[lit-ideas] Wittgenstein's 'Large', 'Case' (Was Anscombe's)

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 18 Dec 2004 08:37:11 EST

In a message dated 12/15/2004 10:39:13 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx writes:
When  Ludwig Wittgenstein writes, PI/43,

"For a _large_ class of cases -  though not for all - ....the meaning
of a word is its use in the  language".

1. Can someone expand on the character of the _large_ class?  And why
it is large?

2. What is the character of the other,  presumably _smaller_?, class?
And why?

Well, the problem is, again, exegetical. Wittgenstein has "gross" (or  groS", 
with that funny looking sign in German meaning sibiliant geminate). 
However, his Cambridge amanuensis (in more than one word), G. E. M.  
Anscombe, found 'gross' not the right word -- in the context. And chose 
'large'.  She 
also had doubts for 'case' (G. "Kaas"), since in English it is polysemous  
(suitcase, etc.). 
Eventually, it was decided that what was gross or large was the Class  
(Klass), not the Case (Kaase).
For Wittgenstein, some words have meanings attached to them in what he  calls 
"The Augustinian Way" (after St. Augustine): e.g. "stone" meaning 'stone'  
(but cf. 'stoned') and, Wittgenstein's favourite, "brick" meaning brick.
But in general, unless you know it's use in the language, you don't know  the 
word (for a large number of cases).
The more languages you know, as Geary realises, the more you get confused  
about -- things. (As in Bridget Jones's latest film, set in Malasya, etc.). 

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