Wittgensteins Later Theory of Meaning: Imagination and Calculation

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What does Wittgenstein says about Plato's picture? Only that not all nouns are names. But Wittgenstein nowhere says how the words Socrates and Plato were concerned with are to be defined -- i.

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Wittgenstein only describes cases where we can state a definition -- i. But that is precisely what we cannot do with Plato's words. We are not at variance over the meaning of the word 'game'; cf. Such are the easy cases; Wittgenstein never deals with the difficult concepts.

Describe that word's use in the language" [Think what beauty meant to Franz Schubert , and it wasn't "What a lovely painting! Why does Wittgenstein never investigate our difficult concepts -- Plato's "words about which we are at variance"?

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I think this was because Wittgenstein reduced philosophy to logic -- " the philosophy of logic " in Anscombe's translation -- and the subject matter of logic is only: things that are subject to rules? And about what does not follow rules, it has practically nothing to say.

Thus, by reducing philosophy to logic, Wittgenstein dismissed many philosophical problems -- but not by "dissolving" them i. It would have been clearer if Wittgenstein had titled his work Logical Investigations rather than Philosophical Investigations , because about logic of language is all Wittgenstein's remarks are. Comment: and that is the answer to Russell's objection, namely that the point of interest changes between the TLP , which is about natural logic of language "concept-formation", which remained Russell's interest and Wittgenstein's later work , which is about conventional logic of language and should be seen that way -- which is only a part of philosophy, despite Wittgenstein's appearing to say that it is the whole.

In a sense -- although not in Russell's sense because the later Wittgenstein was just as "profoundly aware of difficult problems" and "addicted to passionately intense thinking" ibid. Plato's question in Book One of the Republic [e, d] of "no small matter, but our to live" our life [ethics] is -- if silence is evidence -- according to Wittgenstein not a philosophical question -- for why else would he never write about this surely most important of all questions. In his Lecture on Ethics Wittgenstein says that "absolute value", which is irrational, is the foundation of ethics and so if philosophy is rational, as it is, it has nothing to say about that.

But if ethics is not a philosophical question, then what kind of question is it? Wittgenstein in his later writings never says. Socrates "introduced ethics or moral philosophy" into philosophy Diog. As to Russell, the distinction he makes between talking, for example, about the word 'river' in contrast to talking about a river, as well as his " Theory of Descriptions ", is all I think I have learned from him.

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Many years ago I tried to read an English translation of Frege's "Sense and Reference", but I could not understand it; I don't know if its unreadable sentences were Frege's or his translator's. And I am now too old to have patience with anything not written in readable sentences. But does Wittgenstein define the words 'the' and 'in the', words which designate definite and indefinite articles: does the TLP say what the meaning of common names is or which state a relationship as e.

Wittgenstein's Later Theory of Meaning: Imagination and Calculation

TLP , tr. That is the picture 2. But all words aren't obviously names, as Wittgenstein will of course have seen, but he does he characterize those words? Does he regard them as belonging to logic, like the logical operators 'and', 'or', etc.

The principal criticisms, I'd say, of Wittgenstein's theory are: 1 the theory doesn't define the word 'atomic', i. Why are we not analyzing a phenomenon rather than describing a concept, i. Well, because in Wittgenstein's logic of language, the method of which is to describe concepts, that is what is done. When I wrote about M. Drury's Philosophy of Science , I described our concept 'motion'. Note that what I wrote is not an "analysis" of that concept: the statements I make are not " analytic propositions ", but rather they are rules of grammar My account of those rules, of our public use of the word 'motion', may be true or false, but that is what it is.

I did not screw up my eyes, make funny faces I once saw a film where the Yale University professor Paul Weiss did just that, apropos of Aristotle, if I recall aright , and say, "Yes, I think I can see that this is the essence of motion". Often 'to analyze' means 'to break down into parts', but not in the philosophy of Linguistic Analysis as far as I can see.

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Well, if you can see into a box or a basket, why not see into a mind? Certainly not of one like the third. And this is true. This is a good example of the way in which certain very general assumptions about meaning may underlie theories of quite different types. Philosophy must not interfere in any way with the actual use of language, so it can in the end only describe it. And if that is true, then what becomes of Wittgenstein's later project in philosophy? Lovitt, Trans.

But what would an "analysis of the phenomenon" Wittgenstein of motion look like? If Leibniz undertook that for the invention of his calculus -- and Leibniz did not concern himself with grammar and sense and nonsense -- how did he decide what the word 'motion' is the name of if he presumed that the meaning of word is the thing it stands in for?

Will he not have to set the limits of his subject somewhere more or less arbitrarily cf. Well, actually I can't at all imagine what an analysis of the phenomenon would look like cf. Hertz and the word 'force' -- I don't think the word 'motion' has any meaning apart from how motion is measured.

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Leibniz might find a new way to measure motion -- but wouldn't that be physics rather than metaphysics "what motion really is"? Suppose someone says that what he wants to know is "what motion really is" -- that is to say, to know about the phenomenon, not the mere use of a word? The word 'really' is a hallmark of metaphysics cf. Sometimes I have reasoned that Plato was conceptually confused -- but certainly not always. In a word, you must use Wittgenstein's logic of language as an antidote to philosophy, and then philosophy as an antidote to Wittgenstein's setting of false limits to philosophy.

Philosophy is not all conceptual confusion despite some of it being that. Logic of Language, Introduction. In sum, for me, that is, in my view, philosophy begins and ends with Socrates with the Socrates of Plato's Apology and of Xenophon -- or, Philosophy begins and ends with Socrates. However on my death-bed I shall have nothing to say about life except, "It was incomprehensible" and that my ignorance has been a horrific experience, both shameful and humiliating.

The form of expression 'It was perplexing' barely begins to express my view of things, my feelings about existence: confusion and incomprehension have forever reigned in my mind with occasional "rests" as in musical score before it begins again. With "respect to wisdom" I am "truly worthless" -- because despite the years and years I still think myself wise although I am not: I still presume I know countless things that I don't know: I have not learned Apollo's lesson for man Apology 23b.

This presumes that such a description of philosophy is possible. When Wittgenstein says "Philosophy is And so the query is asking for a definition of the word 'philosophy', a description of how we use that word, e. Even if Wittgenstein says "the essence of philosophy", that statement is not a definition of the word 'philosophy' -- it is instead metaphysics because it says what philosophy "really" is.

On the other hand, if we define 'philosophy' as 'the search for knowledge or understanding by the light of natural reason in logic, ethics, or metaphysics' -- it seems the most Wittgenstein can say is that the hope of such a search is a delusion; but that philosophy is delusional would not belong to a definition of the word 'philosophy'. It is a meaning of 'meaning', not a "theory of meaning". If we make the distinction using this language, the word 'natural' suggests that we should include Kant's categories -- i. Suppose someone says, "That's not theoretically possible. The only limit of science is concept-formation.

There are no laws of nature, only laws of physics. I really don't know -- not without definitions of the words 'God' and 'heaven'.

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By exploring the significance of Wittgenstein’s later texts relating to the philosophy of language, Wittgenstein’s Later Theory of Meaning offers insights that will transform our understanding of the influential 20th-century philosopher. "Schneider's penetrating and original. Wittgenstein's Later Theory of Meaning: Imagination and Calculation. Author(s). Hans Julius Schneider. First published:4 December

In God, doubtless in some sense -- however, I don't know in which sense -- yes. In "heaven"? What is being asked? In the sense of the "kingdom of God", in the sense of Jesus' ethic of love? As to "life after death" -- I have no idea what he "believed in" in what source would this be found. To understand Schweitzer you must understand that Schweitzer rejected dogma "Christianity cannot take the place of reason , but it must be founded on it".

I would not say that Schweitzer "believed in" anything -- in the sense of being a dogmatist but 'believe in' has many other senses.

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Well, this is it. Is there any question more fundamental to philosophy than "Are there questions without answers "? From a purely grammatical-logical point of view: Do we use the word 'question' according to strict rules? However, what does usage alone prove Wittgenstein's method appears to have been monologue holding discourse with oneself alone , not dialog holding discourse with one's companions : He did not practice dialectic but thought about things for himself in "pools of darkness" isolated, primitive locations in Norway and Ireland. But, on the other hand, in his Philosophical Investigations he acknowledges Ramsey and Sraffa for their criticism of his thoughts; of course that does not imply that Wittgenstein's discussions with them took the form of question and answer; and he did not use the Socratic method when he lectured taught his students.

But maybe by "method" this query intends Platonic-Socratic definition versus "family" resemblance, Wittgenstein's game metaphor -- i. Although it may also concern Wittgenstein's inability to see the importance of Socrates or of Plato's dialogs [at least at one time].

Socrates did not say that this is the best state because of course the best state would be to know! So says Socrates in Plato's Apology. And in Xenophon : "those who think they know what they do not know are misled themselves and mislead others. Query: explain the notion of definition that Socrates has in mind when he questions Euthyphro about the definition of holiness. Not in the sense that a donkey does, but perhaps in the sense that Euthyphro does not know what he believes himself to know, i. His inability is not, however, proof that Euthyphro does not "know what piety is" -- if to know "what piety is" is to know what that standard is, because there may be no such standard.