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Markus L.



1) Discuss Wittgensteins theory of meaning and his notion of language games. Explain
The meaning of the word is its use in the language, stated Wittgenstein about the
definition of the word meaning. By this statement, Wittgenstein expresses that for all
the possible functions and applications of words, all these are meaningful, meaningful
being an adjective for something applicable in everyday conversations. In order to
determine the meaning of a word, Wittgenstein introduces the concept of languagegames. The term language-games emphasize that the speaking of a language is an
activity; a form of life. To understand the meaning of a word is to understand how it is
used in a given language-game. Furthermore, in order to determine the meaning of a
word, a general to a more specific observation of the words use is required, concluding
on a network of overlapping similarities. However, Wittgenstein stipulated that these
phenomena have nothing in common which makes us use the same word for all but that
they are related to other in many different ways. Wittgenstein offers this perspective by
indicating, Dont think, but look. Such an example used by Wittgenstein is the
comparison between games (different use from language-games). At first glance they
could have numerous similarities, but as you increase your games, increase your
distinctions, more and more of the similarities begin to disappear. We are then able to
establish a relationship between these games: a criss-crossing of characteristics. This
relationship gives the word their meanings, forming what we call a language.
2) What is an ideal language? Is Wittgenstein for or against the creation of an ideal
language? Explain coherently.

An ideal language, in Wittgensteins terms, is a logically perfect language, in a sense

one that tries to remove all ambiguity and establish a definite sign-symbol relationship,
thus accurate Symbolism. The primary (logical) question of establishing an ideal
language is What relation must one fact have to another in order to be capable of being a
symbol for that other? and it has opened two problems to deal with regarding
Symbolism: the conditions for sense over nonsense in combination of symbols, and the
conditions for uniqueness of meaning or references in symbols. In short, an ideal
language is one that is logically perfect by preventing nonsense and providing a defined
and unique meaning for every single symbol. Wittgenstein, in my opinion, is initially for,
but turned against establishing an ideal language. As aforementioned, Wittgensteins
motivation for establishing an ideal language is to erase all ambiguities. However, in his
earlier book Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, the pursuit of a logically perfect language is
difficult due to some conflicts: the theory of generality which eliminated propositions on
how many things are there in the world, which is a prerequisite for a defined singlesymbol meaning, and; the hierarchy of languages, dealing with each others structures
and may possibly have no limit is beyond the scope of logic. Furthermore, his
predicament on vague boundaries points out that having a definite meaning is not a
necessity in order to employ someone to take something particularly (Stand roughly
there). And additionally, as supported by the conflicts of an ideal language, conflicts
become intolerable as conditions become ideal, like slippery ice without friction, and
walking require friction, therefore a rough ground. In a way the vagueness of the
language is what makes it ideal, the ideal must be found in reality. Wittgenstein

mentioned that there must be sense in perfect order, and thus the vaguest sentence, as
long as it has sense, may be considered a perfect order.
3) Explain clearly the role of philosophy and the following quotation: Philosophy may in
no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it, for it
cannot give it any foundation either it leaves everything as it is.
Philosophy is responsible for studying the rules, clarifying entanglements, and
generally get a clearer view of a certain subject at hand. Simply, it places everything
before us and makes the hidden visible that we may be able to understand it, since
philosophy is mostly interested in the hidden because of their simplicity and
familiarity. In a sense, it leaves everything as it is. However, Philosophy ends when
one tries to explain, revise, or in any way overhaul the fundamentals of a certain subjects:
those are the respective subjects role and a set boundary for philosophy. In connection
with the role of philosophy, the quotation states that philosophy cannot change what a
language essentially is, but it can only describe, or rather examine and take into
consideration all probabilities (one out of many orders, not the order) that it may
provide an insight on the subject, in this case language, only assembling reminders that
it may possibly generate examples and resolve conflicts, and appear as to reform
language albeit by simply analyzing it.