Logic, language games and ludics

Acta Analytica 18 (30/31):89-123 (2003)
Wittgenstein’s language games can be put into a wider service by virtue of elements they share with some contemporary opinions concerning logic and the semantics of computation. I will give two examples: manifestations of language games and their possible variations in logical studies, and their role in some of the recent developments in computer science. It turns out that the current paradigm of computation that Girard termed Ludics bears a striking resemblance to members of language games. Moreover, the kind of interrelations that are emerging could be scrutinised from the viewpoint of logic that virtually necessitates game-theoretic conceptualisations, demonstrating the fact that the meaning of utterances may, in many situations, be understood as Wittgenstein’s language games of ‘showing or telling what one sees’. This provides motivation for the use of games in relation to logic and formal semantics that some commentators have called for. Many of the ideas can be traced to C.S. Peirce, for whom signs were vehicles of strategic communication. The conclusion about Wittgenstein is that the notions of saying and showing converge in his late philosophy.
Keywords Wittgenstein  logic  language games  computation  Ludics  Peirce
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DOI 10.1007/s12136-003-1016-x
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