[quickphilosophy] What aspect of language cannot be conventional

  • From: wittrsl@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: wittrsl@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2010 23:30:58 -0700 (PDT)

3.342 In our notions there is indeed something arbitrary, but this is not 
arbitrary: if we have determined something arbitrarily  then something else 

be the case.  (This stems from the essence of  the notation.)
3.3421 A particular way of symbolizing may be unimportant,  but it is always 
important that this is a possible way of symbolizing.   And it is like this in 
philosophy generally: the particular proves unimportant  time and again, but 

possibility of each particular gives us an insight into  the essence of the 
3.343 Definitions are rules for translation from one language  into another.  
Every right sign-language must allow of translation into every  other by means 
of such rules: This is what they must all have in  common.
3.344 That which signifies in a symbol is the common feature  of all symbols 
that can take its place following the rules of logical syntax. 

W is claiming more here than that all languages must be  representational or 
intentional; he is saying that, e.g., names in one language  must correspond 
with names in another.  Further, I think he's saying that, e.g.,  signs for 
items in "color space" or "music space" in any language must  themselves 

share in those spaces to do their work (he talks about  gramophone grooves, 
musical scores, and acoustic sounds all sharing the same  form).  If the 

linguistic signs don't share in the appropriate range of  possibilities and 
impossibilities, their syntax (or grammar) will not allow them  to perform all 
the functions necessary to the linguistic roles they're to play  and they won't 
properly translate any signs that DO perform such  functions.



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