"For philosophical problems arise when language goes on holiday."
is it really a matter of surface vs deep grammar or a distinction between a literal grammar (like we are taught in English classes) and a more poetic/familial-resemblance sort of 'grammar? and in relation to science vs religion, it often seems to me that Witt isn't so much describing the religious practices/ways of many (say Creationists an co. who really do treat religion as I do science) if not (but likely) most folks but really prescribing his own sort of sensibility (or something close to Freud on sublimation where we don't just eat for nutrition like other critters but have whole elaborate rituals and such around eating)?
On religion: Yes, there is something to this. Wittgenstein's writings on religion are scattered, and often I think he is not doing what he would consider philosophy but, to put it crudely, editorializing. The lectures on religious belief should not be like this, but then all we have are notes taken by others, and these are not always reliable. They could sound more editorializing than Wittgenstein actually was in the lectures. Or he could have made editorial asides. Or he could have violated his own methodology in the lectures. In short, although Wittgenstein's 'official' method is descriptive, at least some of what he (allegedly) said and wrote is prescriptive. Which is not surprising, since even philosophers don't philosophize all the time.As for your first question, I'm not quite sure what 'it' refers to. I'm interested in choices of words (and terminological innovations) that help us understand and see more clearly versus those that obscure matters. Sometimes such obscuring is deliberate, sometimes I suspect it is accidental. Either way it's effects might be useful. But it is possible to oppose it anyway, if one takes clarity to have value in itself. I don't see any of this as having to do with grammar, really, but I might well be missing something.
ah thanks, I now see you are making reference to differences that make a difference (to interject a bit of pragmatism) and not something akin to rules/forms-of-life (tho of course they are likely related),am rereading Rorty on Davidson along these lines (innovation/metaphors) and he (roughly) makes the case that we should judge such innovations (and their later routinizations/institutionalizations) by what they allow us to do, what possibilities they afford and or resist:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affordance
Thanks. That's roughly my view too, although I'm inclined to say that I care more about how much innovations/metaphors allow us to do (the more the better) than about what they allow us to do. Although lots of bad things would be worse than a few good things, I suppose. I should re-read Rorty on Davidson and see whether I agree with him.
there is a simple version of his take in the Contingency book, I find Davidson on metaphors (as completely novel, perhaps even non-sensical) a bit narrow/confining in these matters of metaphor/assemblages as differences that make a difference and think that Witt's take on perspicuous re-minders could serve well along these lines "Our grammar is lacking in this sort of perspicuity. A perspicuous representation produces just that understanding which consists in 'seeing connexions'. Hence the importance of finding and inventing intermediate cases "the test than being not simply grammatical but the making (or not) of connexions. might even than tie in with http://www.alvanoe.com/strange-tools/
Thanks. Yes, you (I) would want to see connections, and to be helped to do so. But you also want the right connections, that is, important or illuminating ones rather than misleading ones or ones that obscure or prevent you from seeing other connections or facts.
It is possible that Wittgenstein did not hold this view at all stages of his career, but I am not aware of evidence that would settle this question, and since my focus is more the value of clarity than what Wittgenstein thought, it is not directly relevant.That's as maybe, but note that immediately following the remarks from the 1930 "Sketch for a Foreword" that you quote, Wittgenstein continues: "Each sentence that I write is trying to say the whole thing, that is, the same thing over and over again & it is as though they were views of one object seen from different angles. [...] One movement orders one thought to the others in a series, the other keeps aiming at the same place. One movement constructs & takes (in hand) one stone after another, the other keeps reaching for the same one."You have Wittgenstein "respecting" a "multiplicity, part of the richness that the world contains", and later you quote Rowan Williams as saying that the essence of "really bad and poisonous writing" is "trying to make the reader see less". As familiar a Wittgensteinian theme as anything could be. And yet Wittgenstein wrote in the very same passage on which you lean: "Each sentence that I write is trying to say the whole thing, that is, the same thing over and over again & it is as though they were views of one object seen from different angles." Which sounds like some wild-eyed kind of extreme monism: not only is there no multiplicity, but there is literally just one thing, and the task for a philosopher is to say this one thing over and over again. Only with the saving grace that this is to be done from a number of angles.This seeming tension is striking once you notice it, but it does not generally seem to have been noticed, although Cora Diamond remarked on it in her lecture here last May. Do you have anything to say on this? If you do, it cannot fail to be interesting.One key point is that it is bad to speak or write in ways that cannot be checked against any recognizable reality. [...] Reality does not need to be understood only as a set of concrete objects. It could also include experiences, and perhaps other things needed to make sense of this experience (such as numbers, atoms, love, or God).My personal yardstick has always been whether what is spoken or written could be adapted into a film. I've taken an instant dislike to many philosophers (as disparate as Hegel, Quine or Derrida) because I couldn't imagine this being done to their writing. Conversely, part of the reason why I took to Wittgenstein when I encountered him were the many passages (especially in the Investigations) that almost seem like a storyboard for an unmade film.And this yardstick does not cut away values or religion, but only bad ways of talking about them, which are not the only ways. Two remarks from Culture and Value:"Christianity is not a doctrine, not, I mean, a theory about what has happened & will happen to the human soul, but a description of something that actually takes place in human life. For 'recognition of sin' is an actual occurrence & so is despair & so is redemption through faith.""Life can educate you to 'believing in God'. And experiences too are what do this but not visions, or other sense experiences, which show us the 'existence of this being', but e.g. sufferings of various sorts."Analogously, a good treatment of religion that could me made into a film would show this "something that actually takes place in human life": i.e. the experience of these sufferings (etc.).
Do you have anything to say on this? If you do, it cannot fail to be interesting.Thanks, Tommi. I will try to think of something to say about this. It is intriguing.many passages (especially in the Investigations) that almost seem like a storyboard for an unmade film.Yes, Wittgenstein's work does have this quality, and it's nice. I agree, also, that it doesn't cut away values or religion.
Three afterthoughts on the section on Galtung:1) Quite ironically for Galtung, isn't mission creep an empirical phenomenon that is closely analogous to his extensions of concepts?2) There can also be consequentialist reasons for opposing Galtung-type innovations or what one views as Galtung-type innovations, and also consequentialist reasons for embracing the (arch-anticonsequentialist) Anscombe's recommendations. Compare the last two paragraphs of this (I mean your original post).3) A former colleague with something of a reputation as a loner and a difficult person used to have the "Typology of Personal Somatic Violence" from Galtung's "Violence, Peace, and Peace Research" taped to the wall next to his desk. This was a kind of complex postmodern gesture: "Part of my being the person I am is that I have fantasies of violence, but to act on them after having let you in on them so blatantly would be unspeakably corny, so don't worry." But seeing your discussion of Galtung now made me think: how remarkable that Galtung was not satisfied already with the wonderful multiplicity of somatic violence he himself outlined. His typology has two main types and ten sub-classes. (One of which is "6. evaporation (as in nuclear explosion)". As soon as I saw your reference to the paper, I said to myself aloud: "Evaporation, as in nuclear explosion.") And yet he thought that this was not yet enough work for the word violence to do, as it were. A Wittgensteinian position would probably amount to wonderment that this should be so. Galtung's list is almost like the list of games in PI §66, and yet he turns from it into a very non-Wittgensteinian direction.
Yes, yes, and yes. I haven't spent much time with his list, but I should return to it. Thanks.