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Philosophische Untersuchungen BnF Philosophische Untersuchungen von Ludwig Wittgenstein Philosophical investigations by Ludwig Wittgenstein Translated by G E M Anscombe Oxford B Blackwell In V p et texte anglais doublant les p VI X et Ac IIIb IIIa Philosophische Untersuchungen Ludwig Philosophische Untersuchungen Frankfurt am Main Suhrkamp Recherches philosophiues Paris Gallimard Philosophical investigations Malden Mass Blackwell publ fr Philosophische Untersuchungen Wittgenstein Not Achetez Philosophische Untersuchungen de Wittgenstein Ludwig ISBN sur fr des millions de livres livrs chez vous en jour Philosophische Untersuchungen Vicipaedia Philosophische Untersuchungen 'Investigationes philosophicae' est magnum opus Ludovici Wittgenstein diu excogitatum multosue per annos repetitis adnotationibus auctum ab auctore fere totum perfectum uod uidem duobus demum annis post decessum auctoris anno cur discipulorum Rush Rhees et Elizabethae Anscombe e prelo prodiit Ludwig Wittgenstein Philosophische Untersuchungen Les Philosophische Untersuchungen donnent en deux bonnes centaines de pages l'essentiel des investigations ue Wittgenstein revenu la philosophie poursuivit pendant vingt ans jusu' la Logiue et langage ordinaire dans les Philosophische L'dition originale du texte allemand Philosophische Untersuchungen Oxford Blackwell tait dj accompagne d'une excellente traduction anglaise Philosophical Investigations C'est le texte anglais ui est devenu canoniue dans les pays anglo saxons Il existe galement une traduction franaise due M Klossowski Investigations philosophiues Paris Gallimard Cette dernire Philosophical Investigations Wikipedia Philosophical Investigations German Philosophische Untersuchungen is a work by the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein The book was published posthumously in Wittgenstein discusses numerous problems and puzzles in the fields of Philosophische Untersuchungen de Es geht in den Philosophischen Untersuchungen im weitesten und engsten Sinne um eben dieses Sprachspiel jenes in den Bekenntnissen des Augustinus angelegte Muster in dem Sprache Bedeutung und Seele verwoben scheint Wrter die den Dingen ihre Bedeutung geben durchaus im jeweiligen Kontext unterschiedlichen Gebrauchs aber auch in der Verbindung zu Wnschen Sprache und ihre Philosophische Untersuchungen – Wikipedia Tractatus logico philosophi Ludwig Wittgenstein Philosophische Untersuchungen Les Philosophische Untersuchungen donnent en deux bonnes centaines de pages l'essentiel des investigations ue Wittgenstein revenu la philosophie poursuivit pendant vingt ans jusu' la veille de sa mort La publication posthume de cette œuvre en fut salue comme un grand vnement par les milieux philosophiues anglo saxons sur lesuels la pense du matre autrichien de Cambridge Philosophische Untersuchungen by Ludwig Ludwig Wittgenstein – schrieb zwei Hauptwerke frh die strenge Logisch philosophische Abhandlung spt die offeneren lebendig in immer neuen Anlufen vorgetragenen Philosophischen Untersuchungen mit denen der Begriff des Sprachspiels in die Welt gekommen ist Man kann fr eine groe Klasse von Fllen der Bentzung des Wortes ›Bedeutung‹ – wenn auch nich Philosophische Untersuchungen edition | Philosophische Untersuchungen by Ludwig Wittgenstein Suhrkamp edition in German Deutsch Aufl Philosophische Untersuchungen Mohr Siebeck Philosophische Untersuchungen Herausgegeben von Gnter Figal und Birgit Recki Die Schriftenreihe Philosophische Untersuchungen vereint seit Beitrge zu verschiedenen Bereichen der Philosophie wie der Epistemologie Sprachphilosophie sthetik und Ethik Der Schwerpunkt der Reihe liegt dabei in phnomenologischen und hermeneutischen Untersuchungen Einschlgige Ludwig Wittgenstein Philosophische Wittgensteins Philosophische Untersuchungen sind mit ihrem philosophiekritischen Feuer ihrer aphoristischen Brillanz ihren griffigen Bildern ihrer argumentativen Verbissenheit zum mehrdeutig verwendbaren Kultbuch geworden das unterschiedliche Bekenntnisse zu Aufgabe und rechtem Stil der Philosophie eint Darber wird leicht vergessen dass die klare Sprache die manifeste Philosophische Untersuchungen AbeBooks Seine beiden Hauptwerke Logisch philosophische Abhandlung Tractatus logico philosophicus und Philosophische Untersuchungen postum wurden zu wichtigen Bezugspunkten zweier philosophischer Schulen des Logischen Positivismus und der Analytischen Sprachphilosophie Sein rund Seiten umfassender philosophischer Nachlass wurde Ende Oktober in die Liste des Philosophische Untersuchungen de Es geht in den Philosophischen Untersuchungen im weitesten und engsten Sinne um eben dieses Sprachspiel jenes in den Bekenntnissen des Augustinus angelegte Muster in dem Sprache Bedeutung und Seele verwoben scheint Wrter die den Dingen ihre Bedeutung geben durchaus im jeweiligen Kontext unterschiedlichen Gebrauchs aber auch in der Verbindung zu Wnschen Sprache und ihre Liste des œuvres de Ludwig Wittgenstein — Wikipdia Philosophische Untersuchungen Langue de rdaction Allemand Priode de rdaction ou Anne de publication dition originale par GEM Anscombe et Rush Rhees Traduction franaise puis Traducteurs franais Pierre Klossowski puis Collectif lisabeth Rigal Franoise Dastur Jean Luc Gautero et Maurice Elie Autres informations Avec le Tractatus le LudwigWittgenstein philosophical investigations by ludwig wittgenstein translated by g e m anscombe basil b l a c k w e l l PHILOSOPHISCHE UNTERSUCHUNGEN Edition und Thematisch behandelt der Einstieg in die Philosophischen Untersuchungen ja bereits vielfltige Aspekte darunter das Lernen der Sprache die Einfhrung des berhmten Sprachspielbegriffes und verschiedenste Metaphern z B Werkzeug Stadt zur Be schreibung der Vorstellung von Sprache Zu Beginn der Philosophischen Untersuchun


10 thoughts on “Philosophische Untersuchungen

  1. says:

    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 critiue 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 précise 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 uote from the Tractatus Although the writing in both works is eually compelling the structures are uite 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 uite 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 obliue 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 uality of Wittgenstein’s later thought the replacement of the objectivesubjective 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 uality 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 conseuence free think of compulsive gambling and some games are social trivial and conseuence free Is a game something that you play? But you also play records and trombones So what is the essential single uality 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 uite 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 eually 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 its fundamental 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 René 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 uestion 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 reuires some kind of social confirmation the Cartesian project of founding knowledge on subjective experience is doomed from the start Knowing anything reuires 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 uniue 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 ‘Critiue 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 uestions 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


  2. says:

    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 storyWang'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 IncThe 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 slabsThe 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 timeSlab 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 even pleased than the foreman He can already see how to structure the next chapter of his dissertation on linguistic philosophy


  3. says:

    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 WW 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 aboutThis book is in fact uite beautifully written The ideas are complex at times but he does all he can to make them clearThat said I also know I’ve only skimmed the surface of this oneThis 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 languageA 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 224 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 much akin 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 itHe 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 freuently 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 and to 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 one of 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 distinctionI 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 uite 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 uestions 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 uestion There is much to this book than I can cover and much than 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 uestions rather than a book of answers


  4. says:

    I couldn't possibly do Philosophical Investigations justice in a review Even though I've read it several times I don't understand than a fraction of it The unworthy thought does sometimes cross my mind that its author didn't understand it either but you understand I'm just jealous because I'm not a Great Philosopher I would so like to be oneAssuming you aren't an aspiring Great Philosopher my advice is not to take this book too seriously it is very frustrating Skim it uickly then check out Philosophical Tribulations by Flash Fiasco and the Uncyclopedia article on Wittgenstein which may help you appreciate the funny side of this unfinished masterpieceI had to try it myself See my review of Biggles of the Camel SuadronI particularly recommend the following passage from the end of Dr Fiasco's article38 The wind cries Mary but it can’t call Bob Why?39 Come down off the peaks of obscure rant ism with your rucksack of little grammatical fictions and just whack balls around on the crouet pitch of mundanity Sometimes a simile makes me puke40 If I say ‘raise your arm’ you know perfectly well what to do and you raise your arm Now suppose I say ‘Want to raise your arm Only don’t really raise it just want to’ Are you uite sure you know what to do in this case? Suppose I say ‘Want to raise your arm tomorrow’ Now suppose I said that last week and say it again next week; is this the same want as before or a different one? ‘Of course all those ueer wants go on in me and now I want to say ’ Oh to hell with what you always want to say Get on with it41 My philosophy can only be understood as bad poetry42 Philosophy is the disease for which it is supposed to be the cure but isn’tWe have met the enemy and they are us The Jewishness of this remark


  5. says:

    As a philosopher Wittgenstein isn't terribly systematic rather shocking for an analytic thinker I would argue that he's an original using analytic thought experiments continental literary examples pragmatic everyday life as a litmus test and Nietzschean aphoristic style attitude problem elements Hell I'm almost loathe to call it philosophy at all It's like a gorgeous dense glittering puzzle box I guarantee that when I read it again somewhere down the line I'll get something entirely different out of it Wittgenstein seems less concerned with presenting a systematic argument than in prodding the reader's mind


  6. says:

    o my crap what a tortured soul Ludwig Wittgenstein was this guy stared into the impenetrable pitch blackness that was the tangled midnight jungle of his own inner existence sharpened his machete and plunged in hacking and flailing and lunging wildly he wrestles chiefly with the concepts of language meaning understanding and states of consciousness part I consists of 693 short numbered sections about 4 to a page this was sent to the publisher but pulled back at the last second five years before LW died after he died his further writings were scraped together and comprise part II loosely divided into 13 short sections plus 1 long one there is no steady development but sometimes long chains of remarks on one topic sometimes sudden changes of topic he often puts statements or uestions in uotation marks as though thrown at him by someone playing devil's advocate it is all extremely personal written very much in the first personthe first half of this book is soooooo much better than the second half i looked in my notebook and found that i jotted 111 notes from the first 120 pages and only 34 from the last 110 pages by the end i was uite happy for it to be over so maybe it doesn't deserve 5 stars but some of it is uite amazing he concludes the introductionIt is not impossible that it should fall to the lot of this work in its poverty and in the darkness of this time to bring light into one brain or another but of course it is not likely I should not like my writing to spare other people the trouble of thinking But if possible to stimulate someone to thoughts of his ownI should have liked to produce a good book This has not come about but the time is past in which I could improve itjust for that he gets 5 stars from me


  7. says:

    This book is too complex to summarize but here is a nutshell If you want to know the meaning of a word consider how the word is used Words are used in a variety of “language games” interactions among people which display “family resemblances” That is there is no single model which shows the essence of how words are used but rather there are many overlapping and differing language games each of which is a different modelEnough summarizing Now to what I am interested in what I called once before “Wittgenstein’s behaviorism” which I didn’t like After reading the Philosophical Investigations I have come to the conclusion that Wittgenstein is not nearly as behavioristic as I had thought In fact he is the most introspective behaviorist that I could imagine but he still ends up being of a behaviorist than I likeWhat do I mean by “behaviorism”? Wittgenstein is a skeptic with regard to meaning in the sense that he does not think that meaning is something we can look inside of ourselves introspect to discover As I summarized above Wittgenstein believes that meaning is revealed by the use of a word in social interactions in other words through language games the behavior of the people using the wordConsider words for what we usually think of as mental phenomena thinking believing remembering knowing and the like How can you tell if someone “knows” that Paris is in France? If you ask him he gives you the right answer If he looks inside of his mind must there be the “knowledge” that Paris is in France? Not necessarily He might not even be thinking of that and even if he were subvocalizing “Paris is in France” is there a mental uality that distinguishes that as knowing? Thus Wittgenstein gives a formidable argument that knowing consists not in any mental phenomenon but in the behavior of giving the right answer In making this argument Wittgenstein has not avoided introspection as a techniue On the contrary he has used it extensively Even when he asks us to imagine a certain language game we are imagining a behavior but we are using introspection to do it Wittgenstein is a master of asking the rhetorical uestion which reveals how we use a particular word in social interactions but each rhetorical uestion reuires a looking into ourselves and our experiencesWittgenstein is not ultimately hostile to our looking into ourselves in fact I think he would regard it as a fruitful part of life But his basic point is that only when our introspected observations can be validated by being part of our interactions with other people our language games only then can the words have consistent and usable meaningsMy uibble with this is that introspection sometimes yields results than Wittgenstein is prepared to recognize As just one example Wittgenstein asks how do we judge time? He says that we might sit for a while and say “About five minutes have passed” and we may be right He says that there is no introspectable experience of time passing or of measuring time But I am not sure if that is right Paul Churchland talks about a pulsing of neuronic signals from the center of the brain to the perimeter and back again This means that our sensory processing echoes and reverberates with these pulses and gives us a sense of time passing If we attend to the experience of this we may be able to discriminate what makes us sensitive to the passage of time and we may be able to do this in a way which can be validated by other people If we are able to make these discriminations through introspection before the science is available to explain it is it still meaningless? That is my rhetorical uestion


  8. says:

    This book was assembled posthumously Wittgenstein having published very little in his lifetime Although usually coupled with the Tractatus it is actually representative of his thought and methodThe virtue of Wittgenstein may be that with him there is no hint of metaphysical conceit or self deception but rather a consistent treatment of reality as in fact various language games language being understood broadly to include everything from the semiotic to the symbolic the denotative to the connotative and games being understood to be intersubjective practices Interestingly however behind this reserve runs a strong mystical sense comparable to Kant's attractionaversion to the Ideas of Reason While he was on the one hand a thoroughgoing critic of sloppy thinking and expression he was also on the other prone to the religio aesthetic flights of the late Heidegger The study of his biography and jottings presents the image of a man at once piercingly clear and personally enigmatic at once a dispeller of illusions and a victim of multiple neuroses While apparently coming across to his redoubtable colleagues including Bertrand Russell as a genius his actual writings are all rather easy going suggesting to me at least that we're all or none of us geniuses


  9. says:

    Exasperating but worth itThe syntax of the Investigations has a jaggedly Asperger’s feel to it Too often Wittgenstein sounds like a malfunctioning android jabbering its core protocols to itself pacing in frantic circles waving its arms in a vexed “Philosophy is the sickness and I’m the cure” manner The loathsome blend of pedantry and vagueness throughout Part 1 hectoring in tone nebulous in definition can be maddening As a communicator Wittgenstein often ranks with Kant or Heidegger pitiless kraut magi of galling opacity Your cognitive muscles will feel the burn Part 2 is rather less punishing with enticing stimulants on nearly every page while large swaths of Part 1 are a morale stunting crawl through banks of fog What’s the deal?Keep in mind that PI is a posthumous medley of notes and fragments that never benefitted from a final rigorous copyedit I’ve also been told that the recent 2009 translation by Peter Hacker and Joachim Schulte is less stodgy and peeving than the classic Anscombe version An editor might be tempted to abridge Part 1 to a Best Of showcase for non academics but the moments of profundity strewn throughout that portion 75% of the book probably reuire the groundwork of the wearying fragments to shore up Wittgenstein’s visionSo what’s the payoff? Well a panoptic voyage into speech and semantics that’s both rousing emancipatory and at times painfully obvious The latter as we’ve washed ashore in a postphilosophical age that takes so much of Wittgenstein for granted but also because his expository style can read like an amnesiac head trauma patient attempting to reconstruct language use from scratch poking and prodding at kindergarten level grammar to explore how situational semantics weaves and bends through our intricately embodied moment to moment actualities all tempered by an uneasy nostalgia for positivist puzzles boxed in the attic radiant antiues that gave so much faux luster to our mental livesWittgenstein wants us to detox to scrape out the arterial plaue of “false problems” Fundamental confusions about language use he fears have staggered us into an ersatz world of epistemic mazes and circular obstacle courses a bad Philip K Dick novel of cloying simulacra PI aims to unjack us from this Matrix wrench us back down into our bodies a homecoming to and abashed rediscovery of the everyday Though Darwin is never mentioned in PI Wittgenstein’s corrosive presence in the philosophical canon is comparable to evolutionary models preempting theological sleight of hand Post theist armchair philosophy in Wittgenstein’s eyes is still beholden to the system erecting wankfest of priestly theorizing To reiterate a familiar story we’ve displaced ancient Platonic illusions into the matrices of “rationalist” projects which refuse to accept that our universe is non linguistic and so can never be mirrored or simulated by our anthropic earthbound syntax Our lives are short and our knowledge is crimped and narrow It’s best we have the humility to concede our limits pending some dubious self immolating “transhumanist” upgrade As with Kant wisdom often means knowing what we can’t do“426 A picture is conjured up which seems to fix the sense unambiguously The actual use compared with that suggested by the picture seems like something muddied Here again we get the same thing as in set theory the form of expression we use seems to have been designed for a god who knows what we cannot know; he sees the whole of each of those infinite series and he sees into human consciousness For us of course these forms of expression are like pontificals which we may put on but cannot do much with since we lack the effective power that would give these vestments meaning and purpose In the actual use of expressions we make detours we go by side roads We see the straight highway before us but of course we cannot use it because it is permanently closed” pg 108 Blackwell 2001To prime yourself download the two part Partially Examined Life podcast “Wittgenstein on Language”Episode #55 15307 #56 15301 roundtable discussion throughout is very good My only niggle pertains to one of the participants bungling the renowned Piero Sraffa anecdote mistakenly attributing it to GE Moore The fact that the remaining scholars claim never to have heard of it is eually strange It’s at least as famous as the Karl Popper fireplace poker episode – Wittgenstein even thanks Sraffa in his Preface Oh wellPHILOSOPHICAL INVESTIGATIONS translated by GEM AnscombeA for substantive vision and historical importance C for expository claritySpecial bonus trackWas Wittgenstein Right? by Paul Horwich NYU The Stone New York Times Opinionator blog 3313


  10. says:

    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 EnglishCompared 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 uick 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's modernI 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 is about illusions taking the famous rabbit duck picture I think I like that part a little betterMy 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 translatorOtherwise 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 you aware of how humans think speak write and see I'd say this is a good introduction book to read for 20th century philosophy