[lit-ideas] Re: Language, Justice and Social Practices (long)

  • From: Robert Paul <robert.paul@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2005 13:16:16 -0700

John Wager wrote:

Doesn't the fact that computers play chess mean its possible to "learn" chess without any concepts or any names? (I know programs are written using shorthand compilers, but one might write the whole thing in MASM (assembly language) which doesn't use short-hand names for anything resembling a chess move. )

…But now imagine a game of chess translated by certain rules into a series of actions which we do not ordinarily associate with a _game_—say into yells and stamping of feet. And now suppose those two people [mentioned earlier] to yell and stamp instead of playing the form of chess we are used to; and this in such a way that their procedure is translatable by certain rules into a game of chess. Should we still be inclined to say they were playing a game? What right would one have to say so?

Philosophical Investigations §200.

Robert Paul
Reed College
perplexed as ever
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