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R EAD I NG TH E OTH E R

CRITE RIA AND OTH E R MI N DS

Criteria and certainty Throughout this book I have been working towards an account of being with others which enables us to understand how what is disclosed in our perception of certain living things does not fall short of the perception of ‘the soul’ of another. In this chapter I will explain how Wittgenstein’s notion of ‘criteria’ can help us to achieve such an understanding. In previous chapters I have argued against the view that significant behaviour should be conceived in terms of singular events governed by definite rules. In my view, Wittgenstein’s work on behavioural criteria outlines an approach to the behaviour of others which respects this conclusion. I will argue for an interpretation which conceives them neither as (general) rules nor as (singular) behavioural events, but as iterable traits. As I hope to show, this interpretation of Wittgenstein’s notion will make plausible the following conception of being with others: the perception of a ‘soul’, being open to a living thing as another, is a matter of reading the behaviour of a living thing; a matter of being at home with its iterable traits. This approach may seem to be making heavy weather of a topic for which there is already a relatively straightforward and significant consensus. Criteria in Wittgenstein’s sense are, surely, the ‘outward’ behavioural grounds or reasons for judging the existence or presence of something ‘inner’. To employ a phrase of Stanley Cavell’s to which I will return, criteria are criteria for something’s ‘being so’ in the sense that they are ways of telling how things are (Cavell, 1979, p. 45). This is, indeed, the orthodox view. Selectively quoting from what have been the most influential readings, we find the following claims: The satisfaction of the criterion of y establishes the existence of y beyond question . . . It will not make sense for one to suppose that another person is not in pain if one’s criterion of his being in pain is satisfied. (Malcolm, 1966, p. 543) and If a kind of behaviour is a criterion, in Wittgenstein’s sense . . . for the use of the word ‘toothache’. . . his so behaving may be taken to decide the question whether he has toothache or not: he does. (Albritton, 1966, p. 249) and If p is C-related to q, then q is made certain by the truth of p. (Baker, 1974, p. 162)

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Glendinning, simon on being with others heidegger‚ derrida, wittgenstein  
Glendinning, simon on being with others heidegger‚ derrida, wittgenstein  
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