If it is asked: “How do sentences manage to represent?” – the answer might be: “Don’t you know? You certainly see it, when you use them.” For nothing is concealed. How do sentences do it? – Don’t you know? For nothing is hidden. But given this answer: “But you know how sentences do it, for nothing is concealed” one would like to retort “Yes, but it all goes by so quick, and I should like to see it as it were (...) laid open to view.”. (shrink)
In her essay 'What Nonsense Might Be'1, Cora Diamond discusses different ways of understanding the concept of nonsense. She defines and criticizes what she calls a 'natural' view of nonsense, and points to the possibility of a different view, which she says is the one to be found in Frege, and also in the Tractatus as well as in Philosophical Investigations. Let me briefly recapture her argument. Consider the sentences..
Rush Rhees held Wittgenstein's work in high esteem but considered it in need of deepening. He was critical of Wittgenstein's idea that the builders' game might be the whole language of a tribe and that human language could be thought of as simply a range of language games. Rhees thought that Wittgenstein failed to do justice to the unity of language. The idea of the unity of language appears to have both an anthropological and an ethical aspect. The latter is (...) illustrated with the help of a Hemingway story. (shrink)
The aim of this essay is to point to some of the problems that arise in trying to clarify the distinction frequently made between literal and non-literal ways of understanding certain religious beliefs, such as the belief in the resurrection of Christ. The disagreement is sometimes taken to concern whether the words usedin the expression of belief are to be understood in a literal or a non-literal sense. It may alternatively be taken to concern whether or not religious utterances are (...) to be understood as factual assertions. It is argued that, in either case, the application of the relevant distinction to religious expressions is problematic. It is suggested that the disagreement should be understood as one of religious attitude rather than of the interpretation of utterances. (shrink)
Abstract Applied ethics is commonly carried out on the assumption that moral decisions can be handled by experts. This involves a failure to recognize that being morally serious means recognizing that one cannot hand over responsibility for certain decisions to anyone else. The idea of moral expertise is shown to be based on a misconstrual of the nature of moral discourse, one that can be overcome by following Wittgenstein's exhortation to philosophers to pay heed to the actual uses of language. (...) The sense of a moral judgment cannot be considered in isolation from what the speaker is doing in the context of utterance. The author concludes by suggesting that this discussion can provide the basis for a new reading of Anscombe's essay ?Modern Moral Philosophy? (shrink)
In On Certainty, the emphasis is on the solitary individual as subject of knowledge. The importance of our dependence on others, however, is brought out in Wittgenstein's remarks about trust. In this paper, the role and nature of trust are discussed, the grammar of trust being contrasted with that of reliance. It is shown that to speak of trust is to speak of a fundamental attitude of one person towards others, an attitude which, unlike reliance, is not to be explained, (...) or assessed, by an appeal to reasons. It is, rather, because we have such a fundamental readiness to accept what we are taught by others that we can come to develop an understanding of reasons. The idea that believing something without evidence is always a weakness is shown to be a philosophical prejudice. Trust is always for something we can rightfully demand from others: misplaced trust, accordingly, is not a shortcoming on the part of the trustful person, but of the person in whom the trust was placed. The destruction of trust is a tragedy of life; in Culture and Value, Wittgenstein suggests a connection between distrust and madness. (shrink)