[Wittrs] [quickphilosophy] Re: An Anscombe Error Regarding Negation?

  • From: wittrsl@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: quickphilosophy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 06 Aug 2010 10:57:57 -0000

It's an interesting point, and maybe it shows that the whole notion of 
"picture" 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 
seems 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?
> Isn't a musical score much more like an algorithm than a picture?  A CD 
> is much more like a picture of the sound of a symphony than a score is.
> To serve in the general argument, isn't a picture required to have some 
> sort of isomorphism to a state of affairs - something that is much more 
> readily attributable to a CD than a score.
> On 06/08/10 01:15, walto wrote:
> >
> >
> > Do you think not? W gives the example of a musical score picturing a the
> > sounds of a symphony. Well, scores use the 8va sign to indicate that
> > everything is to be played an octave up or down and use rests to
> > indicate that no sounds should be made. Why not a circle with a diagonal
> > across a picture of a red chair?
> >
> > W

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