Sunday, September 29, 2013

Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations, Entry 13, Pretentious Antifoundationalist/Van Gogh Entry

     Wittgenstein goes on and on about inexact vs. exact. On and on and then writes:
"Logic lay, it seemed, at the bottom of all the sciences. -- For logical investigation explores the nature of all things. It seeks to see to the bottom of things and is not meant to concern itself whether what actually happens is this or that --- It takes its rise ... from an urge to understand the basis, or essence, of everything empirical."(Wittgenstein, Section 89)


Later he writes, remember he is talking about things he really rejects:

"...we eliminate misunderstandings by making our expressions more exact; but now it may look as if we are moving towards a particular state, a state of complete exactness; and as if this were the real goal of our investigation."(Wittgenstein, Section 91)

But I take it from all the subjunctive and conditional statements and so on that he is rejecting the program of seeing past rough, inexact language, like the broad strokes in a Van Gogh (ha!), to a precisely-lined ideal language. The empirical phenomena of language is where we live, it is presumptuous of a logic to claim to be its purification; logic is a system that applies to ideal languages.

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