Sunday, April 22, 2012


Unfortunately, I was unable to be in class Friday but what I have gathered from the blog post many did not like Wittgenstein’s numbering style.  Although I didn’t mind the reading, I would have to agree that Philosophical Investigations was much more interesting to read because of the increased detail and examples with each numbering.  
Throughout the reading, Wittgenstein often relates learning the meaning of a word to a child learning their native language and refers to it as a language game: “We can also think of the whole process of using words in (2) as one of those games by means of which children learn their native language.  I will call these games “language-games” and will sometimes speak of a primitive language as a language-game.” (pg. 151).  What intrigued me most about this reading and the idea of the language-games is that all of us have experienced learning to speak a language, but it happened at such a young age that we can not recall how we learned.  Also, anyone who has learned how to speak a second language has experienced this, but in a different way than a child learning their native language because they already have a language with words and meanings to relate new words to.  What also caught my attention, in regards to the language-games, would be the part Wittgenstein talked about deciphering the difference between color, shape and number when pointing to an object.  “...-You will say that you ‘meant‘ a different thing each time you pointed.  And if I ask how that is done, you will say you concentrated your attention on the colour, the shape, etc.  But I cask again: how is that done?” (pg. 158).  This made me question how that is done and the only conclusion I could come to is the person being asked must have a base knowledge of colors, numbers and shapes before being asked.  Thinking back to my own childhood, I am not sure I how I was taught to decipher the difference, but I believe that our culture prepares child to learn how to speak from a very young again by all of the different child toys and books that focus on shape, color, feeling and number.  Those toys act as tools as a base understanding of their native language so when they do learn to speak and are asked color, number and shape they have a better understanding of what is being pointed to.  

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