[lit-ideas] Re: anti-egalitarianism, more on

  • From: Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 15 Jun 2014 17:58:27 +0200

"to imagine a language means is to imagine a form of life." is, in my
humble opinion, one of those solemn, semi-mystical pronouncements by W.
that do not stand to critical examination even of a superficial
sort. Rhododendrons don't have a language, yet are a form of life. On the
other hand, a mason and his assistant who have a very simplified and
specialized code of communication consisting of a few expressions like
'brick', 'hammer' and the like do not thereby constitute a form of life
separate from wider human society. (For one thing, their work belongs to,
and makes sense only within, a wider network of economic relations.)


On Sun, Jun 15, 2014 at 4:03 PM, Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>

> >As in Wittgenstein's game of chess, the rules serve to constitute the
> players and pieces.>
> Wittgenstein's "game of chess" is offered as an analogy rather than an
> explanation; and one of the main points W wishes to make is against the
> possibility of a fully stated explanation of "rules":- W's view is that
> what we might accept as a "game of chess" is never said by the "rules" [for
> no "rule", whether of chess or of mathematics or of "grammar", ever says
> its own sense] but is something that may be shown - shown, for example, by
> considering what variations on a standard game of chess we might accept as
> a compatible with it remaining a "game of chess" and what variations we
> would not so accept, instead saying that what was happening was no longer a
> "game of chess". [If a dictator played a "game of chess" with blindfolded
> humans who were shot when 'taken' in the game, we might say this was really
> a form of sadistic torture or a cruel exercise in caprice rather than a
> "game of chess", even if it were played according to the "rules" of a
> normal "game of chess": the dictator's "game of chess" might not have
> anything like the same sense or play the same role as a standard "game of
> chess" within our "form of life".]
> Given this, it is going too far to say "the rules serve to constitute the
> players and pieces" for in many senses they do not, and Wittgenstein is
> alert to the ways they do not; in particular, they do not "constitute" in
> that the "rules" do not say exactly what counts as a player or a piece
> for all purposes and all occasions, rather (in Wittgenstein's view) what we
> accept as a player and piece etc. shows the "rule".
> Dnl
> Ldn
>   On Sunday, 15 June 2014, 14:17, Torgeir Fjeld <torgeir_fjeld@xxxxxxxx>
> wrote:
> its much talk of the subject -- grammatically and policed state
> it may be futile blabber
> the coming community will be characterized by singularity. and not just
> any singularity, but any-singularity. singolarita qualunque.
> this kind of any-singularity disregards the specificity of singularity.
> its sole interest is in "unqualified" belonging.
> it is NOT established though categories of belonging (being republican,
> canadian, state-employed, say). it is ALSO NOT established though the
> absence of such conditions (this is the case with the kind of "negative
> community" suggested by georges bataille and maurice blanchot [and
> HEGEL???] -- the community of those without community)
> the child at play, the vagabond, the franciscan monk signify forms of life
>  NOT based on group belonging, NOT based on class, NOT based on rights.
> they share an approach to life characterized by practice and an ethic of
> openness. can we describe their life forms without recourse to metaphysical
> categories (such as subjectivity, rights, class projects)?
> the franciscan monk abandoned all claims to property, to rights, and so
> challenged sacred and political authority. "how can we imagine a form of
> life, a human life, entirely exempted from the clutches of the law; and how
> can we imagine a USE OF THE BODY and the world that never materializes AS
> Saint Francis of Assisi insised that the example of the Master should be
> sufficient and that He alone should serve as guide. It is a claim to a way
> of life, NOT a doctrine. A life in poverty -- absolute poverty. In stead of
> property and rights the Franciscans lived by "free use": in accordance with
> natural law they would freely consume food, drink, wear clothes without
> ownership. (In the manner of the Master who may not have had ownership of
> the robe He wore.)
> What has this to do with Wittgenstein? What the Fanciscans did was to
> establish a third element between law (rule, universality) and life
> (application, particularity), and this is USE (usus) -- practice. As in
> Wittgenstein's game of chess, the rules serve to constitute the players and
> pieces. The rules that establish the space of possibilities come about
> through common practice -- use. Language games are parts of life forms: "to
> imagine a language means to imagine a form of life."
> Mvh / Yours,
> Torgeir Fjeld
> Gdansk, Poland
> Blogs: http://phatic.blogspot.com // http://norsketegn.blogspot.com
> Web: http://independent.academia.edu/TorgeirFjeld

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