Intersubjective Properties by Which We Specify Pain, Pleasure, and Other Kinds of Mental States

Irwin Goldstein 


How do people learn names for kinds of sensations? Wittgenstein identifies two possibilities. 1. Direct acquaintance: A person feels a sensation, notes its intrinsic character, and sets about to use the word thereafter for this sensation. 2. Outward signs: A person pins his use of the word to the sensation's outward signs. Wittgenstein rejects 1 and endorses 2. He thinks a sensation name can be learned only if people pin their use of the word to outward signs. I identify a third procedure and show we name many sensations and other kinds of mental states this way.