# Precision in Talking

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Assignments
Course Syllabus Change
1. Paper and Exams
-- Pick one or the other
-- They are the same thing

2. Monk – First 3 chapters

Question:
What is going on in
Chapter 1

Question:
What is going on in
Chapter 2

Question:
What is going on in
Chapter 3
Inspiration
Wittgenstein’s Writings

Question:
Anyone find anything of
interest?
Discussing the Problems
1. Suppose that one day history learns that Frances Bacon,
and not William Shakespeare, wrote all of the famous works
that had been attributed to Shakespeare (Hamlet, MacBeth,
etc., etc.,). And upon learning of this conclusive proof, people
begin to say, “Bacon is Shakespeare!” Question: in this
scenario, who is Shakespeare? And can both Bacon and
Shakespeare be him? What if someone said, “Shakespeare
wasn't Shakespeare” – is that permissible?

Question:
What would you say
If Sauron in the Lord of the Rings had vacated Mordor midway
through the story, would it still have been “Mordor?” Try this
one: let's say Batman moves to a different cave. Where is the
Batcave? Cave 1 or Cave 2? If he moves to a hotel, is there no
such thing as the batcave?

Question:
What would you say
3. Your grandmother looks at her desk, nailed to the floor, and
says, “it isn't moving.” A physicist overhears and says, “yes it
is: the particles are constantly in motion – you just can't see
them.” Who is right?

Question:
What would you say
4. You are dining with a physicist at a restaurant. You order
some water. The waitress, however, brings you a cup of ice.
You say, “that's not what I ordered.” The physicist says, “yes, it
is.” Who is right? More to the point: what are you referring to
when using the word “water” that is different from what the
physicist is referring to?

Question:
What would you say
Review
Meaning is use   Family Resemblance
How to Police a Family
How to Police a Family
• Sharp Boundary
a set of yes/no questions
creating a rule for the term

Volley ball net in a field
How to Police a Family

• Professional v. Lay Sense
A chair professional
Differentiating family members
rather than associating them
Stool      into one big thing

Recliner   Chair          throne

Beach
Chair
How to Police a Family

• Exemplar-sense
“Now that’s a cigar”
How to Police a Family

• Exemplar-sense
“Now that’s a cigar”
How to Police a Family

• Exemplar-sense
“Now that’s a cigar”

Speak as if only the exemplar or
archetype counts
Want to talk more about precision in talking

• Rigid Designation

• Scientific Jargon

• Names

• Indexicals

These kinds of terms will be more precise (in the first place)

Their families, if any, will be smaller

Sense within them will be a little different
How to Speak About
Family Members
Table : Different Kinds of Membership
Term                                   Sense

Exemplar:      The best example of the ordinary case; the best typical
case. (E.g., a four-leaf clover of ordinary look and size)

Archetype:     The best specimen. (E.g., a four-leaf clover with no
imperfections)

Prototype:     The first case. (E.g., the prototype of a car for new line of
production that will commence in the near future)

Specimen:      Any example.
Table : Different Kinds of Membership
Term                                   Sense

Exemplar:      The best example of the ordinary case; the best typical
case. (E.g., a four-leaf clover of ordinary look and size)

Archetype:     The best specimen. (E.g., a four-leaf clover with no
imperfections)

Prototype:     The first case. (E.g., the prototype of a car for new line of
production that will commence in the near future)

Specimen:      Any example.
Table : Different Kinds of Membership
Term                                   Sense

Exemplar:      The best example of the ordinary case; the best typical
case. (E.g., a four-leaf clover of ordinary look and size)

Archetype:     The best specimen. (E.g., a four-leaf clover with no
imperfections)

Prototype:     The first case. (E.g., the prototype of a car for new line of
production that will commence in the near future)

Specimen:      Any example.
Table : Different Kinds of Membership
Term                                   Sense

Exemplar:      The best example of the ordinary case; the best typical
case. (E.g., a four-leaf clover of ordinary look and size)

Archetype:     The very best specimen. (E.g., a four-leaf clover with no
imperfections)

Prototype:     The first case. (E.g., the prototype of a car for new line of
production that will commence in the near future)

Specimen:      Any example.
Table : Different Kinds of Membership
Term                                   Sense

Exemplar:      The ordinary case; most typical case. (E.g., a four-leaf
clover of ordinary look and size)

Archetype:     The best specimen. (E.g., a four-leaf clover with no
imperfections)

Prototype:     The first case. (E.g., the prototype of a car for new line of
production that will commence in the near future)

Specimen:      Any example.
Precision in Speaking
I want to draw an important distinction

Some philosophers call this the difference between a
TYPE and a TOKEN. (I don’t like to speak that way)

Question:
Let’s suppose you wanted to speak
of only 1 exact chair. There is one
absolutely specific chair you want.
How would you refer to it in a way
that avoided the most confusion?
Car

Ford   SUV           Type of Engine (SE) (S)
compact       Coupe, hatch
Chevy
Sub-compact
Manual, automatic
Toyota     Sports
Type?
Sedan
Surname?
Kind?
Car

Ford     Fiesta   2012

SE     Hatch

Question:
How can I get even more
precise? How can we
narrow to 1?
Car

Ford     Fiesta   2012

SE     Hatch
Vin Number!
Car

Ford     Fiesta   2012

SE     Hatch
Question:
Vin Number!
How do we individuate
things when we don’t
number or sequence?
Behaviors that give
us precision
If you want to TRY to narrow to one, you have several
BEHAVIORS at your disposal
Doesn’t exactly
Point    “Give me that one”    Indexical
narrow to one
Sequence        Wenzhou Times Company Guest
Chair Model with Cushion    Rigid
Backrest, Model WJ277572    Designator

Note that this doesn’t
narrow to one. Each           Question:
chair of this model isn’t     Why not?
further marked. No
serial numbers.
If you want to TRY to narrow to one, you have several
BEHAVIORS at your disposal

Point      “Give me that one”   Indexical

Sequence         Wenzhou Times Company Guest
Chair Model with Cushion    Rigid
Backrest, Model WJ277572    Designator

Label or      Suzie
Christen               Name
If you want to TRY to narrow to one, you have several
BEHAVIORS at your disposal

Point
a person …
Sequence
“hey you” Indexical

DNA profile such and such
Label or                                   Rigid Designator
Christen
“Steve Smith”
Name
Scientific Jargon
“Water is H2O”

“A water molecule contains one oxygen and two
hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds.”

Question:
What level of precision is
this?
Water is H2O

A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen
atoms connected by covalent bonds.

(Notice that we don’t individuate the molecules themselves,
like a VIN number)

An 8 ounce glass of water would have something like
7.5*10^24, which is
75,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 molecules

75 sextillion

Compare: Wenzhou Guest Chair Model WJ277572
4. You are dining with a physicist at a restaurant. You order
some water. The waitress, however, brings you a cup of ice.
You say, “that's not what I ordered.” The physicist says, “yes, it
is.” Who is right? More to the point: what are you referring to
when using the word “water” that is different from what the
physicist is referring to?

Physicist is referring to the molecular structure of the
substance

You are referring to the wet, clear, slippery liquid common
at dining.

Meaning is use
Names
The meaning of a name is different from the
bearer of a name

“[We confuse] the meaning of a name with the
bearer of the name. When Mr. N.N. dies one
says that the bearer of the name dies, not that
the meaning dies.” (See ¶ 40, PI).

“… his name does not lose its meaning when
the bearer is destroyed.” (See ¶ 55, PI)
Consider These Names:

Shakespeare

Moses

Jack the Ripper

Question:
What do these names
“mean” – what do they
refer to?
Bearer
In some language
games, the bearer is
inseparable from the
attributes
Attributes

Bearer
In other kinds of
language games, the
two can separate
When they do NOT separate

“Who is Jocelyn Wilson?”

When I say this, I have in mind a specific a
person who I want you to identify for me. I
have in mind a specific bearer

If you don’t describe the right person to me,
you aren’t playing that language game
properly.

There is a bearer, X, that I want you to identify
for me.
When they DO separate          Moses

Attributes

Israel out of Egypt
(Exodus)

Bearer                 Gives the 10
commandments
Lived to be over 100
Had a really long
beard
Attributes

Bearer
Moses

Shakespeare

Jack the Ripper
Attributes

Bearer
1. Suppose that one day history learns that Frances Bacon,
and not William Shakespeare, wrote all of the famous works
that had been attributed to Shakespeare (Hamlet, MacBeth,
etc., etc.,). And upon learning of this conclusive proof, people
begin to say, “Bacon is Shakespeare!” Question: in this
scenario, who is Shakespeare? And can both Bacon and
Shakespeare be him? What if someone said, “Shakespeare
wasn't Shakespeare” – is that permissible?

Bearer-call    Look for the
One use names the bearer                        donkey’s tail

Another ASSIGNS the attributes to a
new bearer Coronation?

Attribute-assignment
Pin the tail on the
donkey
1. Suppose that one day history learns that Frances Bacon,
and not William Shakespeare, wrote all of the famous works
that had been attributed to Shakespeare (Hamlet, MacBeth,
etc., etc.,). And upon learning of this conclusive proof, people
begin to say, “Bacon is Shakespeare!” Question: in this
scenario, who is Shakespeare? And can both Bacon and
Shakespeare be him? What if someone said, “Shakespeare
wasn't Shakespeare” – is that permissible?

Question:
What does the phrase
“historical Jesus” refer to?

Cf. Jesus is the Hebrew Socrates
Try these language games

Question:
What does “God” refer to?
What is happening in that
language game?
Try these language games

Suppose science confirms that mother nature
created the universe.

“Mother nature is God”

Question:
What does “God” refer to in
the sentence?

“God will get you for that”
Question:
Has the sense of “God” changed here.
What does it mean here?
If Sauron in the Lord of the Rings had vacated Mordor midway
through the story, would it still have been “Mordor?” Try this
one: let's say Batman moves to a different cave. Where is the
Batcave? Cave 1 or Cave 2? If he moves to a hotel, is there no
such thing as the batcave?

Morder = the evil place where Sauron lives

Question:
Wouldn’t the sense of
“Morder” change if Sauron
didn’t live there anymore?

Cf. Heaven if God moved out

Cf. Hell if the Devil left
Try these language games

If Dennis grows up and stops being a
menace, is he still “Dennis the
Menace?” (Same for Messy Marvin)
Try these language games

“I’m a different person now”

“My wife isn’t the same person she
used to be”

Question:
What do these expressions
say in the language game?
1. Suppose someone said the following of the game of
tennis: “It’s not the same game today.” Another person
vehemently disagreed: “of course it’s the same game!”

Question:
What’s going on here – and
who is “right?”

Question:
Can anyone see the big
picture here – where we are

The problems are always FALSE!

Insight rules, not debate or logic
Wittgenstein’s Effect
Upon Logic
Prior to Wittgenstein, you get this sort of thing:

1. All Bachelors are Unmarried males
2. Tiger is Married
3. Therefore, Tiger isn’t a “bachelor”
True by Logic? True by definition?
An analytical truth
Prior to Wittgenstein, you get this sort of thing:

1. All Bachelors are Unmarried males
2. Tiger is Married
3. Therefore, Tiger isn’t a “bachelor”
True by Logic? True by definition?
An analytical truth
If you were in
school in the
If you would dispute this,    1950s and
they would pull out the       60s, this
dictionary. Appeal to         issue would
authority.                    look like this
Here is what Wittgenstein does:

The logical structure has to be different now:

1. Every sense of “Bachelor” involves an
unmarried male
2. Tiger is Married
3. Therefore, Tiger cannot be ANY sense
of “bachelor”

The logic is no longer true!
Here is what Wittgenstein does:

The logical structure has to be different now:

We don’t look
1. Every sense of “Bachelor” involves an      to the
unmarried male                             dictionary; we
2. Tiger is Married                           look at the
3. Therefore, Tiger cannot be ANY sense       language
of “bachelor”                              culture!
The logic is no longer true!

The authority has changed!
We could do this:

1. The technical sense of “Bachelor”
involves an unmarried male
2. Tiger is Married
3. Therefore, Tiger cannot be a “bachelor”
in a technical sense

True, but less impressive!
Another example:

1. Shakespeare is DNA profile such and
such
2. Bacon doesn’t have DNA such and
such
3. Therefore, Bacon cannot be
Shakespeare

Kripkean
After Wittgenstein:

1. Every sense of “Shakespeare” involves
DNA profile such and such
2. Bacon doesn’t have DNA such and
such
3. Therefore, Bacon cannot be ANY
sense of “Shakespeare”
If you want to
Not true!
do philosophy
Word sense and Meaning-is-Use created a      well, learn to
revolution in philosophy                     be insightful
with language!
Analyticity – Logic – is no longer king
Grammar
Around 1930, Wittgenstein replaces the role
that Logic had served in his beliefs with a new
concept

Grammar

Inaugurates a new sense of “grammar”

Today, thousands of academics use the
word in a Wittgensteinian sense

Grammar

Means the following
Intelligibility What makes something
intelligible to another

Assertability Conditions

simile     Grammar as Playdough
Consider these thoughts from Wittgenstein in Philosophical
Grammar. He writes:

Why don’t I call cookery rules arbitrary, and why am I tempted
to call the rules of grammar arbitrary? Because I think of the
concept “cookery” as defined by the end of cookery, and I
don’t think of the concept of “language” as being defined by
the ends of language. You cook badly if you are guided in your
cooking by rules other than the right ones; but if you follow
other rules than those of chess you are playing another game;
and if you follow grammatical rules other than such and such
ones, that does not mean you say something wrong, no, you are
speaking of something else [LW-7 at 184-185].

What Can You Not
EVER Say?
Prior to Later Wittgenstein, you get this sort of
thing:

-- Certain expressions cannot be said
because they are meaningless

“Green ideas sleep furiously”

Yet, after Wittgenstein, even this idea could
have life ….
   the hobbits of the shire loved their rainy spring
season because they loved their gardens. In
the dark winter cold months, they slept long
and dreamt of spring harvest, noting 'green
ideas sleep furiously.’

Whatever is intelligible can be said
Logic or Philosophy do not dictate what is intelligible

The language culture (language game) does that

Philosophy is subservient to this
Exquisite sense

After Wittgenstein, we have this:

Fat Tuesday

Fat City

Yellow e
   "Given the two ideas 'fat' and 'lean,' would you be rather
inclined to say that Wednesday was fat and Tuesday lean,
or vice versa? (I incline decisively towards the former).
Now have "fat" and "lean" some different meaning here
from their usual one? __ They have a different use. -- So
ought I really to have used different words? Certainly not
that. -- I want to use THESE words (with their familiar
meanings) HERE.-- Now, I say nothing about the causes of
this phenomenon. They MIGHT be associations from my
childhood. But that is a hypothesis. Whatever the
explanation, -- the inclination is there" [LW-1, p. 216].
   "One might speak of a 'primary' and 'secondary'
sense of a word. It is only if the word has the
primary sense for you that you use it in the
secondary one. ... The secondary sense is not a
'metaphorical' sense. If I say 'For me the vowel
in e is yellow' I do not mean: 'yellow' in a
metaphorical sense, -- for I could not express
what I want to say in any other way than by
means of the idea 'yellow' [LW-1, p. 216].
Note: see the game of Madlibs
Language has its own life
   "A new-born child has no teeth." -- "A goose has no
teeth." -- "A rose has no teeth." -- This last at any rate --
one would like to say -- is obviously true! It is even surer
than that a goose has none. -- And yet it is none so clear.
For what should a rose's teeth have been? The goose
has none in its jaw. And neither, of course, has it any in
its wings; but no one means that when he says it has no
teeth. -- Why, suppose one were to say: the cow chews
its food and then dungs the rose with it, so the rose has
teeth in the mouth of a beast. This would not be absurd,
because one has no notion in advance where to look for
teeth in a rose" [LW-1, p. 221].
If it can be intelligible, it can be said
Ramifications

To be a good philosopher, you must first be a
good LISTNER

You don’t have to be the best at math or logic

People are allowed to speak (in the first
instance)

The first job of the philosopher is only to figure
out what they’ve said

People are given their own lexicon, there own
ways of speaking, so long as they work (are
intelligible).
3. Your grandmother looks at her desk, nailed to the floor, and
says, “it isn't moving.” A physicist overhears and says, “yes it
is: the particles are constantly in motion – you just can't see
them.” Who is right?

Grandmother was never talking about the particles

“Motion” was intelligible long before we knew about particles

The grandmother’s sense of “motion,” like a child’s, still gets
work done in the language game

Another false problem!

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