[Wittrs] [quickphilosophy] What aspect of language cannot be conventional

  • From: wittrsl@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: quickphilosophy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 31 Jul 2010 01:52:45 -0000

3.342 In our notions there is indeed something arbitrary, but  this is
not arbitrary: if we have determined something arbitrarily  then
something else must be the case.  (This stems from the essence of  the

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 the possibility of each particular gives us an
insight into  the essence of the world.

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 

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 somehow 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
various 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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