Presentation on theme: "LUDWIG WITTGENSTEIN 1889-1951. Early on in his philosophical career Witt put forward a picture theory of meaning’. First thought that the primary function."— Presentation transcript:
LUDWIG WITTGENSTEIN 1889-1951
Early on in his philosophical career Witt put forward a picture theory of meaning’. First thought that the primary function of a word was to name objects and the meaning of a word is the object it stands for. Later on he re - examined the questions of meaning and came to a different conclusion
Argued that it is unrealistic to suppose that all words are ultimately based on pictures and pointed out that language is used in a variety of different ways. His Ideas are found in his’ Philosophical Investigations’ (pub 1953 – 2 yrs after his death) Witt centred on the way that language works and the uses to which it is put.
He saw that the problems of Religious Language were caused by the misunderstandings of language. He was not concerned with the truth or falsity of the language but the way in which it was used and the functions it performed
He coined the phrase’ Don’t ask for the meaning, ask for the use’. Witt likened language to a game that we play.
At the heart of his concept of ‘language games’ is the idea that words only have meaning because of their context and therefore we have to be careful to know which ‘game’ we are playing e.g. if a coach tried to get a netball player to’ pick and roll’ their opponent for the match they would loose the game because it wouldn’t make sense as it is a basketball term.
Witt then applied his idea to philosophy and concluded that philosophical problems about language are created by not understanding that words can be used in different language games. E.g. the word ‘soul’, problems arose he said when people saw the soul as some sort of physical object. These problems would be dissolved if it was realised that the ‘physical object ‘game simply does not apply to the soul.
Each language game has its own set of rules. Believers will find rel.lang. has meaning but non believers may say its meaningless because they are not in the ‘religious game’. But an outsider cannot claim that the language used in a ‘particular game’ is meaningless just because it does not make sense to them
Check out ‘Philosophy of Religion’, Jones, Cardinal, Hayward. Pages 199-203. TASK: On the study sheet using notes and text book make a study sheet for your partner on ‘language game theory’.