1.28.2002

Darn it! I lost the entry I was working on. My fault too. To reconstruct: I wanted to draw attention to a point of overlap between Wittgenstein and Pragmatism. For George Herbert Mead, dreams and daydreams are best thought of as "imaginative rehearsals" for future situations. These situations cannot be predicted, but we prepare in a more general way. That is we cast ourselves as stars of "what if" scenes. Then we see ourselves acting heroically -- or at least the way we like to think of ourselves.

Here is Wittgenstein in Lectures and Conversations speaking on dreams in terms that are remarkably similar to the remarks on language learning and teaching that we have been examining. "There seems to be something in dream images that has a certain resemblance to signs of a language. As a series of marks on paper or on sand might have. There might be no mark which we have recognized as a conventional sign in any alphabet we knew, and yet we might have a strong feeling that they must be a language of some sort: that they mean something. There is a cathedral in Moscow with five spires. On each of these there is a different sort of curving configuration. One gets the strong impression that these different shapes and arrangements must mean something."

What we see here is the surface unity that Wittgenstein speaks of in 10,11.

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