Can I Have Your Pain?


Department of Philosophy

University of Reading

Reading RG6 6AA


In the so-called private language argument, Wittgenstein argues both against the alleged epistemological privacy of sensations and against their alleged ontological privacy, that is, the common view that somebody else cannot have my pain. A prominent proponent of the claim of sensations' ontological privacy was Gottlob Frege, whose position has recently been defended by Wolfgang Künne. This paper reconsiders Wittgenstein's objections to ontological privacy and attempts to defend Wittgenstein's position against Künne's Frege-inspired arguments.