ii) a semantic link, referred to as something considered in abstraction from its spatio-temporal instantiations as an intentional act going on in any psychological individual in a definite time and space. However, this abstraction cannot be made in a sense in which the semantic link is considered as in some way transcending the realm of specific psychological and physical beings, since it always needs some form of cognitive spatio-temporal intentional instantiation in order to be an object of consideration. The word ‘abstraction’ means here simply leaving out of consideration the natural association between a meaning and the psychological individuals who instantiate the meaning and focusing on the signs that are able to convey this meaning insofar as they are understood by some particular psychological interpreter. This is the only way a semantic-cognitive link can be clearly made semantically independent of this or that cognitive instantiation.
   A very simple example illustrates my point. When I recognize a patch of vermilion of cinnabar (a precisely characterized color), it is because the patch I see matches the memory image of vermilion that I stored in my long-term memory during earlier experiences. Now, when I speak of a general concept of vermilion of cinnabar, I am speaking of this image that may be made conscious in my mind, or of any other image of this color that may be made conscious in other minds, insofar as these samples are qualitatively identical or precisely similar.[2]
   In other words, against the idea that our semantic link is a type that is either a unique abstract Platonic entity or an abstract Platonic class of tokens qualitatively identical to one another, what I am proposing is that we conceive the semantic link in the sense of an arbitrarily chosen model, namely, as any token that stands for any other token that is strictly similar to it.[3] In short, we can define a semantic link as:

A semantic link x = any occurrence of x chosen to serve as a model for any other occurrence of some x that is strictly similar to our model.

   Since all these possible occurrences need to be psychological (and certainly also physical), we don’t need to transcend the domain of the psychological or of the empirical in order to reach the semantic domain. Moreover, we don’t need to have an instantiation of the semantic type in any specially chosen psychological particular. What we really need is only that at least one psychological particular, regardless of which one, should instantiate the semantic cognition. But this condition, as we will see later, can easily be accommodated in our commonsense ontological framework.
   This compromise solution is strengthened when we note that even some sub-items of (a) and (b) show an approximate correspondence to each other. Thus the word ‘idea’ has meaning proximity to ‘sense’ or ‘meaning’, as well as to ‘concept’; the word ‘representation’ has meaning proximity to ‘criterial rule’; the word ‘mental image’ has meaning proximity to ‘criterial configuration’; the word ‘occurrence of thought’ has meaning proximity to ‘proposition’ or ‘content of thought’.

Why meaning cannot be the reference
When we consider the semantic link, words that more easily come to mind are ‘sense’ and ‘meaning’ (generally used as synonyms) as semantic or informational content. But what is sense or meaning? Perhaps the simplest answer is given by what may be called semantic referentialism, a doctrine that in its crudest form holds that the meaning of a linguistic expression is its own reference. This conception either denies the existence of a semantic link between word and object or minimizes its importance. Wittgenstein described this way of understanding meaning at the beginning of his Philosophical Investigations, where he commented on the so-called ‘Augustinian conception of language’:

These words, it seems to me, give us a particular picture of the essence of human language. It is this: individual words in language name objects – sentences are combinations of such names. – In this picture of language we find the roots of the following idea: Every word has a meaning. This meaning is correlated with the word. It is the object for which the word stands.[4]

   Wittgenstein’s aim in this passage was to object to semantic referentialism, a theory championed by himself in his first work, the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. According to his version of semantic referentialism, when completely analyzed, language proves to be composed of atomic names whose meanings would be the simple and indestructible objects necessarily referred to by them.[5]
   Semantic referentialism has some intuitive appeal. After all, it is usual to explain the meaning of a word by pointing to objects that exemplify what it means. In childhood, we learned what the word ‘chair’ means, because adults showed us examples of this artifact. And we learn the name of a particular woman because she introduces herself to us with her name. We learn what a word means or does not mean respectively through positive and negative examples of its application, which makes credible the idea that meaning is the object actually referred to. At least this has the virtue of simplicity: ‘here is the name, there is its meaning’.[6] Notwithstanding the fact that this view has been debunked by ordinary language philosophers as based on a primitive and misleading idea of what are the mechanisms of reference, and is a major source of pseudo-problems, though its influence has reasserted itself among proponents of metaphysics of reference.[7]
   There are strong well-known arguments against this naive referentialist view of meaning. The most obvious is that you cannot say of a meaning what you say of an object: if a pick-pocket steals my wallet I will not say that the meaning of my wallet was stolen, and to say that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated is not to say that the meaning of his name was assassinated.
   Another argument is that many natural terms have the same reference, while their senses or meanings are obviously different: the singular terms ‘Socrates’ and ‘the husband of Xantippe’ point to the same man, although they clearly have different meanings. And the opposite seems to be the case with general terms: the predicate ‘ fast’ in the statement ‘Bucephalus is fast’ allegedly refers to a singularized property of Alexander’s horse Bucephalus, and in the sentence ‘Silver is fast’ it allegedly refers to a singularized property of another horse, Silver. Although they are different horses, so that the speed of Bucephalus is not qualitatively the same as that of Silver, in both sentences the word ‘fast’ preserves precisely the same meaning.
   The most decisive argument against the referentialist view of meaning, however, is more fundamental: it concerns the fact that even when a referential expression has no reference, it does not lose its meaning. The singular term ‘Eldorado’ and the general term ‘phlogiston’ do not have any reference, but by no means do they lack any meaning.

The failure of Russell’s atomistic referentialism
Conscious of difficulties like these, Bertrand Russell attempted to defend semantic referentialism in a minimalist fashion, taking into account only the alleged atomic elements of language and the world. It is instructive to consider his attempt. For Russell, the meaning of at least some terms – called by him logically proper names – would have as their meanings their objects of reference. This could be the case, perhaps, for the word ‘red’; after all, as he noted, a blind man is unable to learn its meaning.[8]
   However, it is untenable that the meaning of any word can be reduced to its reference tout court. Changing his example a little, suppose that someone demonstratively applies the word ‘vermilion’ to an occurrence of vermilion of cinnabar, which is a shade of red that the human eye practically cannot further subdivide. In this sense it is a simpler candidate for ‘simple’ than Russell’s red color, since it does not need to include gradations and rule their limits. Could such an occurrence be the meaning? There is an obvious reason to think that an occurrence of vermilion could not be its meaning: the absence of identity criteria. When we consider the occurrence of vermilion – be it physically thought of as an externally given spatio-temporal aspect or property, or phenomenally thought of as an appearance, possibly called a sense-datumthe occurrence will always be different for each new experience. Thus, if the meaning of ‘vermilion’ is only a detected ‘vermilion-as-occurrence’, then each new occurrence of vermilion should be a new and distinct meaning – an intolerable conclusion!
   Russell thought of this problem and found a way to defend his view against such objections, but only at the cost of getting entangled in even worse difficulties. He suggested that the object-meaning of a logically proper name would be something immediately accessible, such as sense data picked out by pronouns like ‘this’ or ‘that’, only as long as we maintain consciousness of the sense data. This means that the meaning also only lasts as long as our personal experience of a word’s object of application.[9] But this is an extremely problematic answer, as it is clear that it leads to solipsism.[10] For what criteria of correction could we apply to fix this meaning, in order to see that reapplication of the same word to another occurrence of the sense data would at least qualitatively be of the same sense data? How could we insert this fugitive meaning of a proper name in our common language, a language composed of words whose meanings are permanently shared?
   Consider the problem more closely: suppose I apply the word ‘vermilion’ to the occurrence of the sense data of a vermilion patch, in this way giving the word a meaning. Now, if I later reapply the word ‘vermilion’ to different sense data of a vermilion patch or even to the same one, I must know that I am giving the same meaning to the word in these two applications. But if the occurrence of reference is a different one or even in the case of the same patch at a later time, and a name’s meaning is nothing but an arbitrarily given reference, what reason do I have to believe that the meaning remains the same if in order to know that the reference is the same I need at least mean this sameness?
   Indeed, in our language, to know the meaning of a word like ‘vermilion’ demands at least the ability to recognize an occurrence of vermilion as being precisely similar to other occurrences of vermilion. But this recognition is not included in the idea that the meaning of the word is only the occurrence of its reference and nothing more. The concept of a term’s meaning requires essentially that this term should unify its different applications to the same referent, which is not in question here.
   It is true that if the meaning of a word like ‘vermilion’ were the vermilion-type – understood as an abstract entity common to all occurrences (tokens) – we would be able to solve the difficulty pointed out above. But this solution would commit us to some form of realism or Platonism, raising justified suspicion of an unintelligible reification of the type into a topos atopos.
   One alternative would be to consider the vermilion-type as being the class of occurrences of sense data that are precisely similar to each other. This reduces the risk of realism, but does not eliminate it, since classes seem to be irreducibly abstract entities; in addition, classes may be larger or smaller according to their number of members, while the meaning of the word ‘vermilion’ has no proper magnitude, neither increasing nor decreasing.
   The most feasible alternative seems to be that we consider the meaning of ‘vermilion’ as some occurrence of vermilion that we are using as a model (which could be a sense datum or some property-trope in the outside world, and can if necessary be arbitrarily changed to another like it) or any other occurrence that is precisely similar to this model.
   So, if I recognize what is currently being offered as an occurrence of vermilion, it may be because I realize that this occurrence is precisely similar to others that were previously given to me as being those of vermilion (resorting to a model whose copy I have stored in my memory), which gives me an awareness of it as a color qualitatively identical to colors I have previously experienced. Thus, recalling the various experienced occurrences of vermilion {R1, R2... Rn} and the model-copy Rm that I have stored in my memory, I can say that {R1 = Rm, R2 = Rm... Rn = Rm} and, therefore, that {R1 = Rm = R2}, etc., without resorting to any Platonic entity or to some multiplication of identities of identities or even to the concept of an intensionally defined set – usual problems pointed out against particularistic strategies for handling universals.
   What this view amounts to is that what we call the meaning of the word ‘vermilion’ must be identified with a referential connection, namely, with a rule that relates cognitive experiences of occurrences of a color to occurrences of color that we in some way use as models, in order to produce an awareness of what is being experienced as being the same vermilion color in each case. This internal semantic cognition, however, is produced in association with ‘vermilion’, a word for an entity. In this way, both a reference and its word turn out to be interpersonally accessible once the precise similarity between occurrences allows for interpersonal accessibility and an implicit agreement necessary to create a linguistic convention, even if the semantic cognition in itself, as a matter of fact, is not interpersonally accessible.[11] However, it should be pointed out that the semantic rule that uses memorized models to identify any new instance of vermilion is independent of this or that particular occurrence of vermilion – it just instantiates occurrences that satisfy it. This view is one I believe to be workable.
   But this view has a price: we see on reflection that by adopting it we have already left behind us the referentialist conception of meaning. Even to set the meaning of a word as simple as ‘vermilion’ we need to appeal to something that is more than a rough object of reference and is independent of it, namely, a semantic rule.
   Even though semantic referentialism is unsustainable, there is a lesson to be learned from its discussion. Our last suggestion saves an important idea derived from Russellian referentialism, namely, the idea that the existence of an object of reference is necessary for the names of objects taken as simple in the context of linguistic praxis. Even understanding the expression ‘simple object’ in a sense that is not absolute, and restricting it to a non-decomposable entity in the framework of some linguistic practice, as could be the case with the sense datum of red or of red as a trope (a spatio-temporally singularized property that may be given to experience) the conclusion is that for such ‘simple names’ to acquire meaning they need to have reference.
   This is why, in an important sense, a blind man cannot learn the meaning of the word ‘red’: since the color red is in a sense simple[12] and its knowledge demands acquaintance, and since he cannot have this sensory experience, he cannot construct the conventional criterial rule responsible for the shared referential meaning of the word. At least in the case of this subrogate of a logically proper name restricted to a certain linguistic practice, the existence of some object of reference is indispensable. But this, certainly, doesn’t mean that the word’s meaning is its reference. What it means is only that in some cases a given object of reference is indispensable for the formation of the semantic rule whereby some word acquires its referential function.

Meaning as a function of use
We shall now move on to a second candidate for the semantic link: use or application. This candidate was privileged by Wittgenstein, who suggested that the meaning of a linguistic expression is its use (Gebrauch) or application (Verwendung). As he wrote in a famous passage of his Philosophical Investigations:

You can, for a large class of cases of use of the word ‘meaning’ – if not for all cases of its use – explain it like this: the meaning of a word is its use in a language.[13]

 This suggestion applies to both words and sentences. It applies clearly to the illocutionary forces of expressions, which establish kinds of interaction between speaker and hearer in speech acts and can be made explicit by performative verbs. Some have also called it directive meaning. Together with expressive meaning, aiming to express internal psychological states, these aren’t really important for us here, since we are interested in kinds of meaning able to link our linguistic expressions with their references –referential meaning. Our concern here, as was clear from the start, is the content of declarative sentences, which is the kind of referential meaning we call descriptive, factual, cognitive, informative or epistemic meaning, able to link language with the world and to be true or false (Aristotle called it apophantic speech). These epistemic and referential meanings should be of philosophical importance because, since by relating language and world, they should have epistemological and ontological implications.
   However, the identification of meaning with use doesn’t apply so easily to the informative or epistemic meaning of our expressions. Consider, for example, a declarative sentence like ‘The tide is high’. It is easy to imagine an illocutionary use for this, for example: warning, informing. But by doing this we would revert to meaning as force. According to the theory of speech acts, all utterances must have the form F(p), where F expresses (explicit or implicit) illocutionary force, and p expresses a propositional content. Here we are not interested in F, even if F expresses assertive (illocutionary) force; we are instead interested in the use of p as p. But it is not very natural to speak of a use of a statement separately from its assertive force. The only sure way of approaching pure referential and epistemic meaning with an appeal to use consists in producing an acceptable amplification of the concept of use, suggesting that what is at issue in the case of epistemic meaning is the use involved in the act of communication by means of which a speaker intends to share with a hearer his awareness of a real or possible fact. Thus, when a speaker says ‘The tide is high’, in addition to using this sentence with the illocutionary force of affirmation, for example, the use may be the spelling in which a propositional content is expressed, normally added to assertive force and made to communicate both with the intention to reproduce a corresponding judgment (the same propositional content plus judicative force) in hearers’ minds.
   To make clear what is at stake, we can isolate epistemic meaning from assertive force, as when we employ the Fregean device of expressing a sentence’s content only as being regarded, depriving it of any kind of illocutionary force, as we can do with the sentence ‘The dog has run away’ in the utterance ‘Anne believes that the dog has run away’. The spelling of the complementary sentence expressing epistemic content – thought that isn’t asserted – is also a use.
   But what about the hearer’s understanding of a statement? The hearer is surely not using any spelling of words in his understanding of its meaning. In order to sustain the view that even in this case meaning is use, we need to resort here to a second and bolder amplification of the extension of the word ‘use’. It seems in fact possible to say that we use referential expressions simply by thinking them. When a hearer thinks the tide is high, it is possible to say that he actually uses this sentence in an epistemic mode by thinking it, for if the hearer understands the sentence ‘The tide is high’ or ‘[Anne believes] that the dog has run away’, with or without words he is repeating this judgment or its content to himself. In normal communication, this use that a hearer gives to heard words by understanding them should be identical to what a speaker has in mind when using words to convey epistemic meaning. Hence, not only the epistemic sense as the speaker’s thought, but also of the hearer’s thought, could be viewed as internalized epistemic uses, with or without the addition of assertive force, which in its internalized form is called a judicative force (what Frege would call Urteilskraft). Finally, if Plato was right that discursive thought is ‘a silent dialogue of the soul with itself’, we can generalize this process of internalization and consider any cognitive act associated with language as use, even without being associated with communicative action.[14] We can call this the epistemic use of an expression, of which assertive and judicative forces are dispensable complementary elements.
   It is not difficult to question the relevance of the two proposed extensions of the meaning of the word ‘use’ that I am employing in order to save the view of meaning as a function of use: though they are not wrong or confusing, they can be considered cumbersome enough to be classified as unnecessary. However, as will become clear, the view of meaning as a function of use retains for Wittgenstein a pragmatic advantage, namely, that of locating meaning in its proper place from the start: normal linguistic praxis – the concrete speech-act situation – and even in the usual mental praxis of thinking with words. This enables us to individuate the meaning of an expression in its natural place, where it exercises its real function, enabling us to achieve in this way the highest level of interpersonal corrigibility, not excluding or distorting anything. And this is what Wittgenstein’s identification of meaning with use is all about: It allows us to individuate meanings precisely as they are, while in doing philosophy we are too often prone to exempt and distort meanings in order to produce illusory insights. In this sense the maxim that meaning is use can help us in practicing what Wittgenstein called philosophy as therapy, which aims to untie the knots of thought tied by philosophers, as far as it brings our words back from their metaphysical holidays to their daily work.[15]

Meaning as a kind of rule
A more basic difficulty arises when we understand that Wittgenstein’s identification of meaning with use cannot be one of meaning and episodic use tout court, namely, a mere spatio-temporal occurrence (token) of a linguistic expression, as each occurrence differs from others in its spatio-temporal location. If it were the case, each new occurrence would have a new meaning, which would make the number of meanings of any linguistic expression unlimited and in fact uncognoscible.
   There is, however, an intuitive alternative. We can understand the words ‘use’ (Gebrauch) or ‘application’ (Verwendung) as a way of use (Gebrauchsweise) or a way of application (Verwendungsweise), since the same word can be used many times in the same way. But what is the way of use? Well, it doesn’t seem to be anything other than something-with-the-form-of-a-rule (etwas Regelartiges) that commands episodic uses. Wittgenstein himself came to that conclusion in an important, though less well known passage of his last work, On Certainty:

The meaning of a word is its mode of application (Art der Verwendung) ... Hence, there is a correspondence between the concepts of ‘meaning’ and ‘rule’.[16]

In fact, to use a word meaningfully is to use it in accordance with its mode or way of use or application, it is to use it correctly, and to use an expression correctly, in the right way, is to use it in accordance with those rules that give it its meaning. By analogy, we can say that we use a screwdriver according to its way of use when we use it correctly, according to a rule, for example, turning it clockwise in order to tighten a screw. Consider the following two examples of ways of use that I take from the linguee dictionary:

WAY OF USE: Apply several times to the skin and rub in for several minutes with a circular motion, until completely absorbed.
WAY OF USE: To color and cover up grey hair, we recommend 20 ml. 6% of a cream oxidizing agent in the proportion of 1 + 1.

   Of course, what the ‘way of use’ presents is a rule or sequence or combination of rules for correct use of material. Now we see clearly that meaning can only be identified with use in the sense of something-of-the-kind-of-a-rule, which determines episodic uses. And what holds in general for word use also holds here for epistemic or referential use. In fact, the identification between meaningfulness and rule is more primitive. Consider the following two signs: ‘0O0’ and ‘Oà’. The second seems to us more meaningful, since we are used to linking it with a rule that points to a direction. Rules are the intrinsic source of meaningfulness.

Meaning as combinations of rules
However, why does Wittgenstein prefer to say that meaning is determined by rules? Why can’t the meaning of our linguistic expressions be identified with rules simpliciter? In my view, at least part of the answer was also approached by him with his analogy between language and calculation.[17] This understanding is reinforced by the many otherwise unjustified considerations in his Brown Book of how complex sequences of rules could be followed in relatively simple language-games. In use, linguistic expressions normally involve calculations, which should be understood as nothing more than combinations of rules or conventions. And the meanings that these expressions have can consist essentially in the combinations of more or less implicit and automatized conventions whose knowledge is tacitly shared among speakers.
   Arithmetic can serve as an illustration here. If the meaning of a mathematical proposition is constituted by its proof, and the proof is a combination of rules, this meaning is also a combination of rules. Some people can do the multiplication ‘120 x 30 = 3,600’, for example, by combining three rules, first multiplying 100 by 30, then multiplying 30 by 20, and finally adding 3,000 and 600 to get the result 3600. The meaning, understood as the cognitive content of multiplying ‘120 x 30 = 3600’, would be given by this and other methods of calculation, which together would have essentially the same general meaning, insofar as they proceed in different but complementary ways, proceeding from the same starting point and reaching the same result, and even in some cases by direct application of a single rule.
   We see that what we called something-of-the-kind-of-a-rule is understood as possible combinations of rules that bring us to a certain result. The meaning of a linguistic expression must also be the same as (i) a specific rule or (ii) one or more combinations of rules that determine a correct episodic use of the rules – which could be called a rule-complex (Regelkomplex). And the epistemic meaning of a linguistic expression is a rule or possible rule-complex that when applied or satisfied brings about a cognition of something. (In this book, I will use ‘rule’ in a broad sense, including combinations of rules or rule-complexes. This is ultimately a justified extension of the term ‘rule’, since combinations of rules that produce the same results have the same functions as rules. Although non-reducible to shared conventions, such compositions of rules can still be seen as conventionally grounded, since they are constituted by elementary rules that are usually conventionally established. When someone says, as Wittgenstein sometimes does, that meaning is determined by rules, what can be reasonably meant by this is that epistemic meaning is the application of some rule-complex enabling us to reach some cognitive result, and nothing more.)
   Since we are interested in the problem of reference, the meaning that will be considered will almost always be epistemic or referential, that is, concerning semantic-cognitive rules responsible for our linguistic awareness of what can be objectively given, which are also criterial rules. So, we are dealing with cognitive criterial rules responsible for the epistemic or referential significance of declarative sentences. Criteria are, in Wittgenstein’s terms, ‘what confers to our words their ordinary meanings’.[18] For him these semantic-cognitive rules are based on criteria, which are in a sense conditions that must be independently given in order to make us realize that something is the case. Using Wittgenstein’s own example, if someone says ‘It’s raining’ and this statement is true, this involves applying a criterial rule, a rule which requires that certain conditions must be given – say, drops of water falling from the sky – so that a cognition follows – say, awareness that it’s raining. And this resulting awareness, the cognition, could be understood, as we have already suggested at the end of the first chapter, as the availability to the system of what results from what we may consider as (effectively or only possibly) satisfied criterial conditions.
   However, if an analysis of the appeal to use leads us to cognitive reference-rules, why appeal to use? Why not just start with an investigation of these rules and their combinations? The answer was already given. Language is an instrument of action, and meaning is there to enable action. Attention to correct use helps us to individuate meaning and to find the real cognitive-criterial rules or combinations of rules that must unavoidably be applied in order to confer meaning.
   We can further elucidate this by appealing to a metaphor: when a post office sends a letter it has general indications as to the addressee’s state, city, and locality. These general indications are somewhat like the grammatical meaning of a sentence. Although necessary, they are not sufficient, since too many other sentences have the same grammatical meaning, since too many other addressees live in the same state and city. To reduce this vagueness, postmen also need the name of the street, the building number and the addressee’s apartment number. Without these singularizing details, it will be impossible to deliver mail to its proper destination. The same holds for cognitive meaning. What is decisive is the way of applying our expressions in a given context – not only concrete, but also discursive context, such as we find in philosophical texts. What an appeal to use does is to lead us to semantic details necessary to find what really matters. In other words: the more general traits of an expression’s way of use are less relevant, since they are common to many other expressions and for this reason are not able to individuate meanings. What matters at most are more specific traits of meaning: ways of use. These are traits that expressions can only gain in contexts of application. Consequently, these can only be completely explored in linguistic praxis. For this reason, it is so important to consider occasions of use. These can be responsible for subtle semantic variations that an expression can have in different concrete or discursive contexts. As we will see, such subtle semantic distinctions are of particular importance for correcting or criticizing language, since they allow us to correct misconceptions arising from philosophical attempts to use words beyond the limits of meaningful language, particularly those belonging to the metaphysics of reference, which in most cases does it by systematically confusing selected semantic elements of linguistic praxis.

Meanings and language-games
There is more to be said about meaning as a function of use. The first thing to be noted is that a linguistic expression only makes sense when used within a system of rules. Here again we may appeal to a metaphor. We can compare a linguistic expression with a chess piece, and its use with a move in playing chess. When you move a chess piece, the meaning of the move is not given only by the rule that governs the piece’s move. What the move really means in the important sense of the word will depend on the game situation. It will be given by the contextually determined tactic, by the calculation of possible combinations of rules in anticipation of possible moves by the opponent and responses that could be made. This is a calculation made in playing chess and could be different in a different game, even if the pieces were the same.
   Something not very dissimilar occurs with linguistic use. The linguistic rules governing what Wittgenstein called ‘superficial grammar’ could be compared with the rules for moving chess pieces. But grammatical rules – even those of some logical grammar – may not be what really matters. What matters more often are rules or rule-complexes belonging to what Wittgenstein called ‘deep grammar’[19], which may have more resemblance to combinations of rules that justify moves according to chess players’ tactical calculations, particularly when we consider what takes place in a dialogic speech.
   As an example, one knows that the sentence ‘Caesar visited Calpurnia’ is grammatically correct, and one may even know that its logical form is aRb. But this will be of no help if one does not know who Caesar and Calpurnia were, what relationship they had, and cannot say when or why he visited her. Superficial grammar (or syntax) gives expression to a grammatical sense that is often the same for semantically different sentences. The rules and combinations of rules that constitute what is meant by a linguistic expression are more flexible, changing in accordance with the concrete and linguistic context.
   Furthermore, in the same way that the rules responsible for a strategic move in chess depend on a context provided by the system of rules that constitutes the game of chess, the rules determining the application of linguistic expressions are able to produce meaningful utterances only when combined within a system of rules, called by Wittgenstein a language-game or linguistic practice. Language games can be characterized as linguistic systems that typically include syntactic, semantic and pragmatic rules. Examples of language-games given by Wittgenstein are:

Giving orders and acting according to them, describing an object by its appearance or measures, informing… speculating about an event, making and testing hypotheses… making up a story, reading… solving a riddle, telling a joke, describing a landscape, acting, asking, thanking, cursing, greeting, praying, etc.[20]

   But he also uses the same idea in a wider sense, pointing to more extended domains of language like:

The language of colors, the language of proper names, or even the important  ‘knowing games’ from On Certainty, like the game of doubt and the languages of history, physics, chemistry and arithmetic.[21]

   That is: it seems that almost any chunk of our language can be seen as a language-game. Language games include themselves, one within another, like the case of Cantor’s theory of infinite numbers within the language of mathematics, and they can partially overlap one another, as when someone describes a landscape and by this means also tells a joke, insofar as we remain able to distinguish them.[22] Fundamental is only that they remain interpersonally distinguishable.
   The concept of language-game or linguistic practice contains the concept of the speech act, systematically studied by J. L. Austin and John Searle, but it is much wider. This is why Wittgenstein was not mistaken when he said there are countless language-games.[23]
   By making the meanings of expressions the results of combinations of rules belonging to rule systems typified by language-games, Wittgenstein was endorsing what was later called semantic molecularism: what we call the meaning of an expression does not depend on the expression in isolation (semantic atomism), nor on its insertion in language as a whole (semantic holism), but essentially on the context of linguistic practice in which it is located (molecular subsystem of language).
   Finally, it is a mistake to believe that meaning is a matter of all or nothing. It is plausible to think that some part of a word’s meaning when used according to the rules of a language-game extends to the group of games to which this game belongs, gradually merging with them.
   In support of the idea that we use and give meaning to our expressions in language-games, in the Brown Book Wittgenstein described natural language as a great nebula of language-games, and later in the Philosophical Investigations, he compared it to a great old city:

The language of the adult presents itself to our eyes as a massive nebula, ordinary language, surrounded by more or less defined language-games, which are technical languages.[24]

Our language can be seen as an ancient city: a maze of little streets and squares, of old and new houses, and of houses with additions from various periods; and this surrounded by a multitude of new boroughs, with straight, regular streets and uniform houses.[25] 

The nebula, the city, begins with what was built in its original center – the practices of ordinary language, expressing our humble commonsense wisdom. To this there come new insights, like those arising with the emergence of new scientific fields. As with games, the great old city can be subdivided in many distinct ways, one part including another, or one overlapping another.
   There is a noteworthy relation of dependence here: learning and teaching these new practices, even the possibility of their understanding and creation, depends on prior acquisition of more basic practices governing ordinary life. This coheres with our principle of the primacy of modest common sense: Rejection of its proper assumptions by means of science is a questionable matter, and it is logically impossible to reject them as a whole.
   A question that now arises is: in such circumstances, what criteria would we have for identifying meaning variations, or, in other words, what criteria would we have for identifying the language-game in which an expression is used or even misused? Considering that language can be subdivided in multiple and varied ways, it seems that we can apply different criteria to the same move, insofar as we are able to interpersonally identify and share the criteria we are applying... But in this case, what guides us in choosing a criterion? Is this identification really possible?
   My suggestion is that the identification of the language-game under whose criteria a word is being used involves (i) the relevant factual and linguistic context in which the word is used, together with (ii) the speaker’s intention in using the word, insofar as this intention can be made interpersonally clear, even if only in a tacit way. It seems that these two factors allow the identification of the language-game in which a speaker is using a linguistic expression as follows: if a speaker succeeds in giving a clear idea of the context and aim he has in using an expression, he is identifying the system of linguistic rules, the most relevant language game for determining how he is using the expression, that is, the intended rules constitutive of its meaning. And if a hearer correctly identifies the speaker’s context and aims, he identifies the language-game the speaker has in mind and will be able to understand correctly what the speaker means. (For example, if I tell my students that Aristotle said friendship is only possible among equals, the context shows everyone that I am playing a game of naming in which I intend to lecture on the famous Greek philosopher and not about some homonym.)

Meaning and form of life
There is a last important concept in the understanding of Wittgenstein’s explanation of meaning. The linguistic practices that form the nebula find their ultimate raison d’être as constituents of what Wittgenstein called a form of life (Lebensform). As he wrote:

…the word ‘language-game’ is used here to emphasize the fact that speaking a language is part of an activity, or of a form of life.[26]
Right or false is what human beings say; and in the language they agree on. This is no agreement in opinions, but in form of life.[27]
What is taken for granted, the given, we could say, are forms of life.[28]

   In arriving at this idea Wittgenstein was probably influenced by an article by the great anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski, who suggested that in order to learn the language of a primitive people one needs to share life with them in their society.[29] One example used by Malinowski to illustrate this point can be useful here: when fishermen in the Trobriand Islands use the expression ‘paddling in a place’, they mean they are navigating close to an island village, and the waters around the islands are so deep that it is not possible to use a pole to propel the canoe, so they paddle their boats to reach the village. Only by knowing speakers’ life circumstances can we know the information needed to understand what their expressions mean.
   The relevance of much that Wittgenstein wrote consists in his having seen the importance and comprehensiveness of some ideas. For him the expression ‘form of life’ means the way of life in a society. More precisely: the whole complex of regularities that govern the lives of people in a social environment considered in its totality.
   We can compare the idea of a form of life with what is involved in two technical terms introduced by J. R. Searle, the network of meanings involved in the determination of an intention, which is linked with the background of abilities, skills, dispositions and ways of doing things.[30] Though including what Searle means by network and background, the concept of life form is more comprehensive, since even the landscape in which natives were living should be apprehended by the concept and may have an influence on the meaning.
   More auspicious may be the comparison between the concept of form of life and Husserl’s concept of life-world (Lebenswelt), which for the latter author is the whole of our shared communal world of human activity.[31] For Husserl, the life-world, which can be subdivided in different life-worlds or Home-worlds (Heimwelten), builds the holistic framework within which all other knowledge is acquired, serving therefore as the ultimate foundation of all human cultural endeavors, gradually extending in the scientific ones. Furthermore, although there are different life-worlds, they must have basic common aspects (like spatio-temporality, birth, death, instincts, hunger, thirst, etc.).
   Wittgenstein would probably share this view at least in its non-theoretical aspects. It is helpful to see that there must be something common in the most basic levels of our different forms of life. For this communality should be what allows us to be transplanted into a different form of life and nonetheless able to learn its language, once we all share a sufficiently similar human nature.

Tying the threads together
We can now summarize. Language appears in Wittgenstein’s philosophy as an immensely complex system of syntactic, semantic and pragmatic rules: a system that we can subdivide in many ways into subsystems that are called languages, linguistic practices or language-games, which are in turn rooted in a wider system, the life form, which is made up of regularities that determine the lives of people in a society. Linguistic practices constituting our ordinary language originate spontaneously from our way of life and depend on it. Here again, we see that creating and learning the specialized language games of science is only possible because it assumes some central practices of ordinary language that are ultimately dependent on life forms. This is also why a computer will never be able to give meaning to the signs with which it operates: a silicon-based machine is a by-product of a life form and not a biological agent naturally growing within it.
   We can synthesize the considerations made so far in the following formula:

A meaning of an expression x = any episodic use of x made in accordance with the rules of a linguistic practice (the language-game) rooted in a life form.[32]

   This is a characterization of meaning as something that belongs to the praxis of language as it is understood and to our extensions of the concept of use as what is meant in human mental acts. This assimilation of epistemic meaning to action by means of the extended notion of use as a rule-in-its-application is what makes it unnecessary to hypostasize meaning-rules as abstract objects. Meaning is what we think of or speak about as being meaningful; and what we think or speak is meaningful insofar as it is correctly used, namely, used in accordance with the meaning-rules of linguistic practice rooted in our life form.
   With this, I believe that we have achieved, based on Wittgenstein’s views, a plausible and minimally distorted surveillable representation of the grammar of the concept of meaning. This representation is particularly important, because it plays a role as a semantic foundation for philosophy as therapy.
   This is also why a surveillable representation of the grammar of meaning is central to Wittgenstein’s later thought: it is the sustaining core of his philosophy, as much as the doctrine of ideas was the sustaining core of Plato’s philosophy.

Criteria and symptoms again
Another important distinction that we owe to Wittgenstein, already introduced in the first chapter of this book, is the distinction between criteria and symptoms. Semantic-cognitive rules can be seen as criterial rules. Criterial rules are ones based on conditions called criteria. As we also have noted, words like ‘criteria’, ‘symptoms’ and ‘conditions’, have a process-product ambiguity. Usually they mean the external conditions that, once really given, make possible the application of a semantic-cognitive rule. But they can also mean the internal conditions constitutive of the semantic-cognitive rule (criterial rule) that we are able to consider when we suppose or imagine its application.
   There is, as we also have noted, a fundamental difference between criteria and symptoms. Criteria are conditions that by convention, once accepted as really given, warrant for us the application of a semantic-cognitive rule. Symptoms, on the other hand, are conditions that by convention once accepted as really given make the application of a semantic-cognitive rule only more or less probable. Criteria belong to the definition of what is referred to by the expression because they belong to the definition of what is referred to by the expression. Because of this Wittgenstein also called them definitional criteria; they are primary criteria, while symptoms are also called secondary criteria.[33]
   One example makes the distinction clear: a criterion for the application of the predicate word ‘malaria’ is actually finding a bacterium – plasmodium falciparum – in a patient’s blood. If we accept that we have found this, by definition we are warranted in saying that the patient has malaria. But if all we find is that the person has cyclically high fever, we have only a symptom of malaria, something that only makes it probable that the patient has in fact contracted this disease. 
   Insofar as criteria are understood as internal constitutive conditions of the semantic-cognitive rules for the referential use of a concept-word, they must belong to its meaning, since these rules (if effectively applied or only cognitively regarded) are constitutive of meaning. As Wittgenstein wrote that the criteria ‘give to the words their common meanings’[34] he should have in mind criterial rules.
   Finally, criteria have the role of criteria only in the context of the language-games to which they belong. This is the main reason why Wittgenstein says that there can be a grammatical oscillation between criteria and symptoms: with changes in linguistic practice, criteria can become symptoms and vice versa.[35] That is: the same condition that works as a criterion in one practice can serve only as a symptom in another practice and vice versa. And similar changes can also occur as a result of the evolution of language, which may change our conventions, often turning criteria into symptoms and replacing them with new conditions.
   The distinction between criteria and symptoms is also important for the critique of language. Philosophers are all too often inclined to confuse criteria with symptoms. To give a simple example, consider peoples’ facial features and bodies. These are the physical characteristics by means of which we immediately identify people we know. At first sight, it seems that they are the real criteria for the identification of persons. But obviously they aren’t. If a person, as happens in fairy tales, were transformed into a donkey, but continued to behave no differently than before, conversing with us and in full possession of memories and abilities, we would still cling to the idea that she remains the same person, even though in a different body. This and other similar thought-experiments show that people’s bodily appearances are not criteria at all, but only useful symptoms that make their identification very probable. To find the ultimate criteria of personal identity is still today a controversial philosophical problem.[36]

Transgressions of the internal limits of language
In the Tractatus, Wittgenstein was interested in ascertaining what David Pears called the external limits of language and its transgressions. This is relatively easy to spot: a logical contradiction is an external transgression. However, he came to see that most philosophical confusions are caused by the much more subtle transgressions of the internal limits of language. These transgressions happen because our expressions can be used in different linguistic practices, gaining in this way more or less subtle changes in meaning. ‘The place of a word in grammar is its meaning’,[37] he wrote, but this place is changeable and cannot be fixed in advance. Now, when an expression is used simultaneously in different practices, where it should receive a different meaning or meaning-nuance, it turns out to be easier to confuse what we mean with it.
   In Wittgenstein’s philosophy we can find two forms of confusion or misleading uses of expressions, which we may call equivocity and hypostasis.[38]
   These two forms of transgression have a striking similarity to the psychoanalytic distinction between the two mechanisms of the primary process (primäre Vorgang), called by Sigmund Freud deslocation (Verschiebung) and condensation (Verdichtung). Hence, it is interesting to explain this process here very briefly. According to Freud, psychic life can follow two distinct processes: the secondary process (sekundäre Vorgang) and the primary process (primäre Vorgang). The secondary process is the typically conscious thought, like the scientific thought. In this process, affective or emotional charges (Besetzungen) are firmly associated with their respective representations (Vorstellungen). The primary process, on the other hand, is found in dreams, neurotic symptoms, humor, artistic creations, religion, and… philosophy. In these cases, the emotional charges are not rigidly associated with their respective representations (or thoughts) and can be transferred to different representations, insofar as the latter can be associated with the former representations. The primary process is what produces the conscious manifestation of unconscious or pre-conscious thoughts, in the latter case defined as non-repressed and consequently always able to become conscious.
   The two fundamental mechanisms of the primary process are displacement and condensation, and they are more clearly understood in Freud’s explanation of how dreams are produced.[39]
   Displacement occurs when the emotional charge of a repressed representation is transferred to another representation, which is able to elude censorship and become conscious, thereby releasing its endo-psychic energy into consciousness. We can say that representation R1, unable to become conscious, has its charge transferred to representation R2, able to deceive censorship and become conscious. A Freudian example of displacement is the story of a Jewish woman who couldn’t marry the man she loved because he was a Christian. However, she dreamed that she gave him her comb. This is her conscious representation in the dream; but the unconscious, repressed representation is the idea of giving herself to him in love. The emotional charge passes from the repressed representation to the innocuous one, which makes it possible for the charge to be released in the dreamer’s consciousness, diminishing the endo-psychic tension.
   The mechanism of condensation is somewhat different. Here a group of interrelated representations transfers their affective charges to a partial representation belonging to them, which becomes liberated in consciousness. We can represent this by saying that the charges of {R1, R2… Rn} are usually condensed in one of the representations, say, R2, which enters into consciousness, in this way allowing the release of charges. An example of condensation would be a case in which the woman dreams that the man she loves forgot his scarf in her home... The scarf is part of the whole representation of the man, and the emotional charge associated with the whole is condensed in this partial representation and released into consciousness. It is worth remembering that according to Freud displacement requires unconsciousness by being a product of repression, while condensation requires only pre-consciousness, since it isn’t necessarily a product of repression.
   Now, investigation of the two mechanisms by which the internal limits of language are transgressed brings into sharper focus the sometimes noted relation between philosophy as therapy and psychoanalysis,[40] for it shows that philosophical activity is affected not only by a lack of semantic awareness, but also by affirmative unconscious motivations.
   Let’s see now how the primary process works in cases of confusion arising from linguistic transgressions of normal uses of expressions. By using an expression equivocally, a philosopher shifts the use of this expression, applying it in the context of a linguistic practice B, though following the semantic rules that this expression should have in linguistic practice A. This equivocity amounts to displacement, since the charges associated with the first use are transferred to a new representation. On the other hand – in what we call hypostasis – the philosopher tries to apply an expression that can be used in two or more linguistic practices, say, A, B and C simultaneously in a certain context, as if there were a single linguistic practice able to join these different uses, adding their emotional charges, when in fact this practice does not exist.
   Philosophical examples of these mechanisms can be complicated and difficult to describe, since philosophers, being masters of deception (and self-deception) work with far more abstract and complex material than dreamers. Hence, I will consider only two very simple cases. For the case of displacement, consider the following skeptical paradox attributed to the Megarian philosopher Stilpo, denying the possibility of predication. For Stilpo, if I say that Socrates is wise, this is a contradiction, because I am denying that Socrates is Socrates. That is: we can say of something that it is what it is, but if we want to say something more than this, we fall into a contradiction, for we are denying that it is what it is… All that we can do is to express the principle of identity or remain silent.
   We can explain Stilpo’s fallacy as due to a failure to distinguish the ‘is’ of predication from the ‘is’ of identity. We can distinguish linguistic practices (context) of type A, in which the verb ‘to be’ works as a copula, introducing the predicate (e.g. ‘Socrates is wise’) from linguistic practices of type B, in which the verb ‘to be’ is used in the sense of identity (e.g. ‘Socrates is Socrates’). However, Stilpo uses the verb ‘to be’ as having only one correct use: that which is found in practices of type B. As a result, each time he observes people using the verb ‘to be’ in practice A, he understands their use as following the rule of use that the verb has in practice B – meaning ‘is the same as’ – in this way equivocally displacing the real use from practice A to practice B. Since he realizes that the way of use of practice B is contradictory in the context of A, he falsely concludes that the predication is impossible.
   We will now offer an example of hypostasis in philosophy. Consider the suggestion of a philosopher according to whom the verb ‘to be’ must have a truly originary sense, which is not only that of copula, but also of identity and of existence. To justify this, our philosopher considers the sentence: ‘To be is to be’ (Sein ist Sein). This sentence says not only that ‘to be’ has the property of being, but also that ‘to be’ is the same as ‘to be’, and finally that ‘to be’ has the property of ‘to be,’ of being in the sense of existence (something exists). Against this follie metaphysique, a critique of language will tell us that it is much more plausible to think that what the philosopher seeks with the ‘is’ of the sentence ‘To be is to be’, although grammatically correct, is semantically only an incoherent mixture of different senses of the verb ‘to be’, created for different practical purposes. It is a hypostasis, a condensation mixing three different modes of use or meanings of the same word from three distinct practices: the predicative practice A, the identifying practice B, and the practice of attributing existence C. In the best case, this is multiple ambiguity, but since the philosopher is claiming to have discovered a way to achieve originary meaning, we diagnose incoherence and illusion.
   I give these explanations because in criticizing the metaphysics of reference, we very often denounce equivocity and hypostasis. Wittgenstein has suggested that philosophical maladies have their origins in a ‘craving for generality’, in efforts to achieve generalization in the wrong way, very often reductively influenced by the greater success of natural science.[41] We can now suggest that at least in the case of equivocity it may work as a compensatory byproduct of repressing some kind of undesirable knowledge.
   An additional point is that striving for generalization is inherent in the philosophical endeavor, even if ultimately doomed to fail. This is, I think, the reason Wittgenstein’s concession that the philosophical bumps up against the walls of language has the mark of profundity.[42] The reason for this is that these confusions, when effective, have the potential to point to relevant issues after forcing us to search for the right way out of the illusions they produce in us. As I intend to show, much of the metaphysics of reference is grounded in the kinds of confusion described above, particularly equivocation (displacement), and can easily be the object of a critique of language.

The form of the semantic-cognitive rules
In an unavoidably approximate way, we can now expose the general form of a cognitive or criterial semantic rule (mainly the identifying rule of singular terms, the characterizing rule of general terms, and the verificational rule of sentences) as being constituted, on one hand, by criteria = C and, on another hand, by a result = R, as follows:

C >>> R

   The criteria may be multiple, varied and staggered in a procedure. Their satisfaction (always in the context of some practice) gives place to the occurrence of what could be called a sign, which in the case of a statement would be the spelling of a sentence or the thought of a sentence or simply a thought without words. The epistemic content or meaning is the whole procedure of rule-following. And finally, the cognitive element of the semantic-cognitive rule, that is, our awareness of the content, of the rule (or rule-complex) as a whole, is to be explained by theories of consciousness: it is what has been called the availability of content to the mind, the transmission of content for the mind’s global workspace, brain celerity, etc. Calling the meaning or content [{C1 ˅ C2 ˅… ˅ Cn} >>> R] and calling A its cognition (awareness or transmission of content to the system), we can summarize the usual form of a criterial rule as follows:

[{C1 ˅ C2 ˅… ˅ Cn} >>> R] à A
   In order to better understand the rule, suppose that C1 and C2 are criteria for conclusion R, the statement ‘Caesar visited Calpurnia’. The sentence ‘Caesar visited Calpurnia’ is an occurrence or use that can be spelt out or only silently thought in the lingua mentis. But when we take this R in isolation from any criterion for identifying Caesar or Calpurnia, what remains is only grammatical meaning. R is only endowed with informative content when it is at least potentially associated with some procedure from which it results, for example [{C1} >>> R]. Finally, we can suggest that this procedure of rule-following produces A, that is, its awareness, which is nothing other than its availability for reasoning and action or its transmission to the mind’s global workspace … given by some theory of consciousness.
    It is interesting to see the relation between our conclusion and inferentialist approaches to meaning. If we say that a content, a semantic-cognitive rule like [{C1} >>> R], is conscious when it is available to reasoning and action, we also mean that the content (which is in itself inferential) would be inferentially open to any related content. This is what I believe can be understood as the cognitive effect of applying a rule. Here we risk mixing this inferential openness proper of cognitive awareness of content with real meaning, but this would be confusion: inferential openness is a consequence of the instantiation of referential or epistemic meaning, which is won through often implicit semantic-cognitive inferential rules.
   Finally, the occurrence of a semantic-cognitive rule can be (a) only regarded or conceived in its application, only imaginatively applied to some extent, or (b) effectively applied in its domain.
    Concerning (a): propositions or thoughts merely regarded in the absence of their affirmation, epistemic meaning, say, a verifiability rule, can only be regarded or conceived in a Fregean way; but this does not mean that propositions or thoughts are statically regarded as abstract entities, but that they are or seem able to be applied in our imagination, even if only partially, with the result that we will be aware of the occurrence of a semantic-cognitive content, of the rule-in-its-applicability, even if we may not be reflexively aware of its internal structure, partly because we are using it as an instrument in the search for consequences of its satisfaction.
   But we can also (b): effectively (that is, not only by supposition) apply an epistemic or semantic-cognitive rule in its own domain. In this case, if as a result we spell a sentence internally, adding to it a judicative cognition regarding the application of the semantic-cognitive rule associated with the spelling, we ultimately have a sentence with content judged as true. Notice that what is judged or asserted is the whole content, supposedly the verifiability rule with regard to the satisfaction of its application criteria. These remarks are very general and may appear too hasty now, but I hope to make them gradually more plausible.

What is wrong with the private language argument?
The so-called private language argument is open to a variety of interpretations. Probably the most consequential one suggests that it presents a strong challenge to the possibility of learning any phenomenalist language understood as a language based on internal identification of phenomenal mental states, such as sensations and emotions, that is, as this language is currently understood.
   We can begin with a contrasting case: public physicalist language. How do we learn to identify and distinguish different types of physical objects? For example: how does a child learn to identify references of the word ‘ball’? This doesn’t happen by means of verbal definitions, but by ostension: adults point to examples and say things like, ‘This is a ball’ or ‘That isn’t a ball’... and the child eventually learns what types of objects are round balls. But this learning is only confirmed when a new ball is presented and the child shows adults that it is able to re-identify an object as belonging to the type ball. In this case, based on agreement among  other speakers of the language regarding correct re-identification, it is possible for adults and even for a child to know they have learned a rule for identifying ball-type objects. That is, we ultimately know that we have learned a rule after our way of application is confirmed by interpersonal checking.
   Consider now what happens when we try to identify internal mental entities of a phenomenal character. In this case, we cannot do any checking of interpersonal re-identifications. Suppose that a person should learn to identify an internal state, for example, feelings of pain. Other people cannot teach her to do this, because they cannot know when she feels pain or how it feels. But let’s suppose that independently of any public language a person is able to point inwardly to some feeling of pain and identify her feeling through a sign that she herself has invented. Suppose this sign is ‘P’. Imagine now that the next time she feels pain, she says to herself ‘P’, intending to point to the same internal mental state. In this case she won’t be able to know if she is really pointing to the same phenomenal state that she initially pointed to, because there are no other speakers who can check the correctness of her rule application, i.e. who are able to confirm or refute her identification. As Wittgenstein notes: intersubjective criteria of correction are missing here, and where such criteria do not exist, we cannot distinguish between following a rule and the mere impression of following a rule.[43] However, this distinction is indispensable because without it we have no way to construct something that we may effectively call ‘a rule’.
   Since language is a system of rules, the generalization of this result leads us to the radical conclusion that there cannot be a language whose objects of reference are internal phenomenal states.[44] The only construable language is one based on behavioral expressions of internal states. Wittgenstein concedes the existence of these mental states, rejecting behaviorism, in my view incoherently, since if this is the case, mental states should be beyond the language of rules and therefore not be cognitively speakable, whereas according to him ‘a nothing is as good as a something about which nothing can be said’.[45] P. F. Strawson, commenting on Wittgenstein’s view, suggested that the latter suffered from an anti-subjectivist prejudice. I believe that he was right.
   The problem, as Ernst Tugendhat once told me, is that the private language argument is too counterintuitive to be correct. The important point, however, is to discover where the weakness of the argument lies. In order to find this, we need to make two things clear. The first is that a rule will only cease to be a rule if its correction is logically impossible. A rule does not cease to be a rule just because for some contingent reason it was not in fact interpersonally checked. After all, it is an indisputable fact that many of the rules we follow, for one reason or another, have never been interpersonally checked. I can invent for myself the rule of never eating creamed spinach and nobody needs to be informed of this. There are rules that for merely circumstantial reasons cannot be checked, such as those made by a shipwrecked sailor who lived and eventually died alone on a remote uninhabited island.
   The objection that could be made to this interpretation is that Wittgenstein’s argument demands that any rule, in order to be a rule, must be publicly checked for correctness, and not only able to be publicly corrected (correctable). Even if this interpretation were true, it would be uninteresting. For it expresses only an absurdly implausible and methodologically anti-Wittgensteinian idea: it would compromise our commonsense certainty that we are able to follow rules that have not yet been checked by others. In fact, overstating scepticism, it would also be possible to argue that no rule can be applied in situations where it cannot be subjected to simultaneous intersubjective correction – after all, there is no guarantee that absent this control the rule will be correctly interpreted and applied... However, this gratuitous skepticism is too implausible to be effective.
   With this in mind, let us now interpret Wittgenstein’s argument as assuming that the rules of a phenomenal language must be logically incorrigible. Let’s suppose that every morning when waking up I involuntarily follow the rule to remind myself of the first sentence of Dante’s Divine Comedy, but that I always immediately forget doing this. Here we are already close to nonsense, and we would be there if it really were logically impossible for anyone to know if this happens...
   We conclude that it is the assumed logical incorrigibility of phenomenal language that gives Wittgenstein’s argument its plausibility: it seems sufficiently acceptable to think that a rule whose correction is logically impossible cannot be considered a rule. If the rules of our (supposedly) private phenomenal language are logically incorrigible, it seems that they cannot, ultimately, be distinguished from mere impressions of rules.
   This reconstruction of Wittgenstein’s argument is not only the most interesting and reasonable, it also uncovers what I believe to be an important implicit assumption made by him. He noted, for example, that even though person A’s nervous system could be linked to that of person B, so that A could feel a wasp stinging B’s hand, only the location of pain would be shared, because pain felt by A would be A’s pain, while pain felt by B would still be B’s pain, but not the pain itself.[46] In his most famous article, surely read by Wittgenstein, Frege noted that if another person could enter our minds to observe a visual representation, the representation she experienced would be her own and not ours.[47] Such considerations lead us to a dogma generally assumed by Twentieth Century analytical philosophers, the thesis that phenomenal states are logically unsharable.[48] If this thesis is correct, then interpersonal corrigibility of phenomenal language would be logically impossible, indeed supporting the private language argument.
   At this point, all we need to destroy the private language argument’s foundation is to show that the logical unsharability of phenomenal states is a false principle. That is, we need to show that although the rules of a phenomenal language have never been intersubjectively corrected, they are – contrary to what Wittgenstein and many philosophers assumed – logically corrigible from an interpersonal perspective, this being the hidden flaw that tacitly supports the private language argument.
   It’s hard to imagine a thought-experiment showing that phenomenal states are logically shareable. We can begin by making an analogy with computers. Suppose A and B are updated versions of the primitive kind of automata called by Grey Walter machina speculatrix, which fed on light and spent their lives in search of it. Suppose automaton A meets automaton B, and that A is able to read the information content that B has accumulated in its searching. Although automaton A can copy these data first, and only afterwards read them in his own system, so that such ‘contents of experience’ become an unshared part of itself, there is no contradiction in thinking that A can read these ‘contents’ directly in B, as if they were its own, thereby sharing them with automaton B! This would in fact be the simplest and most direct method. Why should we think that in a similar situation we humans would need to be different from machines?
   Perhaps it is even possible to imagine that someday there will be two human beings, A* and B*, who somehow share some functioning of parts of their brains. Suppose that their limbic system is essentially the same, while the neocortical regions of A* and B* remain distinct. Now, it seems conceivable that a mental state of pain that occurs in relevant parts of the same limbic system could be shared by subjects A* and B*, even though their conscious interpretation of pain, made in their distinct neocortical regions, are quantitatively different. If we understand pain essentially as a process occurring in a limbic system, then A* and B* really could share the same pain, demonstrating possible interpersonal checking of the same internal phenomenal state.
   The thought-experiments considered above suggest that it is logically possible to distinguish:

(a)   the subjective interpretation of a phenomenal mental state x
   (b) the phenomenal mental state x in itself.

   This separation in fact seems to be possible. We know cases of hypnosis where people are led to feel pains that do not exist or similar cases of a patient at the dentist that because of fear believes he feels pain when he in fact feels only the sensation of friction…
   Now, if we accept that the separation between (a) and (b) is logically possible, then the interpersonal sharing of mental phenomenal states turns out to be logically possible, which at least in principle makes possible interpersonal checking of identifying rules for mental states. In this case, the private language argument fails because the logical unsharability of phenomenal states is a false principle. The rules of phenomenal language acquire an epistemic status similar to the rule I made for myself of never eating creamed spinach again. They could in principle be checked. Consequently, we are entitled to assume that what we only believe to be the rules of our phenomenal language may in fact be the actual rules, since they are at least logically capable of interpersonal correction.
   Furthermore, we are also entitled to say that the rules for the identification of phenomenal states are highly probable, since this probability is very well confirmed in an indirect way by a multitude of systematically related associations between interpersonally accessible physical phenomena and reports of internal phenomenal occurrences. For example: if wrinkling the forehead often accompanies the application of the expression ‘I am feeling pain’ when one believes one has a feeling x, wrinkling the forehead indirectly reinforces the probability that the words really refer to the same feeling in their application, if combined with many other already established evidences of pain. Our case is not different from the case of concluding based on a large amount of convincing circumstantial (indirect) evidence that a person was in fact murdered by a psychopathic friend. Even if no one actually saw a murder taking place, a great quantity of circumstantial evidence could be rightly seen by a jury as inductively mutually reinforcing, and taken together as highly convincing.[49]

The semantic as an abstraction from the psychological
Returning to our initial question about the nature of the intermediate link, we can now see more clearly why and how the intermediate link between words and things can be read in two different complementary modes, either in the psychological mode, or in the semantic mode in which particular owners of a link and their psychological singularities are left aside.[50] That is: cognitive meanings are semantic-cognitive rules of application, which can be conceived of in their possible or effective application and that when regarded in terms of their conditions of satisfaction can be called criterial rules. As will be seen later, the epistemic meanings of statements should be nothing but verifiability rules that apply when the criterial configurations required by them are sufficiently satisfied, making the statements true.[51]
   Nonetheless, it is important to maintain a clear distinction between semantic and psychological, as philosophers like Frege and Husserl insisted. The semantic is conventionally grounded and grammatically necessary; the psychological is spatio-temporally given and physically contingent. But contrary to what these philosophers have supposed, nothing semantic can really exist outside of cognitive instantiations. Semantic entities are nothing more than conventional structures that exist only when embodied in mental acts, even if these entities are to be considered in abstraction from their contingent owners. To assume that semantic entities can exist without any psychological basis is to hypostasize their nature.[52]

[1] This cognitive versus semantic dichotomy can be traced in history at least as far back as Aristotle, who saw the intermediary link as an affection of soul (ton en têi psychêi pathêmáton) or thought (noêmata) – a psychological perspective – while Stoics, who appealed to ‘what is said’ (lectón) or ‘what is meant’ (semainómenon), associated the intermediary link in some way with language – a semanticist view. See Giovanni Manetti: Theories of the Sign in the Classical Antiquity (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1993), pp. 71-73, p. 93 ff.
[2] I use these last two expressions as synonymous. - Of course one could also do the same thing without drawing on color memory: suppose that people carry with them templates of vermilion and compare the patches of color they see with these templates when necessary. Indispensable is the existence of some empirically given model.
[3] It is true that this last ‘any’ allows us to infer that there is a class, the class of all tokens that are strictly similar, but this class does not belong to the definition and does not need to be known by anyone.
[4] Ludwig Wittgenstein: Philosophische Untersuchungen, part I, sec. 1.
[5] As the earlier Wittgenstein wrote: ‘The name means its object. The object is its meaning.’ Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 3.203.
[6] The view was ironized by Gilbert Ryle as the ‘Fido-Fido’ theory of meaning. See his article ‘The Theory of Meaning’, in British Philosophy in the Mid-Century: A Cambridge Symposium, C. A. Mace (ed.) (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1957).
[7] See, for example, Nathan Salmon’s book, Frege’s Puzzle (Ridgeview: Atascadero, 1986).
[8] See Bertrand Russell, ‘The Philosophy of Logical Atomism’, in Logic and Knowledge (London: Routledge, 1994), pp. 194-5, 201-2. As Russell recognizes, logical atomism was first suggested by Wittgenstein, who defended it in a full-fledged way in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.
[9]  See Bertrand Russell, ‘Philosophy of Logical Atomism’, pp. 201, 203.
[10] This kind of difficulty already appears clearly in the final public discussion of Russell’s speech in ‘The Philosophy of Logical Atomism’, see Logic and Knowledge, p. 203. As Ernst Tugendhat critically noted, a singular term has the function of specifying an object, but if our consciousness refers only to a sense datum, then the word ‘that’ no longer has any function. See Vorlesungen zur Einführung in die sprachanalytische Philosophie (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1976), p. 382.
[11] See my discussion of Wittgenstein’s private language argument later in this chapter.
[12] One could object that since there are many different shades of red (one of them being vermilion), red cannot be simple. But we can answer that what we call ‘simple’ depends on whatever system we have adopted: we can use an old language-game with only three basic colors: red, yellow and blue. Here red will be considered simple; and in this case the distinct shades of red will not be taken into account, even if they are perceptually distinguishable. Instead of being precisely similar to the pattern, a new red patch must only be sufficiently similar, there being limits determined relative to the other two colors.
[13] Wittgenstein: Philosophische Untersuchungen, I, sec. 43.
[14] Language not only has a communicational function, but also an organizational function, in the sense that we also use it to think, to organize our ideas and our plans of action (Vygotsky). At first sight, the identification of meaning with use doesn’t seem to do justice to its organizational function. But it doesn’t have to be so. It makes sense to say that when I think that the Eiffel Tower is made of metal, I am using this name referentially in my mind, in thought, in a dialogue with myself.
[15] Ludwig Wittgenstein: Philosophischen Untersuchungen, I, sec. 116.
[16] Ludwig Wittgenstein: Über Gewissheit, sec. 61-62.
[17] See Wittgenstein: Ludwig Wittgenstein und der Wiener Kreis (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1984) p. 168, see also Wittgenstein’s Lectures: Cambridge 1930-1932 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982), pp. 96-97.
[18] Wittgenstein: The Blue and the Brown Books (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1958), p. 57.
[19] Wittgenstein, Philosophische Untersuchungen, I, sec. 664
[20] Wittgenstein, Philosophische Untersuchungen, I, section 23.
[21] Claudio Costa, Wittgensteins Beitrag zu einer sprachphilosophischen Sematik (Konstanz: Hartung-Gorre Verlag, 1990), p. 50.
[22] See Wittgenstein: Philosophische Untersuchungen, sec. 46-48.
[23] Wittgenstein, Philosophische Untersuchungen, sec. 23. 
[24] Ludwig Wittgenstein, Eine philosophische Betrachtung (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1984), example 6, p. 122.
[25] Wittgenstein, Philosophische Untersuchungen, sec. 18.
[26] Wittgenstein, Philosophische Untersuchungen, I, sec. 23.
[27] Wittgenstein, Philosophische Untersuchungen, I, sec. 241
[28] Wittgenstein, Philosophische Untersuchungen (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1984), II, p. 572
[29] Bronislaw Malinowski: ‘The Problem of Meaning in Primitive Languages’, published as a supplement in C. K. Ogden & I. A. Richards: The Meaning of Meaning (San Diego: HBJ Publishers, 1989 (1923)). Wittgenstein didn’t like the book, but must have noticed this interesting article.
[30]  John Searle, Intentionality (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), chap. 5.
[31] See Edmund Husserl, Die Krisis der europäischen Wissenschaften und die transzendentale Phenomenologie: eine Einleitung in die phänomenologische Philosophie (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1954), Husserliana, vol. VI, p. 105 ff.
[32] See my paper ‘Wittgenstein e a gramática do significado’ in, A Linguagem Factual (Rio de Janeiro: Tempo Brasileiro, 1995), cap. 1. The assumption that grounds my reconstruction is that Wittgenstein was not making repeated attempts to explain the nature of meaning, which always ended in some kind of failure, being then replaced by another, as some interpreters seem to believe. What he did was to develop different approximative, often analogical suggestions, each addressing the same issue from a new perspective, such suggestions being largely complementary, each with the other. In this way, it is possible to find continuity in Wittgenstein’s semantic conceptions, which began with the Notebooks 1914-1916 and ended with On Certainty.
[33] Alice Ambrose, Wittgenstein’s Lectures 1932-1935 (Amherst: Prometheus Book, 2001), part 1, sec. 24, p. 28.
[34] Wittgenstein: The Blue and the Brown Books, p. 57.
[35] Wittgenstein; Philosophische Untersuchungen, I, sec. 79, 354.
[36] See chapter 5 of my book Paisagens Conceituais: Ensaios Filosóficos (Rio de Janeiro: Tempo Brasileiro, 2011)
[37] Wittgenstein: Philosophische Grammatik, sec. 23.
[38] Anthony Kenny also noted the existence of two forms of misusing expressions in his book, Wittgenstein (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1973)
[39] See the famous chapter 7 of Sigmund Freud’s book on dream interpretation, Die Traumdeutung.

[40] See John Wisdom, Philosophy and Psychoanalysis (Philosophical Library, 1953).
[41] See Wittgenstein: The Blue and the Brown Books, p. 18.
[42] Wittgenstein: Philosophische Untersuchungen, part I, sec. 111.
[43] Wittgenstein: Philosophische Untersuchungen, part I, sec. 258-9. Original
This objection already appears in the discussion on "The Philosophy of Logical Atomism", p. 203.
[44] ‘Private language argument’ isn’t a term chosen by Wittgenstein, and it would be naïve to believe that there is only one possible way of reading his remarks often pointing to nearly incompatible directions. Here I reconstruct the so-called private language argument in a way that makes its results as philosophically strong as it would be reasonably possible to make them, deriving from this argument the destruction of human subjectivity as it is currently understood; a private language argument with trivial conclusions would surely be of scant interest.
[45] Wittgenstein, Philosophische Utersuchungen, sec. 293.
[46] Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Blue and the Brown Books, p. 54.
[47] Gottlob Frege: ‘Über Sinn und Bedeutung‘, Zeitschrift für Philosophie und philosophische Kritik, NF 100, 1892, p. 30.
[48] See, for example, A. J. Ayer: ‘One’s Knowledge of Other Minds’, in Philosophical Essays (London: Macmillan & Saint Martin’s Press, 1972), p. 196.
[49] See my ‘A linguagem privada e o heteropsíquico’, published in Claudio Costa, Paisagens conceituais: ensaios filosóficos.
[50] While semantic theories like that of Davidson fall short of the mark, the Gricean psychological theory of meaning misses the mark. What H. P. Grice elucidates with the suggestion that the meaning of the speaker’s utterance p is recognition by its hearer of the speaker’s intention to say p is not the epistemic meaning of utterance p, but only part of the procedure whereby the same meaning is communicated. See H. P. Grice: Studies in the Ways of Words (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991), chaps. 5, 6, 14 and 18. In Lesson 14 of his Vorlesungen zur Einführung in die sprachanalytische Philosophie, Ernst Tugendhat convincingly criticizes Grice’s attempts to explain the meaning of utterances in this way.
[51] Note that there are non-referential cognitive rules: we can have rules that relate (a) the empirical date of language to cognitions, (b) cognitions to other cognitions, and (c) cognitions to actions. But as to the issue of reference, what matters is the first kind of rule, which is responsible for referential meaning.
[52] There are in my judgment a variety of ways to make these hypostases. One of them is to identify sense/meaning with Platonic entities (Frege, Husserl); another (which will be criticized in due time) is to identify linguistic meaning with essential substrates of things or something similar (Putnam); another is to identify meaning with minimum units of reference (Russell); and yet another is to identify meaning with merely psychological intentions (Grice).