[quickphilosophy] Re: An Anscombe Error Regarding Negation?

  • From: wittrsl@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: wittrsl@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 6 Aug 2010 14:34:34 -0700 (PDT)

That provokes some other interesting (to me anyway) thoughts.  Could you 
have a "pictorial" language even if you were a mindless robot?  After 
all, we can always behave mindlessly, or build mindless robots to do it 
for us and save us the trouble.  But would it solve anything?

One has to suppose that language could not be used to describe the whole 
of the world - simply on the basis that there is no room in the world 
for a complete description of the world.  And rather akin to your doubt 
concerning metalanguages, a complete "pictorial" description might well 
suffer a regress - the same problem as that model villages need to have 
model villages within them, and so ad infinitum.

But we don't accept any particular constraints on the extensiveness of 
our descriptions, so that might suggest that we have to give up on the 
completeness of their representational detail.

Oh, and I suspect the notion of metalanguage breaks down anyway when 
natural languages are under consideration.

On 06/08/2010 13:03, iro3isdx wrote:
> An excellent point.
> But, then, I never did think that a picture theory of language could be
> workable. In order for a picture theory to apply to language, we would
> need to be mindless mechanical robots.
> Hmm, maybe a better way of putting that: if language fitted a picture
> theory, then it would be impossible to use language to express theories
> of language (such as a picture theory).
> Regards,
> Neil


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