Thank you JLS for this interesting url. It does chime in important respects
with the interpretation of Wittgenstein proposed in my posts but it also
contains claims that I find difficult to understand or accept. I hope to post
more on this in due course.
For now my observation is this: that there is something about the
saying/showing distinction that means it is hard to express or expound
(correctly) its application. Second observation: in PI, W avoids 'direct
expression' or 'express expounding' in relation to the distinction and instead
makes implicit use of it - writing points that show the distinction rather than
say it. Third: this may have been a wise move by W, who thereby may have
avoided certain traps that his commentators have fallen into.
Actually I've started now, and will link this to something Marie McGinn says re
saying/showing, with some comments of my own:
“This internal relationexpresses itself in the fact that what is the case if
thepicture is correct is precisely what the picture pictures:the correctness of
thepicture is not something to which we can point independently of the picture.”
The assertion after thecolon seems implausible, both as a matter of its truth
and of thecorrect interpretation of TLP: surely “the correctness of the
picture” dependson whether the relevant state of affairs exists as depicted -
but whether this is sowould seem independent of the picture, and also something
we can (and must)decide “independently of the picture”? Perhaps MM means to say
that “what it would meanfor the picture to be correct” is not something
independent “of the picture”(and/or not independent of the “internal relation”
between the picture and whatthe “picture pictures”) - but this is not what she
writes. Had she written it,it might seem to amount to only the banal
observation that the ‘meaning’ of thepicture cannot be given “independently of
the (meaning of the) picture”. But truth and meaning aresurely distinct or at
least distinguishable, both in a correct philosophy and in the TLP; and
“correctness”(as in “the correctness of the picture”) would seem a matter of
its truthrather than its mere meaning e.g. a picture with clear meaning could
lack“correctness”. MM here appears confused -in either her expression or
(underlying) thought, or both.
Trying to discern where my view agrees and disagrees with MM's is not
straightforward, as this above example may indicate. It is not the only example
where MM writes in a way that is either badly expressed or implausible or both.
From: "dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, 22 February 2017, 23:19
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Witters & Sons
H. P. Grice (aka Paul Grice), in his "Prejudices and Prediections; which
become, the life and opinions of Paul Grice", says that Philosophy, like
virtue, is entire: this entireness (if that's the noun) manifests in two
unities: longitudinal and latitudinal (Grice was a sailor at heart, after he
fought against the enemy during the 1939-1945 world war).
It would not be surprising, then, that there is a unity in Witters's
philosophy, since, well Witters is a philosopher (i.e. a member of the class
"philosophy") (admittedly, Grice calls Witters in those "Prejudices and
Predilections" a "minor philosopher, like Bosanquet or Wollaston").
McEvoy's preferred noun seems to be 'continuity'.
It may do to consider these two keywords, then, continuity and unity (as
Iprefer) re: Witters.
McEvoy’s thesis is that the ‘continuity’, the word heuses, relates to the
say/show distinction, while I lean towards favouring the standard view
(bywhom?) that the unity is in the functions of language: ‘assertoric’ in
the"Tractatus", generalized to ‘assertoric’ and ‘imperative’ in the "PI" –
Wittersspeaks of ‘radical,’ borrowing for chemistry: “It is raining” and “Oh
that itrain!” as sharing a radical (or R. M. Hare’s phrastic -- vide Black, "A
companion to Wittgenstein's Tractatus").
Originally, however, there were two commonlyrecognized "stages", or phase, to
Witters's thought — the early and the later — both ofwhich were taken to be
pivotal in their respective periods, whatever that may entail.In recent
philosophical scholarship, even Oxonian, this somewhat simplistic binary
division has beenquestioned.
On the one hand, as we have seen, some interpreters have claimed a unity (like
McEvoy and Speranza do, if they apply different criteria to claim a 'unity' or
'continuity', and Marie McGinn), a unity which would hold for all stages of his
Other philosophical historians have talked of a more nuanceddivision, adding
stages such as "the middle Wittgenstein" and, or a "third Wittgenstein." (This
reminds me of a Griceian who distinguished 45 stages of Grice's thought).
Marie McGinn (in an essay with the Harvard journal of philosophy -- link of pdf
document provided below) takes up McEvoy's view -- that this continuity applies
to the say-show distinction (McGinn is criticizing Diamond and Conant).
The view that the unity is manifested in that Witters was always concerned with
lingo and its functions (and that he merely GENERALISED the view of the
"Tractatus" to include functions other than the assertoric one in the
"Philosophical Investigations") may be called Griceian.
I wouldn't call it Austinian.
Grice recalls that he got often bored by hearing from J. L. Austin, proferring
performatively to different people, "You know, some like Witters, but Moore's
Strawson, and Hart, boringly, reports this adage as being, "Some people like
Witters, but Moore's MY man."
But would Austin flout Grice's "be as informative as is required" by adding the
otiose 'people'? I mean, "some" would hardly apply to, say, horses, in Grice's
version of the Austinian adage -- clever as some are (horses, I mean).
And so on.