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Philosophical Investigations Investigations philosophiques Wikipdia Philosophical Investigations WittgensteinImmediately upon its posthumous publication in , LudwigWittgenstein s Philosophical Investigations was hailed as amasterpiece, and the ensuing years have confirmed this initialassessment Today it is widely acknowledged to be the single mostimportant philosophical work of the twentieth century Philosophical Investigations Philosophical Investigations is an open access, on line, scholarly, collaborative knowledge work It combines images, cartoons, poetry, and of course text to examine philosophy in the widest possible sense Pi has a Weekly Cycle allowing time for reflective, ideally philosophical comments on new posts These are added every Monday, with occasional special posts above all for breaking news Philosophical Investigations Wiley Online Library The most recent Special Issue Aprilof Philosophical Investigations is devoted to the proceedings of the th British Wittgenstein Society conference Read the Issue here The previous Special Issue Aprilwas devoted to the philosophy of Wittgenstein, and related to the concept and practice of verbal persuasion Philosophical Investigations Philosophical Investigations is a monthly podcast all about philosophy with no prior knowledge required In this episode, we look at Pato s definition of knowledge, Gettier cases, and learn about conceptual analysis For transcripts, sources and notes for all episodes, visit medium philosophical investigations Share Download LudwigWittgenstein philosophical investigations by ludwig wittgenstein translated by g e m anscombe basil b l a c k w e l lPDF Philosophical Investigations Download Full Published in , Wittgenstein s Philosophical Investigations had a deeply unsettling effect upon our most basic philosophical ideas concerning thought, sensation and language Its claim that philosophical questions of meaning necessitate a close analysis of the way we use language continues to influence Anglo American philosophy today Philosophical Investigations by Ludwig Wittgenstein Shelves prose style, highly recommended favorites, language logic and linguistics, footnotes to plato, germanophilia If you read first Wittgenstein s Tractatus, and then follow it with his Philosophical Investigations, you will treat yourself to perhaps the most fascinating intellectual development in the history of philosophy First off, this book is only 197 pages long The reason Goodreads says it s 464 pages is because this edition is dual language One side is in German the original text and the other side is in English.Compared to other philosophical readings I ve read in the past, I found this one a little easier to follow I wouldn t call this an easy read though It s quick, but after you read the book you re still think about Wittgenstein s philosophy I think I had an easier time with this compared to than First off, this book is only 197 pages long The reason Goodreads says it s 464 pages is because this edition is dual language One side is in German the original text and the other side is in English.Compared to other philosophical readings I ve read in the past, I found this one a little easier to follow I wouldn t call this an easy read though It s quick, but after you read the book you re still think about Wittgenstein s philosophy I think I had an easier time with this compared to than say Descartes because it smodern.I liked this book mainly because it was about words and langue How does a human process different words compared to other words Why some words we can picture and others we can t see in our minds The second half of this book isabout illusions taking the famous rabbit duck picture I think I like that part a little better.My only real negative part too this book is the translation This is basically the third dual translated book I ve read this year I think this one was better translated, but at times it still felt off to me There were awkward parts reading this when Wittgenstein would be talking about a certain word, but I reading him in English, not German, so I wonder if I m reading what he meant or the translator.Otherwise, Wittgenstein is a good philosopher He makes things semi easier to understand This isn t some life changing self help book or anything, but it will make youaware of how humans think, speak, write, and see I d say this is a good introduction book to read for 20th century philosophy If you read first Wittgenstein s Tractatus, and then follow it with his Philosophical Investigations, you will treat yourself to perhaps the most fascinating intellectual development in the history of philosophy Wittgenstein has the distinct merit of producing, not one, but two enormously influential systems of philosophy systems, over, that are at loggerheads with one another In fact, I wouldn t recommend attempting to tackle this work without first reading the Tractatus, as the Investi If you read first Wittgenstein s Tractatus, and then follow it with his Philosophical Investigations, you will treat yourself to perhaps the most fascinating intellectual development in the history of philosophy Wittgenstein has the distinct merit of producing, not one, but two enormously influential systems of philosophy systems, over, that are at loggerheads with one another In fact, I wouldn t recommend attempting to tackle this work without first reading the Tractatus, as the Investigations is essentially one long refutation and critique of his earlier,conventional, views But because I wish to give a short summary of some of Wittgenstein s later views here, I will first give a little pr cise of the earlier work In the Tractatus, Wittgenstein argues that language has one primary function to state facts Language is a logical picture of the world A given proposition mirrors a given state of affairs This leads Wittgenstein to regard a great many types of utterances as strictly nonsense For example, since ethics is not any given state of affairs, language couldn t possible picture it therefore, all propositions in the form of action X is morally good are nonsense Wittgenstein honestly believed that this solved all the problems of philosophy Long standing problems about causation, truth, the mind, goodness, beauty, etc., were all attempts to use language to picture something which it could not because beauty, truth, etc., are not states of affairs Philosophers only need stop the attempt to transcend the limits of language, and the problems would disappear In his words The solution of the problem of life is seen in the vanishing of this problem After publishing this work and taking leave of professional philosophy as he thought it had been dealt with Wittgenstein began to have some doubts Certain everyday uses of language seemed hard to account for if you regarded language as purely a truth stating tool These doubts eventually culminated in a return to Cambridge, and to philosophy His posthumously published Investigations represents the fullest expression of his later views So what are these views Well, first let us compare the styles of the two works The writing in both the Tractatus and the Investigations is extraordinary Wittgenstein is one of the very finest writers of philosophy, in a league with Nietzsche and Plato He uses almost no technical terms, and very simple sentence structures yet his phrases can stick in the mind for months, years, after first reading them Just the other day, I was having a conversation with my German tutor about learning a foreign language To something I said, she responded, Die Grenzen meiner Spracher bedeuten die Grenzen meiner Welt The limits of my language are the limits of my world a quote from the Tractatus Although the writing in both works is equally compelling, the structures are quite different In the Tractatus, Wittgenstein s argument is unified, complete he even numbers his sentences as primary, secondary, and tertiary in terms of their importance to the argument In that work, we can clearly see the influence of Bertrand Russell s logicism language is reduced to logical propositions, and the argument is organized along logical grounds The reader of the Investigations will encounter something quite different Wittgenstein writes in similarly terse aphorisms he even retains a numbering system for his points each individual point getting its own numbered paragraph The numbering of these paragraphs, however, is cumulative, and does not express anything about their significance to his larger design It is almost as if Wittgenstein wrote down his thoughts on numbered flash cards, and simply constructed the book by moving the flash cards around Unlike the Tractatus, which resolves itself into a unified whole, the Investigations is fragmentary I begin with style because the contrast in writing is a clue to the differences in thought between the earlier and later works Unlike the Tractatus, the Investigations is rather a collection of observations and ideas The spirit of Wittgenstein s later enterprise is anti systematic, rather than systematic Wittgenstein aims not at erecting a whole edifice of thought, but at destroying other edifices Thus, the text jumps from topic to topic, without any explicit connections or transitions, now attacking one common philosophical idea, now another The experience can often be exasperating, since Wittgenstein is being intentionally oblique rather than direct In the words of John Searle, reading the Investigations is like getting a kit for a model airplane without any explanation for how to put it together Let me attempt to put some of these pieces together at least the pieces that were especially useful to me Wittgenstein replaces his old picture metaphor with a new tool metaphor Instead of a word being meaningful because it pictures a fact, the meaning of a word is at least most of the time synonymous with the social use of that word For example, the word pizza does not mean pizza because it names the food rather, it means pizza because you can use the word to order the food at a restaurant So instead of the reference to a type of object being primary, the social use is primary This example reveals a general quality of Wittgenstein s later thought the replacement of the objective subjective dichotomy with the notion of public, social behavior Philosophers have traditionally posited theories of meaning that are either internal or external For example, pizza can mean the particular food either because the word points to the food, or because the word points to our idea, or sensation, of the food Either language is reporting objective states of affairs, or subjective internal experiences Wittgenstein destroys the external argument with a very simple observation Take the word game If the external theory of meaning is correct, the word game must mean what it does because it points to something essential about games But what is the essential quality that makes games games Is there any Some games are not social think of solitaire , some games are not trivial think of the Olympic Games , some games are not consequence free think of compulsive gambling , and some games are social, trivial, and consequence free Is a game something that you play But you also play records and trombones So what is the essential, single quality of game that our word refers to Wittgenstein says there isn t any Rather, the word game takes on different meanings in different social contexts, or modes of discourse Wittgenstein calls these different modes of discourse language games Some examples of language games are that of mimicking, of joking, of mourning, of philosophizing, of religious discourse Every language game has its own rules therefore, any proposed all encompassing theory of language like Wittgenstein s own Tractatus will fail, because it attempts to reduce the irreducible You cannot reduce chess, soccer, solitaire, black jack, and tag to one set of rules the same is true says Wittgenstein of language Another popular theory of meaning is the internal theory This theory holds that propositions mean things by referring to thoughts or sensations When I refer to pain, I am referring to an internal object when I refer to a bunny, I am referring to a set of visual sensations that I have learned to call bunny Wittgenstein makes short work of this argument too Let s start with the argument about sensations Wittgenstein points out that our sensations of an object say, a bunny are not something that we experience, as it were, purely Rather, our interpretations alter the sensations themselves To illustrate this, Wittgenstein uses perhaps the funiest example in all of philosophy, the duck rabbit As you can see, whether you interpret this conglomeration of shapes, lines, and spaces as a rabbit or a duck depends on your interpretation and, if you had never seen a duck or a rabbit in your life, the picture would look rather strange Ernst Gombrich summed up this point quite nicely in his Story of Art If we look out of the window we can see the view in a thousand different ways Which of them is our sense impression The point of all this is that trying to make propositions about sense impressions is like trying to hit a moving target since you only see something a certain way because of certain beliefs or experiences you already hold The argument about inner feelings is equally weak For example, when we learned the word pain, did someone somehow point to the feeling and name it Clearly, that s impossible What actually happens is that we or someone else exhibited normal behavioral manifestations of pain crying, moaning, tearing, clutching the afflicted area The word pain then is used at least originally to refer to pain behavior, and we later use the word pain as a replacement for our infantile pain behavior instead of moaning and clutching our arm, we tell someone we have a pain, and that it s in our arm This shows that the internal referent of the word pain is not fundamental to its meaning, but is derivative of itsfundamental, public use This may seem trivial, but this line of argument is a powerful attack on the entire Cartesian tradition Let me give you an example Ren Descartes famously sat in his room, and then tried to doubt the whole world He then got down to his own ego, and tried to build the work back up from there This line of thought places the individual at the center of the epistemological question, and makes all other phenomena derivative of the fundamental, subjective experience of certainty But let us, as Wittgenstein advises, examine the normal use of the word to know You say, I know Tom, or I know American history If someone asked you, What makes you say you know Tom and American history you might say something like I can pick Tom s face out of a crowd, or I could pass a history test Already, you are giving social criteria for what it means to know In fact, the word to know presupposes the ability to verify something with something that is not yourself You would never verify something you remember by pointing to another thing you remember that would be absurd, since your memory is the thing being tested Instead, you indicate an independent criterion for determining whether or not you know something The social test of knowledge is also explicit in science, since experiments must be repeatable and communicable if a scientist said I know this but I my can t prove it once , that would not be science So because knowing anything apparently requires some kind of social confirmation, the Cartesian project of founding knowledge on subjective experience is doomed from the start Knowing anything requires at least two people since you couldn t know if you were right or wrong without some kind of social confirmation Wittgenstein brings this home with his discussion of private language Let s say you had a feeling that nobody has told you how to name As a result, you suspect that this feeling is unique to yourself, and so you create your own name for it Every time you have the feeling, you apply this made up name to it But how do you know if you re using the name correctly How do you know that every time you use your private name you are referring to the same feeling You can t check it against your memory, since your memory is the very thing being doubted You can t ask somebody else, because nobody else knows this name or has this sensation Therefore, merely thinking you re using the name consistently and actually using the name consistently would be indistinguishable experiences You could never really know Although Wittgenstein s views changed dramatically from the early to the late phase of his career, you can see some intriguing similarities One main current of Wittgenstein s thought is that all philosophical problems result from the misuse of language Compare this statement from the Tractatus, All philosophy is Critique of language , with this, from the Investigations Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language In both works, Wittgenstein is convinced that philosophical problems only arise because of the misuses of language that philosophers either attempt to say the unsayable, or confuse the rules of one language game with another producing nonsense I cannot say I ve thought through Wittgenstein s points fully enough to say whether I agree or disagree with them But, whether wrong or right, Wittgenstein already has the ultimate merit of any philosopher provoking thought about fundamental questions And even if he was wrong about everything, his books would be worth reading for the writing alone Reading Wittgenstein can be very much like taking straight shots of vodka it burns on the way down, it addles your brain, it is forceful and overwhelming but after all the pain and toil, the end result is pleasant elation An offline discussion with Simon Evnine prompted me to reread the first few sections of this book, which I hadn t looked at in ages They inspired the following short story Wang s First Day on the JobWang is a Chinese construction worker who s just arrived in the US He doesn t know a word of English, but he figures he ll get by The important thing is that he knows construction work His English speaking cousin takes him to a building site and manages to get him hired by Wittgenstein Constructi An offline discussion with Simon Evnine prompted me to reread the first few sections of this book, which I hadn t looked at in ages They inspired the following short story Wang s First Day on the JobWang is a Chinese construction worker who s just arrived in the US He doesn t know a word of English, but he figures he ll get by The important thing is that he knows construction work His English speaking cousin takes him to a building site and manages to get him hired by Wittgenstein Construction Inc.The foreman is laying slabs He points to Wang Slab he says Wang has no idea what he s talking about The foreman points to the slabs he s already laid, to the small pile of slabs nearby, and to the large pile of slabs in the corner of the site Slab he says again Wang understands the problem He takes a wheelbarrow and fetches some slabs.The foreman is visibly pleased Evidently Wang s cousin was telling him the truth This guy is hard working and learns fast He points to Wang again Cement he says Wang looks at him The foreman points to the bags of cement in the corner with the slabs Wang gets his wheelbarrow and comes back with a bag of cement The foreman is again pleased He s almost finished laying the slabs Wang brought the first time Slab he says again Wang understands Such a smart guy, the foreman thinks He goes off for another load Cement says the foreman Wang gets that too Slab says the foreman, when Wang s unloaded the new cement Wang s just about to go off with his wheelbarrow, when the foreman stops him He points to one slab, then another White slab red slab , he says White red Wang nods The foreman points to Wang Red slab he says Wang looks at the pile of slabs in the corner He had noticed that those on one side of the pile were red He goes and fetches a load of red slabs He comes back and unloads them Cement he asks Cement, agrees the foreman He s already decided he owes Wang s cousin a beer This unknown Chinese dude is worth his weight in gold Wang s back with the cement Slab, says the foreman Red slab asks Wang White slab, corrects the foreman Wang goes off to get the white slabs He s evenpleased than the foreman He can already see how to structure the next chapter of his dissertation on linguistic philosophy This is the first work by Wittgenstein I ve ever read I ve been terrified of him for years, truth be told I ve read a biography by W.W Bartley III wouldn t you love to be the third I would stick the three I s on the end of my name too, if I was, but unfortunately I m only Trevor the Second The main memory I have of that book is of Wittgenstein waiting to be captured in WWI and him humming the second movement of Beethoven s Seventh That has always been one of my all time favourite piec This is the first work by Wittgenstein I ve ever read I ve been terrified of him for years, truth be told I ve read a biography by W.W Bartley III wouldn t you love to be the third I would stick the three I s on the end of my name too, if I was, but unfortunately I m only Trevor the Second The main memory I have of that book is of Wittgenstein waiting to be captured in WWI and him humming the second movement of Beethoven s Seventh That has always been one of my all time favourite pieces of music and if I was ever in a machine gun nest about to be captured or potentially killed by the enemy, I could think of no better piece of music to be humming The fear has come from the fact Wittgenstein is known as being off the scale brilliant And so I just assumed he would also be too hard to read, with him picking out distinctions I wouldn t be able to see even after he had held them to the light and turned them about.This book is, in fact, quite beautifully written The ideas are complex at times, but he does all he can to make them clear.That said, I also know I ve only skimmed the surface of this one.This is a book about meaning it is a book about how language means and therefore the extent to which language allows communication between people I m going to jump to my understanding of Wittgenstein s answer although, answer isn t the right word and that is that language is always socially situated and so you need to understand the situation to make sense of the language.A philosophical project prior to this was the idea of trying to create a language that could be unambiguous and purely logical one that could start from a series of axioms and then go on to recreate the world with each of its statements being verifiably true This is the sort of idea mentioned in 1984 that for as long as I can know 2 2 4 then, and so on But then, think of the word March You can say, The best time to come to Melbourne is March or you can say, The second movement of the Seventh is a slow march Clearly, the fact march is a homophone is hardly surprising to anyone but Wittgenstein asks if even that is really true Can you say the month in the same way as you say the verb If you are meaning the month, can you say it as the verb The point being that you might not be able to hear any difference between the two uses of the word at all, and yet still feel in your bones that it isn t possible to say exactly the same sound while meaning the other This almost links to something he says comparing language to music an idea I think about a lot He says, Understanding a sentence is muchakin to understanding a theme in music than one might think I think one could spend a lifetime considering that idea and the practical expression of that thought is called poetry, but it is also true of all language, poetry just rubs your nose in it.He makes a similar point elsewhere when he says, one might tell someone if you want to pronounce the salutation Hail expressively, you had better not think of hailstones as you say it All of which makes me think of the difference between effect and affect , which I think brings us close to the idea of the socially situated nature of language I think that, for me anyway, these two words are homophones in English unless I m using affect in the sense of affecting a pose, although the dictionary seems to imply that affect is pronounced in the same way regardless of the meaning Still, as the dictionary also says affect and effect are frequently confused Although, also clearly, they are never confused when we hear them only when we write them No one says, did you hear that he said effect but he obviously meant affect so, why not Or rather, andto the point, why do we distinguish in spelling what we don t seem to distinguish in spoken language A large part of me believes that this distinction in spelling is about stressing social superiority that is, it is oneof the endless rules designed to make clear that one has learnt the rules , that one can display their learning and then, presumably, use this display to imply their higher intelligence These are things that make no difference to meaning, but only to taste and as displays of social position When people get obsessed with the spellings of there , their and they re this is purely about showing off one s academic capital and little else The fact these three words are homophones proves no one ever confuses their meaning when they are spoken No one ever says oh, you said you want their lunch I thought you meant they re lunch The smugness you might feel when you see these mistakes in written form has nothing to do with meaning but rather everything to do with social taste and distinction.I think this is the idea Wittgenstein is alluding to when he says language is really language games not in the least that they are trivial, quite the opposite, the only games we can play in this whole meaning business are language games language derives the most important part of its meaning from the game we are playing at the time, from how it is socially situated When I studied philosophy there would always come a time when someone in the class would say, and in all seriousness, you know, what I see as red might not be anything at all like what you see as red we just don t know I wouldn t be surprised to find out that my face has a special twitch that it performs when I hear someone say this Wittgenstein spends a lot of time talking about pain in this book how it makes no sense for someone to wonder if they, themselves, are in pain, for instance But since pain is like the red idea above, that is, no one else can really feel my pain and so no one can even know if I m not faking it , how can we have ended up having a word for it Surely the word pain has to refer to something and that something has to be a kind of common knowledge , but since I can only feel my pain, how can I know it is common That is, it is as if I have something in a box that you are forbidden to see and you have something in your box that I am forbidden to see how can we know if they are the same thing Wittgenstein does not say it in this way, but I think ultimately these are practical questions, rather than ones that can be solved by logic How do you know that what you see as red, I don t see as green Well, the game that we call, driving our cars, pretty well answers that question There is muchto this book than I can cover and muchthan I ve even understood so much of it reminded me of Saussure, but also Chomsky he even talks of deep and surface grammar But this is a book of questions rather than a book of answers

  • Hardcover
  • 464 pages
  • Philosophical Investigations
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein
  • English
  • 03 January 2019
  • 0631231277

About the Author: Ludwig Wittgenstein

Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein 26 April 1889 29 April 1951 was an Austrian British philosopher who worked primarily in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language.Described by Bertrand Russell as the most perfect example I have ever known of genius as traditionally conceived, passionate, profound, intense, and dominating , he helped inspire two of the twentieth century s principal philosophical movements the Vienna Circle and Oxford ordinary language philosophy According to an end of the century poll, professional philosophers in Canada and the U.S rank both his Tractatus Logico Philosophicus and Philosophical Investigations among the top five most important books in twentieth century philosophy, the latter standing out as the one crossover masterpiece in twentieth century philosophy, appealing across diverse specializations and philosophical orientations Wittgenstein s influence has been felt in nearly every field of the humanities and social sciences, yet there are widely diverging interpretations of his thought.


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