Wittgenstein’s remarks on technology and mental mechanisms

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This article provides a survey of Wittgenstein’s remarks in which he discusses various kinds of technology. I argue that throughout his career, his use of technological examples displays a thematic unity: technologies are invoked in order to illustrate a certain mechanical conception of the mind. I trace how his use of such examples evolved as his views on the mind and on meaning changed. I also discuss an important and somewhat radical anti-mechanistic strain in his later thought and suggest that Wittgenstein’s attitude to mechanistic explanations in psychology was ultimately quite ambivalent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-471
Number of pages25
JournalTechne: Research in Philosophy and Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Language of thought
  • Mechanisms
  • Mental content
  • Technology
  • Wittgenstein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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