Michael Kremer provides some good responses, but he hasn't yet answered Pigden's last move, which begins like this:
Like Wittgenstein himself, you have a wonderful way of insulating yourself from refutation. I say Wittgenstein employs implicit criteria for what is and is not meaningful, a claim I could back up by quoting chapter and verse. You say that he often says things which suggest this, but that if we look at the Investigations as a whole we see that this is not so. I recommend this hermeneutical tactic to any interpreter whose interpretation might be falsified by inconvenient quotes.But you don't falsify an interpretation by quoting remarks out of context, as Pigden surely knows. And all Kremer said was that the context, the book as a whole, needs to be taken into account. Pigden continues:
My real point however is that unless Wittgenstein has such a set of criteria and unless they are correct his therapeutic procedures are simply a set of rhetorical tricks designed to impose a restricted Oldspeak in which the ideas that Wittgenstein disapproves of cannot be expressed. Your defense make him far less honest and much more of an authoritarian than his positivist contemporaries who at least had a theory to back their prohibitions.
According to you, Wittgenstein presumes to tell his interlocutors what is and is not meaningful even though
1) he does not have a theory about what makes utterances meaningful or otherwise (because he does not have ANY theories)
2) he has no criteria (not even vague ones) to determine whether something is meaningful or not.
If there is no theory or criterion for what is and is not meaningful then it seems to me we have two possibilities with respect to Wittgenstein’s therapeutic procedures.These two possibilities, of course, turn out to be bad for Wittgenstein.
And equally of course it is not the case that according to Kremer Wittgenstein presumes to tell his interlocutors what is and is not meaningful . What Kremer says is that:
As for Wittgenstein, I do not think he employs even a vague set of criteria designed to rule out what he doesn't like. What he does is to use a series of methods for trying to bring his interlocutor to see the meaninglessness of his or her words, when the use of those words leads to seemingly intractable problems. Insofar as these methods do not persuade the interlocutor (lead the fly out of the fly-bottle), they are not successful by Wittgenstein's own lightsSo Kremer's Wittgenstein does not presume to tell anybody anything. He presumes to try to bring people to see that their words are meaningless. And if they cannot be so brought then the Wittgensteinian either keeps trying or admits defeat. Agreement is essential to the method, which is why there is no telling and no authoritarianism. Nor does Wittgenstein have any criteria because so far as criteria of meaningfulness are needed these must be shared with the interlocutor, who might be anybody, so they can't be criteria specific to Wittgenstein.
Kremer quotes this passage from the Big Typescript to illustrate Wittgenstein's view and method:
One of the most important tasks is to express all false thought processes so characteristically that the reader says, 'Yes, that’s exactly the way I meant it'. To make a tracing of the physiognomy of every error.How this could seem authoritarian is beyond me. I can only think that Pigden is talking about something, and perhaps someone, else. This someone else, though, appears to have treated people so badly that talk of Wittgenstein now raises a red mist before some people's eyes. Which is perhaps another reason why philosophers should try to be nice.
Indeed we can only convict someone else of a mistake if he acknowledges that this really is the expression of his feeling. [if he (really) acknowledges this expression as the correct expression of his feeling.]
For only if he acknowledges it as such, is it the correct expression. (Psychoanalysis.)
What the other person acknowledges is the analogy I am proposing to him as the source of his thought.