THE FATE OF ANALYSIS, #32–A Map of Wittgenstein’s “Philosophical Investigations.”
By Robert Hanna
TABLE OF CONTENTS
X.3 A Map of the Investigations
X.4 The Critique of Pure Reference: What the Builders Did
XI. Wittgenstein and the Investigations 2: §§28–242
XI.1 The Picture Theory and the Vices of Simplicity
XI.2 Wittgenstein’s Argument Against The Picture Theory: A Rational Reconstruction
XI.3 Understanding and Rule-Following
XI.4 Wittgenstein’s Rule-Following Paradox: The Basic Rationale
XI.5 Wittgenstein’s Rule-Following Paradox: A Rational Reconstruction
XI.6 Kripkenstein’s Rule-Following Paradox: Why Read Kripke Too?
XI.7 Kripkenstein’s Rule-Following Paradox: A Rational Reconstruction
XI.8 How to Solve The Paradox: Wittgenstein’s Way and Kripkenstein’s Way
XI.8.1 Wittgenstein and The Rule-Following Paradox: A Rational Reconstruction
XI.8.2 Kripkenstein and The Rule-Following Paradox: A Rational Reconstruction
XII. Wittgenstein and the Investigations 3: §§242–315
XII.1 What is a Private Language?
XII.2 The Private Language Argument: A Rational Reconstruction
XII.3 Is Wittgenstein a Behaviorist? No.
XII.4 Wittgenstein on Meanings, Sensations, and Human Mindedness: A Rational Reconstruction
XIII. Wittgenstein and the Investigations 4: §§316–693 & 174e-232e
XIII.1 Linguistic Phenomenology
XIII.2 Two Kinds of Seeing
XIII.3 Experiencing the Meaning of a Word
XIII.4 The Critique of Logical Analysis, and Logic-As-Grammar
XIV. Coda: Wittgenstein and Kantianism
XIV.1 World-Conformity 1: Kant, Transcendental Idealism, and Empirical Realism
XIV.2 World-Conformity 2: Wittgenstein, Transcendental Solipsism, and Pure Realism
XIV.3 World-Conformity 3: To Forms of Life
XIV.4 The Critique of Self-Alienated Philosophy 1: Kant’s Critical Metaphilosophy
XIV.5 The Critique of Self-Alienated Philosophy 2: Wittgensteinian Analysis as Critique
XV. From Quine to Kripke and Analytic Metaphysics: The Adventures of the Analytic-Synthetic Distinction
XV.1 Two Urban Legends of Post-Empiricism
XV.2 A Very Brief History of The Analytic-Synthetic Distinction
XV.3 Why the Analytic-Synthetic Distinction Really Matters
XV.4 Quine’s Critique of the Analytic-Synthetic Distinction, and a Meta-Critique
XV.5 Three Dogmas of Post-Quineanism
XVI. Analytic Philosophy and The Ash-Heap of History
XVI.1 Husserl’s Crisis and Our Crisis
XVI.2 Why Hasn’t Post-Classical Analytic Philosophy Produced Any Important Ideas in the Last Thirty-Five Years?
XVI.3 On Irad Kimhi’s Thinking and Being, Or, It’s The End Of Analytic Philosophy As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
XVI.4 Thinking Inside and Outside the Fly-Bottle: The New Poverty of Philosophy and Its Second Copernican Revolution
This installment contains section X.3.
But you can also read or download a .pdf version of the complete book HERE.
X.3 A Map of the Investigations
In the Preface to the Investigations, Wittgenstein beautifully describes the non-linear, non-Tractarian, non-classical logical structure of his book.
The thoughts that I publish in what follows are the precipitate of philosophical investigations which have occupied me for the last sixteen years. They concern many subjects: the concepts of meaning, of understanding, of a proposition, of logic, the foundations of mathematics, states of consciousness, and other things…. It was my intention at first to bring all this together in a book whose structure I pictured differently at different times. But the essential thing was that the thoughts should proceed from one subject to another in a natural order and without breaks. After several unsuccessful attempts to weld my results together into such a whole, I realized that I should never succeed. The best that I could write would never be more than philosophical remarks; my thoughts were soon crippled if I tried to force them on in any single direction against their natural inclination. — And this was, of course, connected with the very nature of the investigation. For this compels us to travel over a wide field of thought criss-cross in every direction. — The philosophical remarks in this book are, as it were, a number of sketches of landscapes which were made in the course of these long and involved journeyings. The same or almost the same points were always being approached afresh from different directions, and new sketches made. Very many of these were badly drawn or uncharacteristic, marked by all the defects of a weak draughtsman. And when they were rejected a number of tolerable ones were left, which now had to be arranged and sometimes cut down, so that if you looked at them you could get a picture of the landscape. Thus this book is really only an album. (PI, ixe)
The logical structure of the Investigations is analagous to the structure of a landscape: it cannot be digitally computed and recursively generated, like a decidable theorem in classical truth-functional logic or the monadic fragment of first-order classical predicate logic.
But at the same time, it’s not in any way amorphous.
On the contrary, it is replete with rich logical structure of a non-computable and indeed even unprovable kind.
Its non-classical logical structure can still be mapped.
In light of that fact, and more explicitly now, I want to say that the basic argument- structure of the Investigations has seven distinct logical parts or “regions,” as follows.
First, the main thesis of the book is that linguistic meaning is use, where the concept of use is the conjunction of the sub-concepts of
(i) word-function, or the normatively rule-governed role of words in the whole language, and
(ii) word-application, or the actual deployment of words by the linguistic acts of individual users, in communities, in context.
Second, the fact of linguistic use is then held to be explained by two more primitive facts:
(i) language-games, or basic human linguistic practices, and
(ii) forms of life, or actual living human beings in their actual human communities and their historically-embedded social practices, considered as unified normatively rule- governed bearers of meaning and purpose.
Third, the use theory is then indirectly demonstrated by rejecting four inadequate semantic theories:
(i) Referentialism or ‘Fido’-Fido Semantics,
(ii) The Picture Theory,
(iii) Rule-Based Semantics, and
(iv) Solipsistic Semantics.
Referentialism says that the meaning of a word is nothing but its reference.
Pure Referentialism says that all names are proper names, and the meaning of every basic proper name in a basic proposition (whether a basic singular term or a basic general term — aka, a “concept-word”) is nothing but the referent or bearer of the name, i.e., an absolutely simple individual concrete object or a definite abstract concept or universal.
Wittgenstein‘s rejection of Pure Referentialism primarily appeals to critical arguments based on negative existential propositions and family resemblance concepts.
The Picture Theory says that the meaning of a sentence is nothing but how it isomorphically models an atomic fact or else truth-functional compoundings of such sentences.
Wittgenstein‘s rejection of the Picture Theory primarily appeals to an argument against absolute simples from the impossibility of unique decompositions of macrophysical objects.
And Rule-Based Semantics says that the meaning of any linguistic sign is nothing but a rule for manipulating or operating with that sign in a logical or mathematical calculus, or other non-formalized language-system.
Wittgenstein‘s rejection of Rule-Based Semantics primarily appeals to the Rule Following Paradox.
Solipsistic Semantics says that the meaning of a name, sentence, or other linguistic sign is nothing but a conscious mental representation or “idea” in the mind of an individual speaker of a language.
Wittgenstein‘s rejection of Solipsistic Semantics primarily appeals to The Private Language Argument.
Fourth, the rejections of the four inadequate semantic theories then lead correspondingly to five positive Wittgensteinian theses about meaning:
(1) The meaning of a singular term is a partial function — or a specific contingently-determined set of mappings or “routes” — from language-games employing singular terms and forms of life onto individual objects, and each of these “routes” is literally part of the meaning itself.
(2) Concepts, the meanings of predicate expressions, are family-resemblance networks.
(3) Propositions are pictures of facts only internally to propositional language games and under a relativized ontology of object-samples.
(4) Rule-following is externally normatively justified by communal rule-following practices to which the rule-follower belongs non-cognitively by an “agreement” or Übereinstimmung with other participants in that language-game, which in turn supervenes on the deeper fact that human speakers are necessarily practically and vitally embedded in some or another form of life.
(5) Semantic anti-individualism and semantic externalism both hold for sensation-language.
Fifth, the two positive theses under (5) then conjointly lead to a further four positive theses about the mind:
(5.1) the token privacy of sensations,
(5.2) essential embodiment,
(5.3) sensation personalism, and
(5.4) an activist phenomenology of mental states and processes.
Sixth, these four theses, in turn, conjointly lead to the linguistic phenomenology of seeing (or visual experience), which also has four theses:
(1) There is a basic distinction between direct seeing (seeing-this) and interpretive seeing (seeing-as).
(2) Interpretive seeing requires direct seeing.
(3) Interpretive seeing requires conceptual abilities.
(4) The phenomenon of aspect-blindness entails that direct seeing can occur without any sort of interpretive seeing, hence direct seeing is non-conceptual.
Seventh and finally, these four theses are then extended to the linguistic phenomenology of experiencing the meaning of a word, which completes the whole account by returning full-circle to the meaning-is-use thesis and demonstrating some further positive theses about the concept of use.
AGAINST PROFESSIONAL PHILOSOPHY REDUX 507
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