Wittgenstein-Studien 13 (1):83-96 (2022)

Joachim Schulte
University of Zürich
One way of identifying the beginning of the Investigations is by deciding to regard remark 1, and hence neither the motto nor the Preface but the famous quotation from Augustine, as the real starting point of Wittgenstein’s reflections as developed in this book. One point implicit in this decision is that the notion of a language-game is placed in the foreground of Wittgenstein’s discussion. In a way, the language-game of the builders is Wittgenstein’s paradigm of a language-game – but why is it treated differently from the shopkeeper scene in the sense that the latter is not given a separate number? This question appears particularly urgent in view of the fact that in earlier manuscript versions of the Investigations Wittgenstein did allot a separate number to the shopkeeper scene. Towards the end of this paper I make an attempt to answer that question. But in order to get down to this a number of additional questions are raised focussing on Wittgenstein’s use of central terms like “game”, “operate”, “sample” and drawing on distinctions elaborated in the literature, such as Benacerraf’s distinction between “transitive” and “intransitive” kinds of counting. This reading of the beginning of the Investigations is impregnated with the conviction that later parts of the book can fruitfully be seen as growing out of the remarks immediately following the quotation from Augustine.
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DOI 10.1515/witt-2022-0007
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