to be clear about the nature of philosophy and to be clear about the nature of the social studies amount to the same thing. For any worthwhile study of society must be philosophical in character and any worthwhile philosophy must be concerned with the nature of human societyand:
our language and our social relations are just two different sides of the same coin. To give an account of the meaning of a word is to describe how it is used; and to describe how it is used is to describe the social intercourse into which it enters.This sounds wrong, or at least not quite right, to me. Of course I must re-read the book before reaching any conclusions about it, but it seems worth trying to articulate some ideas to have in mind while re-reading it.
The first quotation obviously involves ideas about what is worthwhile, so Winch is making a value judgment rather than simply stating objective facts. The second quotation seems to involve a mistake, or at least something I disagree with that I don't consider to be a question of my having different values from Winch's. To give an account of the meaning of a word is to describe how it is used. This strikes me as partly true, but it ignores the part of Investigations 43 in bold here: "For a large class of cases--though not for all--in which we employ the word meaning it can be defined thus: the meaning of a word is its use in the language game." It (also) ignores essentially contested concepts. In short, Winch makes philosophy sound too much like a science.
But I mean only that in these brief passages he does that. Re-reading them in context might show them in a different light.