1.10.2002

[1, 2]Primitive is a term Wittgenstein took Frasier to task on. For Frasier, magic was taken as a sign of primitivity -- by this he meant pre- or non-scientific. Wittgenstein saw this as hopelessly condescending. See the "Remarks on Frasier" where the power of Wittgenstein's critical imagination is displayed. He is also funny. Primitive seems to imply simple in Wittgenstein. This takes us into remark 2 where Wittgenstein imagines a language system where Augustine's conception of language acquisition of uniting word to object would work. "Conceive this as a complete primitive language." Wittgenstein then moves on to qualify this idea of a noun language. For now, we look not at a primitive language functioning, but a "primitive idea of the way language functions." It is an overly simplistic account of how language works, not a quality in language. There are nouns in language, to be sure. But the act of reducing language to nouns is primitive.
I'm trying to talk my way through the difference here between language and the way language may be seen. Wittgenstein is arguing against reductionism apparently. There is a pretense in talking about language that one can step outside and achieve an Archimedian perspective on what language is and how it functions. This analytic distance is an illusion. I want to say of the distance: It is primitive.
You no longer have an undergraduate paper? I admire this. I still believe the paper I wrote on Theodore Roosevelt in 5th grade may come in handy.
I keep running decomposed and elemental through my head. To say elemental would privilege the noun function. It is as if to say it is most basic component of language. This may make sense if language evolves and we can say some parts are older than others. Does language have an evolution in Wittgenstein?
The thinking here is pretty messy.

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