by  Ludwig Wittgenstein. (Logisch-Philosophische Abhandlung (1921) Introduction   By Bertrand Russell Mr Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, whether or not it prove to give the ultimate truth on the matters with which it deals, certainly deserves, by its breadth and scope and profundity, to be considered an important event in the philosophical world. Starting from the principles of […]

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(LW stands for Ludwig Wittgenstein, PU for “Philosophische Untersuchungen”.) The origin of the private language argument 1. The meaning of a word is the object the word stands for (PU 1). 2. Sensations are private. Hence a language that refers to private objects could only be understood by the owner of the sensations (PU 243). […]

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from Philosophical Investigations         26. One thinks that learning the language consists in giving names to objects. Viz., to human beings, to shapes, to colors, to pains, to moods, to numbers, etc. To repeat–naming is something like attaching a label to a thing. One can say that this is preparatory to the use of a word. But what for? […]

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Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations. 243-314 243. A human being can encourage himself, give himself orders, obey, blame and punish himself, he can ask himself a question and answer it. We could even imagine human beings who spoke only in monologue; who accompanied their activities by talking to themselves. — An explorer who watched them and listened to […]

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Philosophical Investigations: 23. But how many kinds of sentences are there? Say assertion, question, and command?–There are countless kinds countless different kinds of use of what we call “symbols,” “words,” “sentences.” And this multiplicity is not something fixed, given once for all; but new types of language, new language-games, as we may say, come into existence, and others […]

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From Philosophical Investigations: 1. “When they (my elders) named some object, and accordingly moved towards something, I saw this and I grasped that the thing was called by the sound they uttered when they meant to point it out. Their intention was shown by their bodily movements, as it were the natural language of all peoples: the […]

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