• Banno
    11.6k
    :grin: I guess this is what makes Mww interesting...
  • Shawn
    10.9k
    Should that have been 'Well, the term "use" defines analyticity...' as in, are you claiming Witti defined analyticity in terms of use?

    It's clear from the discussion here and in Sam's thread that hinge propositions need not be analytic. That's their point, really.
    Banno

    In case I misunderstood, hinge propositions don't appear as often in the Investigations as in OC. With the sentiment from what I recall from Wittgenstein to be in performing acts or deeds.

    Unless otherwise states a hinge proposition is a tautology in manner.
  • Banno
    11.6k
    Unless otherwise states a hinge proposition is a tautology in manner.Shawn

    It is otherwise stated. indeed, that's the point of OC.
  • Shawn
    10.9k
    It is otherwise stated. indeed, that's the point of OCBanno

    I know only of Moore's paradox about the chap in his house doubting that its or it is raining outside whilst it is. Is that of any use?
  • Mww
    2.3k
    It's unclear what Mww is doing, especially given that he says "I agree with it" then "I don't"...Banno

    You asked what I found interesting, so I told you. This part of the essay is interesting to me so I give it a thumbs up, that part of the essay is interesting to me as well, but I give it a thumbs down. Simple.

    A guy that takes a metaphor and turns it into a riddle, by the employment of conceptions that contradict each other, re: “foundation walls carried by the whole house” is just wasting himself in doing crappy philosophy.

    But nobody’s gonna buy that he was doing crappy philosophy, so it is given a nice comforting name, language games. The epitome of which is found in Grayling’s characterization of #248, “the clever rendition of the transcendental argument”. The reader is required to substitute the constituents of the proposition, while retaining its intent, arriving at something like....all my rock-bottom convictions are carried by my propositions. So the game is the choice of substitutions, the language is what is substituted, and the result......which has been the case since man dragged woman back to the cave by the hair......obtains as right back to crappy philosophy. Not because no one can make sense of it, but when he does make sense of it by playing language games, he finds it’s all been said before.

    But, you know. Opinions are like noses......
  • RussellA
    91
    As we can communicate with others the concept of blueness of objects around us, even though
    we can only ever observe particular blues, it seems to me that we can communicate with others using a conceptualised public language even though each of us uses a particular private language.

    Private language
    As regards our private language, there is no fixed meaning to the words we use. The particular meaning of a word depends both on context and the life experiences of the person using that word.
    For me, a house is a two-story brick building, for someone else a house may be a single-story timber building. What "house" means to me also changes with time. What I mean by "house" now is different to an hour ago since discovering a loose tile.

    At this moment in time, if I use "house" in conversation, the word "house" can only have one single meaning to me. This particular meaning is unique to me. This is not to say that in an hours time, if I use the word "house" again, its particular meaning to me may be different again.

    What does "mean" mean ? My understanding of the meaning of the concept "house" is just that set of the simpler concepts it is composed of, eventually leading to what Kant called a priori pure intuitions, such as space, time, causation, green, etc.

    Even though the concept "house" is built from a set of simpler concepts, roof, door, window, etc, there is for me still a single meaning of the word "house". The fact that at one moment in time the word "house" only has as single meaning to me, and as meaning is a thought, and thoughts cannot doubt themselves, the meaning of "house" to me is beyond doubt, and therefore beyond the sceptic.

    As Wittgenstein wrote in OC341 "That is to say, the questions that we raise and our doubts depend on the fact that some propositions are exempt from doubt, are as it were like hinges on which those turn."

    Public language
    As regards our public language, even though the person with whom I am in discussion with will have their own particular language game, different to mine, in general we can successfully communicate because of the "family resemblances" between the words we use.

    For example, even though for me I think of a house as two stories, whilst others may think of a house as single story, we both agree that a house is "a building for human habitation, especially one that consists of a ground floor and one or more upper storeys." As this is a definition it is also beyond the sceptic.

    As Wittgenstein wrote OC256 "On the other hand a language game does change with time" and OC65: When language-games change, then there is a change in concepts, and with the concepts the meanings of words change", establishing that there may be more than one language game.

    AC Grayling
    In considering the foundationalism of OC1 and the relativism of OC2, as Wittgenstein wrote in OC99: "And the bank of that river consists partly of hard rock, subject to no alteration or only to an imperceptible one, partly of sand, which now in one place now in another gets washed away, or deposited", I would suggest that successful communication using language needs both a bedrock of a private language game and a public flow of family resemblances between different private language games.

    Rather than agreeing with Grayling that "the exercise in OC is at best partial, at worst self-defeating, with the self-defeat stemming from acceptance of OC2", I would suggest that both themes within OC, foundationalism and relativism, are complementary in successful communication.
  • frank
    6.7k
    A guy that takes a metaphor and turns it into a riddle, by the employment of conceptions that contradict each other, re: “foundation walls carried by the whole house” is just wasting himself in doing crappy philosophy.Mww

    I think the point was that when we explore the metaphor of the house, it turns out that it doesn't work. The house of justified beliefs is apparently floating, not founded on anything.

    The next obvious question is about the vantage point implied here. We appear to be stationed beyond any frame of reference like we are when we think about Relativity. I guess we're watching the parade of worldviews in history, but that can't be right. Any assessment of history is deeply marked by out present worldview.

    I don't think we can escape into the void as suggested here. We're still trapped. And yet, to say that is to imply that we escaped. It's a circle.
  • RussellA
    91
    Grayling in section I wrote that OC1 states that scepticism gets no purchase because our beliefs inhere in a system which rests upon foundational beliefs.

    Grayling also wrote in section I that Wittgenstein's foundational beliefs are justified by a transcendental argument - OC248 "I have arrived at the rock bottom of my convictions. And one might almost say that these foundation-walls are carried by the whole house".

    The transcendental argument - i) X occurs only if Y - ii) X occurs; hence Y.

    Applying Wittgenstein's transcendental argument to Moore.

    Moore says that because he knows "here is one hand" (X) he therefore knows "the existence of external things" (Y ).

    The argument is that the sceptic cannot doubt that "here is one hand" (X) occurs only if there is "the existence of external things" (Y ).

    Moore argues that because his knowledge "here is one hand" (X) has occurred - hence his knowledge "the existence of external things" (Y ).

    However, whilst true that no-one can doubt Moore knowing "here is one hand", the sceptic may rightly doubt the meaning of the word "here", in that does "here" refer to the external world or Moore's mind. If "here" refers to the external world, then the transcendental argument follows. However if "here" refers to Moore's mind, then the transcendental argument fails.

    IE the argument within OC1 for foundational beliefs does not negate the sceptic.
  • Fooloso4
    1.2k
    A prefae to the remarks that follow:

    Wittgenstein: “The language used by philosophers is already deformed, as though by shoes that are too tight” [CV, p. 47].

    Just as shoes that are too tight make it difficult to walk, the language used by philosophers makes it difficult to think.

    I think that what Wittgenstein is trying to show is that there is both something correct and something wrong in the claims of knowledge, certainty, doubt, and skepticism.

    Foundations are not incompatible with relativism. They only become incompatible under certain definitions and with certain expectations. To illustrate the point here are four hinges:

    1) The Earth is flat
    2) The Sun revolves around the Earth
    3) The Earth is a sphere
    4) The Earth revolves around the Sun

    The first two at one time functioned as hinge propositions but were later shown to be false. A great deal hinged on them, a whole system of beliefs that were overturned. But the fact that it they formed a coherent picture of the world should not be overlooked

    A mistake that is frequently made is to treat hinges as if they are all the same. There are propositional hinges and pre-linguistic hinges. Empirical hinges and mathematical hinges. Hinges are fixed, but some are more permanent than others.

    The skeptic is right to the extent that he points to the limits of knowledge, but wrong to doubt everything. The philosopher is right to point out that there are things we know, but wrong in some of the claims about what knowledge entails. Interpreters are misled when they consider only some of the cases Wittgenstein examines and ignore others, and mistaken in their assumption that Wittgenstein is articulating a theory of this or that.

    A striking example of Wittgenstein's skepticism for the Tractatus:

    5.634
    This is connected with the fact that no part of our experience is also a priori.
    Everything we see could also be otherwise.
    Everything we describe at all could also be otherwise.
    There is no order of things a priori.

    6.36311
    It is an hypothesis that the sun will rise tomorrow: and this means that we do not know whether it will rise.

    I don't think he ever rejects this.
  • Banno
    11.6k
    ...pre-linguistic hinges...Fooloso4

    There can be no such thing, because a hinge is a proposition and all propositions can be stated.

    But apart from that, I think we agree.
  • Banno
    11.6k
    Pretty much. There is no "void" to escape into, since it's all more language games.
  • Luke
    1.4k
    See OC 103 and 159.
  • Banno
    11.6k
    "And one might almost say that these foundation-walls are carried by the whole house"; "...almost ...". So the metaphor is not quite right.

    Along side it we find this:
    250. My having two hands is, in normal circumstances, as certain as anything that I could produce in evidence for it.

    and this:
    255. Doubting has certain characteristic manifestations, but they are only characteristic of it in particular circumstances. If someone said that he doubted the existence of his hands, kept looking at them from all sides, tried to make sure it wasn't 'all done by mirrors', etc., we should not be sure whether we ought to call this doubting. We might describe his way of behaving as like the behaviour of doubt, but this game would be not be ours.

    It's an error to see §248 as pivotal. Seen in context, it is part of a lengthy expression of puzzlement, in which Wittgenstein shows us the difficulties involved in the process of doubting - and that doubting is a game we play with words, and so subject to all the indeterminacies and errors he set out in Philosophical Investigations.

    Grayling errs is seeing only the transcendental argument. There is much more.

    ,
  • Banno
    11.6k


    103. And now if I were to say "It is my unshakeable conviction that etc.", this means in the present case too that I have not consciously arrived at the conviction by following a particular line of thought, but that it is anchored in all my questions and answers, so anchored that I cannot touch it.

    159. As children we learn facts; e.g., that every human being has a brain, and we take them on trust. I believe that there is an island, Australia, of such-and-such a shape, and so on and so on; I believe that I had great-grandparents, that the people who gave themselves out as my parents really were my parents, etc. This belief may never have been expressed; even the thought that it was so, never thought.

    What am I to conclude?

    This belief may never have been expressed; but it is not inexpressible.

    If all you mean by "prelinguistic" is "unexpressed" then we have no disagreement.

    Any disagreement is reserved for the oxymoronic "inexpressible proposition".
  • Luke
    1.4k
    Yes, my point was that hinges need not be expressed, and can therefore be non-linguistic. I think I responded to your post before you edited and added "and all propositions can be stated", so it seems we agree.
  • Banno
    11.6k
    OK.

    Well, that's boring.
  • frank
    6.7k
    There is no "void" to escape into, since it's all more language games.Banno

    But how would we know there are language games if there's no vantage point beyond them? Nothing to compare them to?
  • Banno
    11.6k
    Why, by comparing one with the other. Buying apples is different to building with slabs.
  • frank
    6.7k
    Why, by comparing one with the other. Buying apples is different to building with slabs.Banno

    And if those are walls of the same house, how do we know about this kind of house?
  • Banno
    11.6k
    You work it out. Do some thinking for yourself for a change.
  • frank
    6.7k
    You work it out. Do some thinking for yourself for a change.Banno

    If you would have answered, you would have seen the contradiction open up.

    Too bad.
  • Banno
    11.6k
    Odd, that you use that rhetorical structure repeatedly, despite it never working.

    If you think you have a point to make, then make it. If you have nothing to say, say nothing.
  • Fooloso4
    1.2k


    This is why I prefaced my remarks with the quote from Wittgenstein.

    From Stanford:

    "The term ‘proposition’ has a broad use in contemporary philosophy. It is used to refer to some or all of the following: the primary bearers of truth-value, the objects of belief and other “propositional attitudes” (i.e., what is believed, doubted, etc.[1]), the referents of that-clauses, and the meanings of sentences.

    One might wonder whether a single class of entities can play all these roles. If David Lewis (1986, p. 54) is right in saying that “the conception we associate with the word ‘proposition’ may be something of a jumble of conflicting desiderata,” then it will be impossible to capture our conception in a consistent definition.

    The best way to proceed, when dealing with quasi-technical words like ‘proposition’, may be to stipulate a definition and proceed with caution, making sure not to close off any substantive issues by definitional fiat."https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/propositions/

    It is not Moore's statements about his hand that function as a hinge. If Moore's propositions about his hands are hinges then what revolves around them? Most people do not know who Moore is. It makes little or no difference if he claimed to have hands. Not much hinges on the statements that any of us make about having hands.
    It is the fact of our having hands around which things pivot. Our doing things with our hands, our holding tools and other things designed for hands. Even our statements about hands hinge on our having hands.
  • Banno
    11.6k
    Well said. I prefer to use "sentence", in the main, or "assertion" for as needed. I think it was @180 Proof(?) who convinced me that "proposition" had some merit in marking what is shared by "it's raining" and "il pleut"; but only with care. Prior to that I would not use it.

    SO is On Certainty about what it is to show as opposed to tell? Hand-waving as showing what is to be the base from which we will work? That's what is left to articulate, at least for me, in Philosophical Investigations. It's there in Part II, the bit that seldom gets discussed.

    Wonder if it is worth a new thread...?
  • Fooloso4
    1.2k
    SO is On Certainty about what it is to show as opposed to tell?Banno

    Well, not in the Tractarian sense of the terms.

    Wonder if it is worth a new thread...?Banno

    I would be interested.
  • RussellA
    91
    The truth of Moore's "here is one hand" must be considered both as part of language and outside of language (pre-language).

    Davidson's T-sentence "here is one hand" is true IFF here is one hand points out there is the linguistic aspect "here is one hand" and the non-linguistic aspect, ie, the empirical truth of here is one hand. For Davidson's T-sentence, the meaning of a sentence is equivalent to stating its truth conditions, where a theory of meaning for a natural language must be an empirical theory in that it must be empirically verifiable

    Scientists have estimated that the first animals are likely to have emerged around 750 million years ago. Anatomically modern humans begin to appear in the fossil record in Ethiopia some 200,000 years ago - and if were using red ochre pigments for ritual and symbolic purposes, they probably had symbolic language as well. Therefore, language is very recent in the development of sentient animals.

    Language isn't necessary for knowing and believing. As Wittgenstein wrote at the start of Part II of Philosophical Investigations "One can imagine an animal angry, frightened, unhappy, happy, startled. But hopeful ? And why not ?"

    Moore wrote he knew "the existence of external things" because he knew "Here is one hand" - saying "How absurd it would be to suggest that I did not know it, but only believed it, and that perhaps it was not the case!" However, for me, when I raise my hand, although I know "Here is one hand", I only believe in the "existence of external things". Moore's argument is therefore insufficient justification for me.

    I am certain that a cat knows "here is one paw" and "the existence of external things". As Moore having language and the cat not having language know these same things, I would suggest that such knowledge doesn't require language, in that is pre-linguistic. I would also suggest that my doubt about the existence of an external world is a consequence of my having language.

    Without language, I would not know that Moore knew "here is one hand" and the "existence of external things". It is only through language that I know that Moore knew "here is one hand" and the "existence of external things". Language opens up my knowledge from the first to the second and third persons.

    No sceptic could doubt Moore when he says he knows "here is one hand". No sceptic could doubt that Moore knows "here" is in his mind. But the sceptic can doubt that Moore knows "here" is in the external world.

    I look at a picture and, having had experience of real rabbits, I see a rabbit. Knowing language I may say "here is a rabbit", which will only be true IFF here is a rabbit. Another person may look at the same picture and see a duck, and may say "here is a duck", which will only be true IFF here is a duck. IE, in order to establish the truth, language alone is insufficient.
  • Banno
    11.6k
    All the right bits are there, so well done. But they are not put together in an altogether coherent way.

    "Here is a hand" is true IFF here is a hand. What more empirical a demonstration could there be than Moore waving his hand at you?

    And Davidson would certainly not agree that language isn't necessary for knowing and believing. Nor I suspect would Wittgenstein.

    But yes, doubt comes with propositional content and hence is also inherently a linguistic enterprise - a language game.
  • RussellA
    91
    What more empirical a demonstration could there be than Moore waving his hand at you?Banno

    Whilst reading Part II of Philosophical Investigations, I see a "picture-face" on the pages, and as Wittgenstein wrote: "In some respects I stand towards it as I do towards a human face. I can study its expression, can react to it as to the expression of the human face"

    Whilst watching Shrek on TV, I perceive a hand waving at me. If I had concluded that this was a empirical demonstration of an external world of dragons and talking donkeys, I would have been mistaken.

    IE, perceiving a hand waving at me is not necessarily an empirical demonstration of the existence of an external world.

    Davidson would certainly not agree that language isn't necessary for knowing and believingBanno

    I assume that when Davidson refers to language he is referring to human language, and not the primitive language of cats for example, who hiss and spit.

    As regards knowing and believing, personally, I am certain that a cat knows it has paws and knows it sees a mouse, though I cannot prove this.

    As you wrote a while ago " Lilly apparently believed that there was something objectionable out the window, and that her hissing and spitting were imperative in order to drive whatever it was away.", it seems that we are both certain that cats know and believe.

    Wittgenstein is said to believe that thought is tied to language. As language is inherently social there is no inner space in which thoughts can occur. Mental states are intimately connected to a subject's environment, especially their linguistic environment.

    However, Wittgenstein did also write at the start of Part II of PI - "One can imagine an animal angry, frightened, unhappy, happy, startled. But hopeful? And why not? A dog believes his master is at the door. But can he also believe his master will come the day after to-morrow?—And what can he not do here?—How do I do it?—How am I supposed to answer this? Can only those hope who can talk?"

    IE, it seems that Wittgenstein's position that thought is tied to language was not absolute.

    I agree, as Davidson wrote, that language can only have meaning if empirically true.

    However, the cat Lilly, an example of a sentient being not having language, knows there are local strays outside the house and believes there will be an imminent invasion.

    IE, language isn't necessary for knowing and believing.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    8.5k
    And Davidson would certainly not agree that language isn't necessary for knowing and believing. Nor I suspect would Wittgenstein.

    But yes, doubt comes with propositional content and hence is also inherently a linguistic enterprise - a language game.
    Banno

    Oops, posted accidentally.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    8.5k
    And Davidson would certainly not agree that language isn't necessary for knowing and believing. Nor I suspect would Wittgenstein.

    But yes, doubt comes with propositional content and hence is also inherently a linguistic enterprise - a language game.
    Banno

    What I meant to say is that these premises are simply unacceptable, as false, just like your claim that knowledge is shared, which I can't seem to find now. It must have been deleted for low quality. If knowledge was necessarily shared, deception would be impossible. But deception is very real, and it consists of a person hiding what one knows. And since the skeptic can doubt what another is saying, knowing that deception is possible, without any understanding of what the other is saying, doubt does not require a language game.

    The intent of honest communication produces language games. The intent to deceive produces doubt, destroying the possibility of language games.
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