[quickphilosophy] Re: An Anscombe Error Regarding Negation?

  • From: wittrsl@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: wittrsl@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 6 Aug 2010 08:28:28 -0700 (PDT)

It's an interesting point, and maybe it shows that the whole notion of 

is unstable.  W talks about "a language" involving moving pieces of furniture 
arouond, and while he naturally doesn't have much to say about CDs, he does 
mention grammophone grooves as picturing music.  You're right that there's 
supposed to be an isomorphism between the elements in the picture and those 
pictured, but that sort of "projection" seems to me so dependent on the 
conventions adopted by the "speakers" that it basically floats away, as it 

to have done in the "Investigations."  I mean, in his stick figure of two men 
fencing, there are two men in the drawing, and two men represented, two swords 
in the picture and two represented.  But one could as easily use that same 
picture to "say" that Jones and his wife had split up again. In that case, the 
two swords would seem to be used only to depict one fight. 

Now that I think of it, maybe the stuff about the "duck-rabbit" in PI can also 
be used to blow up the more primitive notion of picture relied on in the 
Tractatus.  There are just two many types for them to "share an essence."

Incidentally, before I read your post, I was thinking that I might have used a 
better musical example.  Since the heyday of "The NY School" (Cage, Feldman, & 
Wolff), it has been common for composers to write scores leaving one or more 
aspect of the piece entirely up to the performer.  So, e.g., one can determine 
the rhythms, but leave the pitches to the players' discretion--when that's done 
the piece might look like it was written for a percussionist.  Well, one might 
also have a rule that when an "x" is put in place of a note head, it means, 
"play any note but this one."  You could even specify that the style of the "x" 
would also indicate that a specific duration could not be used.  And, you could 
also note that rests could always be "played" instead of any "x-note".   That 
seems like it would be a pretty darn good replication of negation.  And, in 
keeping with W, it's clearly in "musical space."


--- In quickphilosophy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Martin Brampton <martin.lists@...> 
> If you allow the notion of picture to be so fluid, doesn't it leave one 
> uncertain whether anything at all clear is being said?


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