[lit-ideas] Re: Sraffa's Gesture

  • From: Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 28 Nov 2015 18:25:00 +0000 (UTC)

Further to last post: W also would ask, where we felt some linguistic shortform
was parasitic on some linguistic long form, that we look closely at what kind
of dependence we actually have -  and do not rush to judgment that there is a
kind of dependence of the kind philosophers' might claim (as in a necessary
condition). The later W would not agree with any assumption that we must have a
kind of dependence where the surface shortform language by necessity depends on
some underlying longform compositional structure. The sense of "Wee wee" to
mean "I need to urinate" is not a lesser kind of sense nor one that presupposes
the other - we might just as well, for the later W, say that when a grammatical
Englishman says "I need to urinate" the sense of that is just what is expressed
by "Wee wee" in other societies or by the three year old..

On Saturday, 28 November 2015, 18:10, Donal McEvoy
<donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Sorry but Grice is not the starting point for understanding Wittgenstein and
Grice belongs in a tradition that, for W, is blind to the "limits of language".

There are other points where the later W rejects Gricean strictures:

b) it has to be compositional (and Sraffa's gesture is not: it is not composed
of more basic 'units' alla Alan 
Danto), (c) this more basic elements of which lingo is composed have to have 
'sense' of their own, and Sraffa's gesture does not display this feature>
Why should this be so? When the later W turned away from the kind of "logical
atomism" of the TLP he also turned away from thinking sense must be determined
by compositional units. If we replace "I need to go to the bathroom" with
"Bathroom" as a single word, must we then say the sense of this "Bathroom" is
parasitic on the longer compositional form? Not necessarily. It is conceivable
that in a primitive society a single word, like "Wee wee", might have the sense
of "I need to urinate" (as well as perhaps having other senses) without that
language having any further elaboration - and W does not think the sense of
language, like "Wee wee", must depends on some unstated but stateable
compositional structure of a more elaborate kind that underpins what we
actually say. It may depend so, but it need not.


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