The Monist 71 (3):311-319 (1988)

There is a sentence in the Philosophical Investigations where Elizabeth Anscombe has missed an opportunity to distill a whole cloud of philosophy into the choice of one mot juste. Wittgenstein writes: ‘Ein Wort ohne Rechtfertigung gebrauchen, heisst nicht, es zu Unrecht gebrauchen’. Anscombe translates: ‘To use a word without justification does not mean to use it without right.’ The missing of the philosophical opportunity is at the same time a literary lapse. There is nothing in Anscombe’s version to mark the echoing of the ‘Recht’ in ‘Rechtfertigung’ by the ‘recht’ in ‘zu Unrecht.’ My preferred alternative would be: ‘To use a word without justification does not mean to be unjustified in using it’, or: ‘To use a word without a justification does not mean to be unjustified in using it.’
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest  Philosophy of Mind  Philosophy of Science
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ISBN(s) 0026-9662
DOI 10.5840/monist198871328
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