6.25.2002

This is why the "stream of life" metaphor is helpful (at least to me). We need to think of stability and change as entwined both in our descriptions of language and in our descriptions of seeing. Language-games are stable relative to the swirl of motion around and beneath them. There is erosion and simultaneous growth. There is bedrock where our shovels come to a stop, but we understand that even this sturdy foundation is subject to wear and cracking. In seeing something, it is always in the context of a larger landscape of continuous seeing (a technical term in Wittgenstein). We may notice changes of aspect when perceiving the nude form in a Freud drawing -- a relation between baring and truth, for instance -- but that moment of focus, too, is transformed by the act of stepping back for a more panoramic perspective.

Thanks for the exercise: It helped me get hold of the twin actions of 47, 48, and 49. We see ostensive defining and its limits. 2+2=4 Now imagine a culture or game where 2+2=5. We will be encountering a lot of these sorts of thought experiments. In 50, Wittgenstein extends this point by observing that what we have in language is a "means of representation" as in the case of the colored squares. This representation occurs within the colored square language game. "It is a paradigm in our language game ..." In naming we bestow being. It is the divine activity granted to humans by God in the creation accounts. But human acts of naming are limited (as the very idea of a language-game implies). As Wittgenstein shows in 51, there are particular acts of naming, particular correspondences between the name and the thing being named, but this does not lead to a correspondence theory. "[W]e must focus on the details of what goes on; must look at them from close to."

There are political acts, but this does not lead to a political theory. There goes my field.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home