• Sam26
    2.6k
    s it that Wittgenstein rejects Moore’s language-game or that he is showing Moore what a language game is? Does the idea of rejecting a language-game make sense?Joshs

    We know that there are many different language-games, and some of these language-games, (e.g. religious and political language-games) don't always reflect the facts. So I think Wittgenstein is pointing out how Moore's language-game fails to give a proof of the external world (Although, to be fair, Witt doesn't speak of Moore's argument in terms of a language-game). Moreover, Moore knows what a language-game is because he sat in on many of Wittgenstein's lectures.

    Your 2nd question is something I thought about for a long time. I think we reject certain language-games all the time because they often don't reflect facts. So yes, I think it does make sense. In fact, it's important that we recognize that certain language-games don't reflect reality. There are constant battles between competing language-games, i.e., which language-games will prevail in our systems of belief.
  • Joshs
    5.3k
    We know that there are many different language-games, and some of these language-games, (e.g. religious and political language-games) don't always reflect the facts.Sam26

    I would say language-games never reflect the facts. Rather, facts only get their sense within language-games.
  • Sam26
    2.6k
    Why would you say that? There are plenty of language-games that reflect facts or states-of-affairs. Many of the language-games of science reflect facts, as do other areas of study.
  • Joshs
    5.3k


    There are plenty of language-games that reflect facts or states-of-affairs. Many of the language-games of science reflect facts, as do other areas of study.Sam26

    Apparently you’re not a fan of Kuhn and Feyerabend.
  • Fooloso4
    5.7k
    I would say language-games never reflect the facts. Rather, facts only get their sense within language-games.Joshs

    From Wittgenstein's Zettel:

    Do I want to say, then, that certain facts are favorable to the formation of certain concepts; or again unfavorable? And does experience teach us this? It is a fact of experience that human beings alter their concepts, exchange them for others when they learn new facts; when in this way what was formerly important to them becomes unimportant, and vice versa. (It is discovered e.g. that what formerly counted as a difference in kind, is really only a difference in degree.
    (352)
  • Joshs
    5.3k



    I would say language-games never reflect the facts. Rather, facts only get their sense within language-games.
    — Joshs

    From Wittgenstein's Zettel:

    Do I want to say, then, that certain facts are favorable to the formation of certain concepts; or again unfavorable? And does experience teach us this? It is a fact of experience that human beings alter their concepts, exchange them for others when they learn new facts; when in this way what was formerly important to them becomes unimportant, and vice versa. (It is discovered e.g. that what formerly counted as a difference in kind, is really only a difference in degree”.


    I like Jasmin Trachtler’s reading of the above quote:

    “…even if grammar or concept formation corresponds to
    general facts of nature, this does not mean that grammar
    can be explained causally, nor that it can be justified by
    “nature”—it merely means that grammar does not seem to
    be completely random in a trivial sense. Grammar is, as
    Wittgenstein says, autonomous (cf. BT 236r)—autonomy,
    however, is not absolute independence as it is not a
    “complete detachment.” We might have as well other terms
    and make other conceptual distinctions. As Wittgenstein
    emphasises, both in the 1930s and in his later
    investigations, our concepts cannot be justified as the
    “right” ones or as corresponding to “nature”: they are
    neither “reasonable” nor “unreasonable,” neither “right”
    nor “wrong.” As he puts it, the belief that “our concepts are
    the only reasonable ones consists in […] [t]hat it doesn’t
    occur to us that others are concerned with completely
    di!erent things, and that our concepts are connected with
    what interests us, with what matters to us” (LW II, 46).
    With this, however, Wittgenstein does not want to set up a
    hypothesis:

    I am not saying: if such-and-such facts of nature
    were different, people would have different
    concepts (in the sense of a hypothesis). Rather: if
    anyone believes that certain concepts are
    absolutely the right ones, and that having
    di!erent ones would mean not realizing
    something that we realize—then let him imagine
    certain very general facts of nature to be
    di!erent from what we are used to, and the
    formation of concepts di!erent from the usual
    ones will become intelligible to him. (PPF, xii,
    366)
  • Sam26
    2.6k
    Apparently you’re not a fan of Kuhn and Feyerabend.Joshs

    I'm not sure what specifically you're referring to.
  • Banno
    23.5k
    has an idealist bent, and so is perhaps suggesting that any language game will do.

    There's a pinch of truth in saying language games do not reflect the facts, since the facts, being truths, are a part of the language games around truth. Better perhaps to say that the games are embedded in the world – so the builder's game inherently involves slabs and blocks and cannot be played without them.

    There's also the ill-informed supposition that language games only ever involve language, which even a cursory reading will evict.

    While he shows that Moore's use of "know" in "I know this is my hand" is problematic, I suspect Wittgenstein pretty much agreed with the argument Moore presents against idealism. "Here is a hand" shows that there is stuff around us to be dealt with, providing a foundation, a certainty. Again, there have to be slabs in order to engage in the builder's game
  • unenlightened
    8.9k
    I've always related this stuff to justification. To 'know' is to have justification, which is to have evidence. so the problem with knowing that this is a hand is that the evidence is this: *waves hand, slaps the sceptic hard on the cheek*.

    And yet one can be deceived about one's own hand. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3125296/#:~:text=The%20Rubber%20Hand%20Illusion%20(RHI,the%20participant%27s%20own%20occluded%20hand.

    What is certain is not what is known or what is necessarily true, but what one cannot doubt in a particular context, which may be doubtful in another context. if I am not typing on a keyboard, you can safely ignore my post for the nonsense it surely must then be, unless it be from the hand of God.
  • Fooloso4
    5.7k


    As I read On Certainty it is not that one cannot doubt but that we do not doubt.

    We are certain that the Earth revolves around the sun. In earlier times people were certain that the Sun revolved around the Earth. The Copernican Revolution was not simply a matter of exchanging places. It is that man is displaced from the center.

    140. We do not learn the practice of making empirical judgments by learning rules: we are taught
    judgments and their connexion with other judgments. A totality of judgments is made plausible to
    us.
    141. When we first begin to believe anything, what we believe is not a single proposition, it is a
    whole system of propositions. (Light dawns gradually over the whole.)
    142. It is not single axioms that strike me as obvious, it is a system in which consequences and
    premises give one another mutual support.

    152. I do not explicitly learn the propositions that stand fast for me. I can discover them
    subsequently like the axis around which a body rotates. This axis is not fixed in the sense that
    anything holds it fast, but the movement around it determines its immobility.

    305. Here once more there is needed a step like the one taken in relativity theory.
  • Banno
    23.5k
    And yet one can be deceived about one's own hand. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3125296/#:~:text=The%20Rubber%20Hand%20Illusion%20(RHI,the%20participant%27s%20own%20occluded%20hand.unenlightened

    I can't decide if this shows hands to be illusions or reinforces their corporeality...
  • chiknsld
    314
    Existence creates its own set.

    This seems to be what most people for whatever reason, simply cannot intuit on the surface of it. And yet mathematics is entirely arbitrary and works just fine. :grin:
  • Sam26
    2.6k
    While he shows that Moore's use of "know" in "I know this is my hand" is problematic, I suspect Wittgenstein pretty much agreed with the argument Moore presents against idealism. "Here is a hand" shows that there is stuff around us to be dealt with, providing a foundation, a certainty. Again, there have to be slabs in order to engage in the builder's gameBanno

    I would say it's more than problematic. One cannot doubt the very thing that gives rise to knowing and doubting. So, I would say in many cases (especially in Moore's case) that his use of know is senseless. Wittgenstein seems to say that Moore's use of "I know..." is more like a conviction (OC 86, 91, 103). Witt is sympathetic to Moore's argument, but he implies throughout OC that Moore's use of know is not epistemological. It's not epistemological because Moore's use goes beyond the language-game of knowing, Bedrock beliefs are what ground our epistemological language-games. Justification comes to an end with certain kinds of bedrock beliefs, i.e., animal beliefs or prelinguistic beliefs. Of course not all bedrock beliefs are prelinguistic, some are intrinsic to many of our language-games.

    "The truths which Moore says he knows, are such as, roughly speaking, all of us know, if he knows them (OC 100 - my emphasis)," which he doesn't.
  • Sam26
    2.6k
    Prior to language there have to be beliefs that ground us. Just as prior to playing a game of chess there are beliefs that are necessary to the game. Beliefs in the chess board, pieces, and the rules ground the game. There would be no chess game without this grounding. There would just be meaningless moves.
  • FrancisRay
    400
    Moore must think sceptics are idiots. As if they;re going to read his argument and go 'Oh yes, I have hands, I hadn't notice that before'.

    About as useful as Berkley kicking a rock.
    .
  • Fooloso4
    5.7k
    "The truths which Moore says he knows, are such as, roughly speaking, all of us know, if he knows them (OC 100 - my emphasis)," which he doesn't.Sam26

    I interpret this differently. Wittgenstein is drawing our attention to the fact that philosophers treat claims of knowledge and certainty as if they are metaphysical claims, and this leads them to confusion. Both the skeptic and those like Moore who argue against skepticism suffer from this. They put demands and requirements on these terms that do not exist outside the puzzles they create.
  • Sam26
    2.6k
    I interpret this differently. Wittgenstein is drawing our attention to the fact that philosophers treat claims of knowledge and certainty as if they are metaphysical claims, and this leads them to confusion. Both the skeptic and those like Moore who argue against skepticism suffer from this. They put demands and requirements on these terms that do not exist outside the puzzles they create.Fooloso4

    I would agree that many philosophers do treat knowing as if it's a metaphysical claim (many people do this, not just professional philosophers), at least that's what their use of know amounts to. However, what Moore is appealing to, is a mental state of knowing (he does this without realizing it, or if he does realize it, it's an appeal to what we all take to be a self-evident truth or common sense), which is why Wittgenstein talks about Moore's propositions as an expression of a conviction. We see this from the beginning of OC; "[f]rom it seeming to me-or to everyone-to be so, it doesn't follow that it is so. Moore is appealing to our common sense, i.e., if we don't know this (Here is a hand.), then what do we know? This is why Moore's argument is so appealing. How can anyone doubt that this is a hand, and that we know it's a hand? Moore's proof would be something like the following:

    1) Moore knows that he has two hands.
    2) Moore makes the inference from the fact that he has two hands, to the conclusion that there exists an external world.
    3) Hence, Moore knows that an external world exists.

    It follows necessarily. Especially if we do know these Moorean propositions, which is why Wittgenstein says at the very beginning of OC, "If you do know that here is one hand, we'll grant you all the rest (OC 1)." However, does Moore know, and can the skeptic doubt these Moorean propositions. Wittgenstein thought that Moore's papers were some of his best work, but what I think appealed to Wittgenstein was the nature of these Moorean propositions (so-called bedrock propositions) and there role in epistemology. They ground our epistemology in important ways, without them there would be no knowing and no doubting. The language-game of knowing and doubting is necessarily dependent on bedrock beliefs.

    We often appeal to our convictions as if they are a form of knowing, especially if they tend to be the convictions of most people. This is one of the reasons why ideology and religious (or any group set of beliefs) beliefs have so much power. The whole group, to one degree or another, is under the spell of their subjective convictions.

    [Wittgenstein refers to certainty in two important ways: First, our subjective certainty, which often refers to our convictions, and second, objective certainty, which is just a synonym for "I know."]

    This isn't so much about metaphysical claims, unless you are referring to mental states, as it is about the mental state of knowing and the misuse of the concept know. Consider OC 6, "[n]ow, can one enumerate what one knows (like Moore)? Straight off like that, I believe not.--For otherwise the expression "I know" gets misused. And through this misuse a queer and extremely important mental state seems to be revealed." Two things here are important to note, as already mentioned, misuse of the word know and one's mental state (consider OC 42).
  • Sam26
    2.6k
    Moore must think sceptics are idiots. As if they;re going to read his argument and go 'Oh yes, I have hands, I hadn't notice that before'.FrancisRay

    Actually Moore is appealing to what seems to be obvious to all of us, viz, having knowledge of his hands. The skeptic makes the same mistake that Moore makes, viz., not only is there no knowing these Moorean propositions, but there is no doubting them either. The radical skeptic is even further out on the limb than Moore.
  • Sam26
    2.6k
    "For "I know" seems to describe a state of affairs which guarantees what is known, guarantees it as a fact. One always forgets the expression "I thought I knew (OC 12)."

    We often use the phrase "I know" as an expression of our conviction that we know, but this is not an epistemological use of the phrase. This is where there is confusion. An epistemological use of know must have an objective justification, i.e., it must be demonstrated that you indeed do know. Whereas using the phrase "I know" as an expression of one's inner subjective state (feeling or intuition) is not epistemological. The use of "I know" as Moore is using it, is just an expression of a belief, it's not knowledge.

    It's in the demonstration of one's knowledge that we often find that what we thought we knew (this is where many are confused about Gettiers e.g.s) is just false. What we believe we know doesn't guarantee anything. Much of what we claim to know is probabilistic, and it can turn out later that some new fact overturns what we believe we know. Hence, I thought I knew. The definition of knowledge as JTB is necessarily the case, but your expression of I know is not necessarily the case. So Wittgenstein's point about the expression "I thought I knew" is an important epistemological point that is also associated with the use of doubt in terms of your claims.

    The use of "I know" and "I doubt" is parasitic on the reality in back of our language-games. This is why bedrock beliefs are foundational to knowing and doubting. And it's also why some bedrock beliefs are outside our epistemology. Bedrock beliefs are neither true nor justified, but they are beliefs of a certain kind. Moreover, what's bedrock can change from context to context. For e.g. "I know I have hands" in Moore's context is nonsense or senseless, but in another context it can make perfect sense. Where it does make sense is where it's appropriate to doubt.

    "It's not a matter of Moore's knowing that there's a hand there, but rather that we should not understand him if he were to say 'Of course I may be wrong about this". We should ask "What is it like to make such a mistake as that?'--e.g. what's it like to discover that it was a mistake (OC 32)?"

    The mistake and the phrase "I thought I knew" are intimately connected.
  • Fooloso4
    5.7k
    However, what Moore is appealing to, is a mental state of knowingSam26

    I would include this idea of knowledge as a mental state as metaphysical.

    This isn't so much about metaphysical claims, unless you are referring to mental states ...Sam26

    I consider the claim that there are mental states of knowing as a metaphysical claim. Do we have a particular mental state because we know or do we know because we have a particular mental state. Does knowing cause the mental state or does the mental state cause us to know? Is there a different mental state for knowing I have hands that differ from the mental state of knowing I have feet or fingers?

    It is not clear to me whether you are accepting or rejecting an appeal to mental states.

    42: To think that different states must correspond to the words "believe" and "know"
    would be as if one believed that different people had to correspond to the word "I" and the name
    "Ludwig", because the concepts are different.

    230. We are asking ourselves: what do we do with a statement "I know..."? For it is not a question of
    mental processes or mental states.

    356. My "mental state", the "knowing", gives me no guarantee of what will happen.


    "[f]rom it seeming to me-or to everyone-to be so, it doesn't follow that it is so.Sam26

    For otherwise the expression "I know" gets misused. And through this misuse a queer and extremely important mental state seems to be revealed."Sam26

    From it seeming to be that there is this queer and extremely important mental state it does not follow that it is so that there is this state. It arises from the misuse of the expression "I know".

    Moorean propositions (so-called bedrock propositions) and there role in epistemology. They ground our epistemology in important ways,Sam26

    I don't think Moore's claims that he had hands is a bedrock proposition and do not see how it grounds or plays a role in epistemology. It may have its place in his attempt to refute skepticism but it most contexts it is odd and out of place. It is an example of philosophers being puzzled by the puzzles they create.

    The puzzles occur as a result of an analysis of knowledge it terms of an analysis of propositions:

    359. But that means I want to conceive it [certainty] as something that lies beyond being justified or unjustified; as it were, as something animal.

    475. I want to regard man here as an animal; as a primitive being to which one grants instinct but
    not ratiocination. As a creature in a primitive state. Any logic good enough for a primitive means of
    communication needs no apology from us. Language did not emerge from some kind of
    ratiocination [Raisonnement].

    476. Children do not learn that books exist, that armchairs exist, etc.,etc. - they learn to fetch books,
    sit in armchairs, etc.,etc.
    Later, questions about the existence of things do of course arise
  • creativesoul
    11.6k
    The puzzles occur as a result of an analysis of knowledge it terms of an analysis of propositions:Fooloso4

    I do not think that this can be overstated. Although setting it out requires time - that I do not currently have - and would be a distraction from the thread topic and turn into a critique of Witt's approach. Coincidentally, the same critique would apply to academic philosophy in general from the Enlightenment through mid 20th century. For example, the same critique can render Gettier toothless, for it is in treating beliefs as equivalent to propositions that gives rise to Gettier.
  • Sam26
    2.6k
    I consider the claim that there are mental states of knowing as a metaphysical claim. Do we have a particular mental state because we know or do we know because we have a particular mental state. Does knowing cause the mental state or does the mental state cause us to know? Is there a different mental state for knowing I have hands that differ from the mental state of knowing I have feet or fingers?

    It is not clear to me whether you are accepting or rejecting an appeal to mental states.
    Fooloso4

    My point about mental states is that Witt believed that Moore's statement, "I know I have hands," is more about his mental conviction or belief than an expression of what he knows. I would reject, and I believe Witt rejects any epistemological view that appeals to some mental state as a way knowing. This seems clear. Using know in this way, as I pointed out, amounts to an expression of a belief without an objective justification. I thought I was clear on this point.

    From it seeming to be that there is this queer and extremely important mental state it does not follow that it is so that there is this state. It arises from the misuse of the expression "I know".Fooloso4

    It's seems clear that there are mental states that are generated by beliefs, but there are not mental states that correspond with knowing as opposed to believing. I believe there is a state of belief and that these states come out in our actions (linguistic, tone of voice, the way we gesticulate, etc). The subject of mental states can take us far afield, so I'll leave it at that unless there's a need for clarity.

    I don't think Moore's claims that he had hands is a bedrock proposition and do not see how it grounds or plays a role in epistemology. It may have its place in his attempt to refute skepticism but it most contexts it is odd and out of place. It is an example of philosophers being puzzled by the puzzles they create.Fooloso4

    This seems clearly incorrect, viz., that Moore's statement that he knows he has hands is not a bedrock proposition. In fact, probably all the Moorean propositions given in his two papers are paradigm cases of bedrock propositions (or hinge-propositions). I believe this is a fundamental point made by Witt and most philosophers who study OC.

    I don't see how you cannot see that these beliefs form the backdrop that allows all epistemological language to take place. It's similar to saying I don't see how the board, pieces, and rules of chess play a role in the game of chess. There would be no language without our inherited background beliefs, animal beliefs. These bedrock beliefs are crucial to language, and especially to the language-games of epistemology. They solve the infinite regress problem and the problem of circularity. Moorean propositions (hinge-propositions) show just where justification ends, and where doubt falls apart or makes no sense.
  • Fooloso4
    5.7k
    This seems clearly incorrect, viz., that Moore's statement that he knows he has hands is not a bedrock proposition.Sam26

    What are we to do with that proposition? What rests on it?

    I agree that there are bedrock beliefs that are the backdrop of our epistemology, but I do not see why you would think that this is one of them.

    Moorean propositions ...(hinge-propositions)Sam26

    I think I have asked you this before. What revolves around these propositions?

    ...show just where justification ends, and where doubt falls apart or makes no sense.Sam26

    As I understand it a hinge proposition functions analogously to a mechanical hinge.
  • FrancisRay
    400
    Actually Moore is appealing to what seems to be obvious to all of us, viz, having knowledge of his hands. The skeptic makes the same mistake that Moore makes, viz., not only is there no knowing these Moorean propositions, but there is no doubting them either. The radical skeptic is even further out on the limb than Moore.Sam26

    Why do you say there is no doubting them?
  • FrancisRay
    400
    Actually Moore is appealing to what seems to be obvious to all of us, viz, having knowledge of his hands. The skeptic makes the same mistake that Moore makes, viz., not only is there no knowing these Moorean propositions, but there is no doubting them either. The radical skeptic is even further out on the limb than Moore.Sam26

    Why do you say there is no doubting them? It is not only possible to doubt the existence of your hands (as any more than appearances), but also your existence as a perceiving subject. There is a widely popular view for which nothing really exists and Moore argument seems no threat to it. I don't know him well but he seems to be a particularly naive realist.
  • Sam26
    2.6k

    What are we to do with that proposition? What rests on it?Fooloso4

    (I want to be clear that there are other names associated with these beliefs. The obvious one is hinge-proposition (OC 341), but others come to mind, such as, foundational belief, basic belief, hinge certainties, and animal belief (OC 359).)

    I going to answer your question @Fooloso4, but my explanation is also to others who are trying to understand these ideas, so if I say some obvious things keep that in mind.

    It's not just the belief about hands, but a whole system of beliefs that falls into the same category. These beliefs make up our inherited background. Moreover, I'm concentrating on those bedrock beliefs that are prelinguistic or animal because of their importance to epistemology and to language itself. Think of these beliefs as ways of acting, i.e., the actions associated with my hands show my belief that I have hands. This is about as primitive or bedrock as you can get because some of our first actions are with our hands. These bedrock beliefs are the ungrounded underpinnings of all the language associated with epistemology. Furthermore, I don't believe they are propositions in the strict sense because they fall outside our language about true and false. This doesn't mean that they can't function as normal propositions in some contexts, it just means that from a bedrock or animal position they are not normal propositions. Loosely speaking, they are states of mind or beliefs reflected primarily in some action. For e.g., like a a dog jumping up and down as it sees its master walking toward the house. These are very primitive beliefs that are prelinguistic or nonlinguistic.

    It seems to follow from this that our epistemological language, viz., justification and truth, ends, when butting up against these bedrock beliefs. Included in our epistemological language is the use of the concept doubt. For e.g., "I know X." "How do you know that?" "I don't believe you do know it." - etc. So doubt is closely associated (probably logically associated) with knowing in important ways

    The one thing that makes bedrock beliefs stand out is that doubting them makes no sense or is senseless. Why? Because the framework for doubting and knowing is built upon the inherited background of our surroundings. The inherited background is prior to doubting and knowing, i.e., you wouldn't be able to doubt or know without this framework. These concepts grow out of the framework, just as the game of chess grows out of the board and pieces. It's senseless to doubt the very framework that gives rise to the concept doubt. This is why global skepticism is senseless. If you did doubt the framework you would have to doubt the very words you're using.

    It seems clear to me that Moore's statement that he knows he has hands is a prime example of a bedrock belief. It's definitely prelinguistic, and it generally cannot be doubted, at least in most contexts without having to doubt the whole of our inherited background.

    "What do we do with [these] propositions?" It's a matter of recognizing their special place within language. They are the precursor beliefs to language, and by extension all of the language-games associated with language. So, "What rests on it?" Language rests on it.

    I'll stop here for now.
  • FrancisRay
    400
    It seems clear to me that Moore's statement that he knows he has hands is a prime example of a bedrock belief. It's definitely prelinguistic, and it generally cannot be doubted, at least in most contexts without having to doubt the whole of our inherited background.Sam26

    Exactly. Moore's arguments are metaphysically naive. They assume that the true reality of our naively realistic extended world cannot be doubted. These 'bedrock' beliefs you speak of may be pre-linguistic, but they are also pre-philosophical.

    If Moore's ideas worked we could falsify Buddhist doctrine simply by pointing out that we have hands. This idea is plainly absurd.

    I think some confusion arises here over the difference between believing we truly exist as individuals but doubting we have hands, which would be madness, and doubting the true existence of perceiving individuals and their hands, which is a metaphysically sound position.
  • Sam26
    2.6k
    I think your critique of Moore is a bit over the top.
  • Fooloso4
    5.7k
    (I want to be clear that there are other names associated with these beliefs. The obvious one is hinge-proposition (OC 341)Sam26

    Are you saying that a bedrock belief (a term that Wittgenstein never used) and a hinge proposition are the same? This is what I take to be the difference. We reach bedrock when there is no further justification. The Earth revolves around the Sun, on the other hand, is a hinge proposition. The claim can be justified and, like a hinge, a great deal hangs from and revolves around it.

    It's not just the belief about hands, but a whole system of beliefs that falls into the same category.Sam26

    "I believe I have hands" is as problematic as "I know I have hands".

    I do not think that my dog believes it has paws. The question of their existence does not arise. Consider again OC 476:

    Children do not learn that books exist, that armchairs exist, etc.,etc. - they learn to fetch books, sit in armchairs, etc.,etc.
    Later, questions about the existence of things do of course arise

    Think of these beliefs as ways of acting, i.e., the actions associated with my hands show my belief that I have hands.Sam26

    Using my hands does not show that I believe I have hands. If, however, I were to move my hands in odds ways, that might show that I believe my hands have magical powers.

    The one thing that makes bedrock beliefs stand out is that doubting them makes no sense or is senseless. Why? Because the framework for doubting and knowing is built upon the inherited background of our surroundings. The inherited background is prior to doubting and knowing, i.e., you wouldn't be able to doubt or know without this framework.Sam26

    Wittgenstein does not limit what he says about bedrock, hinges, inherited background, to what is pre-linguistic:

    Consider the following:

    96. It might be imagined that some propositions, of the form of empirical propositions, were hardened and functioned as channels for such empirical propositions as were not hardened but fluid; and that this relation altered with time, in that fluid propositions hardened, and hard ones became fluid.
    97. The mythology may change back into a state of flux, the river-bed of thoughts may shift. But I distinguish between the movement of the waters on the river-bed and the shift of the bed itself; though there is not a sharp division of the one from the other.

    99. 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.

    Compare this to your claim that:

    The one thing that makes bedrock beliefs stand out is that doubting them makes no sense or is senseless.Sam26

    and both Copernicus' and Kant's revolutions. "Fluid propositions hardened, and hard ones became fluid".

    So, "What rests on it?" Language rests on it.Sam26

    When Wittgenstein says:

    360. I know that this is my foot. I could not accept any experience as proof to the contrary. - That may be an exclamation; but what follows from it? At least that I shall act with a certainty that knows no doubt, in accordance with my belief.

    this might seem to support your claim, but here he is not talking about language but the absence of doubt that if it were present would cause a kind of paralysis.

    Language does not rest on things like the proposition that I have hands or feet:

    475. I want to regard man here as an animal; as a primitive being to which one grants instinct but not ratiocination. As a creature in a primitive state. Any logic good enough for a primitive means of communication needs no apology from us. Language did not emerge from some kind of ratiocination [Raisonnement].
  • Janus
    15.8k
    It's not just the belief about hands, but a whole system of beliefs that falls into the same category.Sam26

    For me it seems misleading to refer to the background, consisting of those things which are necessarily involved in our everyday lives. like hands, feet, legs, arms, ears, eyes, mouths, hills, valleys, mountains, rivers, lakes, oceans, fish, clouds, sun, stars, moon, human technology in all its forms, architecture, music, painting, poetry, philosophy to name but a few in a list of countless numbers, as a system of beliefs. These things are not beliefs but intimate and inevitable elements of human experience. We know them in the "biblical" sense of familiarity, in an analogous sense as that when it is said that " a man shall know his wife".
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