Autism, Dilogic and Persons

Peterson, Donald (2002) Autism, Dilogic and Persons. In: UNSPECIFIED Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society, pp. 182-184.


Download (65kB)


The syndrome of autism was first systematically identified in the 1940's (Kanner 1943), and has been the focus of a broad range of work since that time (Rutter 1999). Its symptomatology is seemingly diverse, and involves a rough division between 'personal' and 'nonpersonal' tendencies. In the personal category are difficulties in understanding and interacting with other persons, socialisation, empathy and communication. In the non-personal category are difficulties in adaptability, occasional special abilities, and a wide range of peculiarities in learning, generalisation, pursuit of narrow interests, and so on. Some tendencies, such as peculiarities in the use of language, seem to span both categories. A central question in the theory of autism, therefore, is whether these two categories of impairment share a common pattern or character. It is true that received sets of diagnostic criteria (World Health Organisation 1993; American Psychiatric Association 1994), drawn from empirical observation, give the impression of a split syndrome in which non-personal and personal tendencies occur together but are different in nature. However, we cannot simply trust the language games which inform the presentation of these observations: as Wittgenstein repeatedly argued, forms of words and 'analogies in language' can have the effect of obscuring both similarities and differences between things (Peterson 1990). The main thesis of the present paper is that there does exist a pattern common to these two areas of impairment, in that both involve dilogical structures.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Autism; dilogical structures; Wittgensein, L.
Subjects: Philosophie > Philosophische Disziplinen > Bewußtseinsphilosophie, Philosophie des Geistes und der Psychologie
Philosophie > Philosophische Journale, Kongresse, Vereinigungen > Wittgenstein Symposium Kirchberg, Pre-Proceedings > Kirchberg 2002
Depositing User: Stefan Köstenbauer
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2007
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2011 18:52

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year