• Dr. Faustroll
    Dr. Faustroll, 2019/04/22 18:00

    This perspective, where the meaning of language is determined by its use, and where no single way of using language (eg. writing encyclopedia entries) is necessarily more important than all the others. This goes against the approach of much other work on linguistics and the philosophy of language at the time in England and the US, which imagined that assertions - making true or false factual statements - were the fundamental building-blocks of all language. In logic and philosophy, a second-order theory, loosely, is one that talks about other kinds of theory: for example "metaethics" discusses what kinds of ethical theories may be formulated, how they can be discussed, and what makes them "ethics," rather than debating what is good and what is bad. So the language-games approach fundamentally rejects the idea that there is a "second-order theory" for language: it is not "safe" to require the use of some variant of formal logic (even a fancy modern one like modal logic or kripke-semantics) to model the meaning of logic - this is a particularly striking claim from the older Wittgenstein because his own earlier work, as a logical positivist and as a student of Bertrand Russel's, involved trying to formulate such second order theories. There is also something necessarily self-undermining about any book making such a claim: on the one hand it's arguing that there is no second-order language; on the other hand, it's using a particular kind of language to make claims about what all of language is.Another important aspect of the "language game" approach is that it theorizes by example: to say what language-games can do, Wittgenstein argues by producing various example language games. Perhaps even poets could make language-games, to show something about what language can be...

  • tig
    tig, 2019/04/28 01:05


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