This paper deals with an apparent tension in Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations: Wittgenstein holds an expressivist position with regard to avowals, but also claims that the doxastic avowal “I believe that p” is a “hesitant assertion” of p. It is argued that the tension is apparent only and that Wittgenstein’s expressivism in fact justifies and explains his views on “I believe”: avowals typically are explicit expressives and usually implicate (in the Gricean sense) the corresponding illocutionary acts. The hesitant assertion of p is the result of an implicature of the explicit expressive “I believe that p”. The paper also addresses the ambiguity of avowals and the possibility of thereby undermining the Frege–Geach objection to psychological expressivism.
Bar-OnDorit2015. “Expression: Acts, Products, and Meaning.” In: Meaning without Representation: Essays on Truth Expression Normativity and Naturalism edited by GrossStevenTebbenNicholas & WilliamsMichael. Oxford: Oxford University Press180–209.
FregeGottlob(1879) 1967. “Begriffsschrift, a formula language, modeled upon that of arithmetic, for pure thought.” In: From Frege to Gödel: A Source Book in Mathematical Logic 1879–1931 edited by van HeijenoortJean. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press1–82.
McGinnMarie2011. “Wittgenstein and Moore’s Paradox.” In: Image and Imaging in Philosophy Science and the Arts vol. 1 edited by HeinrichRichardNemethElisabethPichlerWolfram & WagnerDavid. Frankfurt etc.: Ontos59–72.
SadockJerrold M. 1994. “Toward a Grammatically Realistic Typology of Speech Acts.” In: Foundations of Speech Act Theory: Philosophical and Linguistic Perspectives edited by TsohatzidisSavas L.. London/New York: Routledge393–406.