Re: [Wittrs] New Book on Wittgenstein and Constitutional Theory

  • From: Han Geurdes <han.geurdes@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrs@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2012 07:20:45 +0200

Hi Sean

Thanks for your kind words. To me it works the other way around. Most of
the things you write contain very interesting material.

I am also not sure. Perhaps I read it in the Blue Book. I thought
Wittgenstein somewhere wrote on 'making the rules while playing the game'.
Hence, not following a rule but making one whie playing.

It is in the nature of a (language) game to have rules. But when one starts
-when is that?- there might be no rules -or a set of rules from another
game-. The game grows and the rules grow with them.

E.g. I do enjoy and deeply respect physics. I am proud to be able to
contribute. However, why is mathematics so succesful in explaining physical
phenomena? I think Wigner also asked this question.

A Wittgensteinian answer *could* be that the (science) game grew over the
years and the rules (mathematics) grew with it.

Of course we could also think that nature has a mathematical structure but
is that a fact? How can we know that?


On 18 September 2012 20:56, Sean Wilson <whoooo26505@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Hi Han.
> Good to hear from you, as always.
> I'm not sure what you mean by "making the rules as we go up."  My book
> applies a wide array of Wittgenstein's ideas to the question of what a
> constitution means. I rely upon his views on language meaning, artisan
> judgments ("aesthetics"), aspect seeing, imponderable evidence, private
> language and assertability conditions (grammar). I don't think I have one
> of the so called "rule following passages" of Philosophical Investigations
> cited, but I could be wrong about that. I do, however, have what I have
> always considered to be a very important chapter in the book -- Chapter 2
> -- on how to follow a flexible rule. Based on the private feedback I've
> received on the book, however, people are not high on that chapter. I
> really like it because I think it clarifies the way both Dworkin and
> political scientists think about how this kind of statement can be
> "followed:" No State Shall Deny Equal Protection to its citizens.
> Anyway, always glad to see that you'd find anything I write to be even
> close to interesting, even as a topic.
> Regards and thanks.
> Dr. Sean Wilson, Esq.
> Assistant Professor
> Wright State University
> Personal Website:
> My New Book:
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