The Geometry of Partial Understanding

American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (3):249-262 (2013)

Authors
Colin Allen
University of Pittsburgh
Abstract
Wittgenstein famously ended his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (Wittgenstein 1922) by writing: "Whereof one cannot speak, one must pass over in silence." (Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen.) In that earliest work, Wittgenstein gives no clue about whether this aphorism applied to animal minds, or whether he would have included philosophical discussions about animal minds as among those displaying "the most fundamental confusions (of which the whole of philosophy is full)" (1922, TLP 3.324), but given his later writings on language and thought, it seems a plausible hypothesis. Years later he wrote in the Philosophical Investigations (1968, p. 223) another aphoristic statement: "If a lion could speak, we would not understand him." (Wenn der Löwe sprechen könnte, wir könnten ihn nicht verstehen.) Decades of philosophical discussion about what Wittgenstein meant by these remarks illustrate another point: when philosophers speak, we do not fully understand them.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 43,822
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Intentional Stance.Daniel DENNETT - 1987 - Journal of Philosophy 87 (4):212-216.
Knowlegde and the Flow of Information.F. Dretske - 1989 - Trans/Form/Ação 12:133-139.
Philosophical investigations.Ludwig Wittgenstein & G. E. M. Anscombe - 1953 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 161:124-124.
Tractatus logico-philosophicus.Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1922 - Filosoficky Casopis 52:336-341.

View all 10 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Chimpanzee Mind Reading: Don't Stop Believing.Kristin Andrews - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (1):e12394.
Models, Mechanisms, and Animal Minds.Colin Allen - 2014 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 52 (S1):75-97.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Standards of Equality and Hume's View of Geometry.Emil Badici - 2011 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (4):448-467.
Remarks on the Geometry of Visibles.Gordon Belot - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (213):581–586.
Partial Truth and Visual Evidence.Otávio Bueno - 2011 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 15 (2):249.
On the Phenomenology of Partial Judgment.John M. Vickers - 1976 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 2 (1):105-132.
Abstraction and Intuition in Peano's Axiomatizations of Geometry.Davide Rizza - 2009 - History and Philosophy of Logic 30 (4):349-368.
Relativity and Geometry.Roberto Torretti - 1983 - Dover Publications.
Constructivity in Geometry.Richard Vesley - 1999 - History and Philosophy of Logic 20 (3-4):291-294.
Contemporary Arguments for a Geometry of Visual Experience.Phillip John Meadows - 2011 - European Journal of Philosophy 19 (3):408-430.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-09-29

Total views
170 ( #44,002 of 2,265,164 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #447,493 of 2,265,164 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature