Synthese 105 (2):177-190 (1995)

Heather Gert
University of North Carolina, Greensboro
In §66 ofPhilosophical Investigations Wittgenstein looks for something common to various games and finds only an interconnecting network of resemblances. These are family resemblances. Sympathetic as well as unsympathetic readers have interpreted him as claiming that games form a family in virtue of these resemblances. This assumes Wittgenstein inverted the relation between being a member of a family and bearing family resemblances to others of that family. (The Churchills bear family resemblances to one another because they belong to the same family, they don't belong to the same family because they resemble one another.) A close reading ofInvestigations gives no evidence that Wittgenstein made this mistake. Rather, family resemblances may play a role like the one criteria play for psychological terms. They give excellent but fallible evidence for membership in the extensions of some terms.
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DOI 10.1007/BF01064217
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References found in this work BETA

Wittgenstein.Anthony Kenny - 1975 - Pelican Books.
The Philosophy of Wittgenstein.George Pitcher - 1964 - Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice-Hall.

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Citations of this work BETA

Play and Games: An Opinionated Introduction.Michael Ridge - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (4):e12573.
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Is There Something in Common? Forms and the Theory of Word Meaning.Timothy Pritchard - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (4):1675-1694.

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