Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations by Brendan Wilson

By Brendan Wilson

This ebook publications the reader via probably the only most crucial philosophical paintings of the 20 th century: Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations. Wilson offers this paintings in a substantially new mild, utilizing brief sections to elucidate the most arguments, together with the recognized deepest Language Argument.

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Suppose we never have a real thing, photograph or drawing to serve as a paradigm. Would we apply the concept of remembering to that field? For the PLU, all meaning would be based on inner definitions and resolutions. There would be no external, objective reality to serve as a paradigm in remembering the meaning of a word. Perhaps it is not so clear, then, that the PLU could 'just remember' the original meaning-giving act. The problem is neither that the PLU's memory is not reliable, nor that the claim that a present utterance of 'S' conforms to the inner definition is unverifiable and therefore meaningless, though both these interpretations have been widely canvassed.

This is Simon Blackburn's conclusion too. He writes, 'If Wittgenstein is allowed to use the verification principle, be is well placed to attack the idea that there is a distinction [between genuinely following a rule and being under the illusion that one is following it]. For anything the subject does or experiences at a moment, or himself says, is compatible with each hypothesis. And the public is in no position to tell which is true either. No third person can tell whether the later sensations are really like the first, or really different .

Wittgenstein's emphasis on the conceptual importance of the learning situation clearly tends to locate meaning in something public, in the social teaching of language or the playing of communal language-games. How am I to explain it? Well, only as you might teach someone the meaning of the expression 'to say something to oneself'. Only no one is going to say that the person who teaches it to us tells us 'what takes place' (PI 361). Thus, what is learned when we learn how to use this expression, is not which inner experience makes the claim true.

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