In reading Wittgenstein one can, and for the most part perhaps should, treat the expression ‘language-game’ as a term of art, a more or less arbitrarily chosen item of terminology meaning something like ‘an actual or possible way of using words’. It would then be a fairly routine task to work out answers to such questions as what features of the ways a word is used are emphasized by this term of art, what philosophical purposes are served by the description (...) of primitive language-games or of variations on actual language-games, or in exactly what way those purposes are supposed to be served. (shrink)
The article is an interpretation of about the first half of chapter xi of part ii of "philosophical investigations". Wittgenstein is treated as having the single aim of arguing down the massive temptation to suppose that the expression 'to see...As...', And such similar expressions as 'to recognize', Record the occurrence of an experience distinct from the experience of simply seeing the object seen as or recognized. Ways are suggested of making a kind of sense of most of the very perplexing (...) remarks in this stretch of the "investigations". (shrink)
It is a curious thing about the philosophy of mind, that it includes surprisingly little about minds. In an average anthology on the subject, or a book like Ryle's, one finds discussions of thinking, imagining, believing, willing, remembering, and so on, but not of minds. It seems to be assumed that investigating these topics is investigating minds; but whether that is true is not itself made a topic for investigation.
The following are not among the least puzzling remarks in Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations : 572. Expectation is, grammatically, a state; like: being of an opinion, hoping for something, knowing something, being able to do something. But in order to understand the grammar of these states it is necessary to ask: ‘What counts as a criterion for anyone's being in such a state?’ 573.… What, in particular cases, do we regard as criteria for someone's being of such and such an opinion? (...) When do we say: he reached this opinion at that time? When he has altered his opinion? And so on. The picture which the answers to these questions give us shews what gets treated grammatically as a state here. (shrink)
The paper suggests an interpretation of section 106 of wittgenstein's "zettel", Where it is said that 'the concept of thinking is formed on the model of an imaginary auxiliary activity'. The suggestion is that when we complain that someone was not thinking, We don't mean that a familiar activity called thinking was not performed, But we make as if there was an activity, The performance of which saves people from doing stupid things, And it was not performed, As a way (...) of saying that the other person acted foolishly. (shrink)