Wittgenstein and the developmental psychopathology of autism

Hobson, R Peter (2009) Wittgenstein and the developmental psychopathology of autism. New Ideas in Psychology, 27 (2). pp. 243-257. ISSN 0732-118X

Full text not yet available from this repository.


My aims in this paper are twofold: firstly, to explore the relevance of Wittgenstein's thinking for characterizing the early development of interpersonal understanding and social cognition among typically developing children; and secondly, to illustrate how his writings offer a conceptual framework within which we might fashion an account of the developmental psychopathology of autism. Wittgenstein gave prominence to the significance of perceiving emotion in people's bodily expressions, and stressed how our relations towards others contribute to (and reflect) our understanding of the nature of persons-with-minds. In addition, he made telling observations about the relation between first- and third-person aspects of social experience and mental state ascription. The developmental psychopathology of childhood autism attests to the importance of Wittgenstein's ideas. Through autism, we can trace some of the causes and consequences of a relative failure to participate in a ‘form of life’ that people hold in common with one another. Article Outline 1. Perceiving feelings 2. Awareness of persons-with-minds 3. Self and other 4. Forms of life 5. The developmental psychopathology of human relations and social cognition 5.1. Perceiving expressions of emotion 5.2. Relating to other persons as persons with subjective states of their own 5.3. Identifying with other people's attitudes, and co-ordinating attitudes of self and other 5.4. Understanding minds 5.5. Exercising the imagination 5.6. Arriving at interpersonal ‘agreement in judgments’ with others, language and thought 6. Frameworks for understanding autism 7. Conclusions References

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Psychopathology, Social cognition, Thinking, Interpersonal Relationships
Subjects: Communication (incl. disorders of) > Autism
Department/People: Special Units
URI: https://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/277

Actions (Library Staff login required)

View Item View Item