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Philosophical Investigations

Ludwig Wittgenstein


Part II, i - x

page 1 of 3

Part II, i - x

Part II, i - x

Part II, i - x

Part II, i - x


i. We can imagine an animal angry or happy, but we have trouble imagining it hopeful. Hope exists against the background of a form of life that we do not normally think of animals as sharing.

ii. In the sentence, "Mr. Scot is a Scot," the first "Scot" is a proper name, while the second "Scot" is a common name referring to a person from Scotland. Can I say the sentence while meaning the first "Scot" as a common name and the second "Scot" as a proper name? Trying to do so will not change the sense the sentence has for anybody else.

iii. If I draw a picture of a certain person, the picture's resemblance to that person is not what determines who the picture is of. It is the surrounding context—e.g. my saying who it represents—that settles the matter.

iv. I do not believe (nor am I certain) that the people I see are not automata. The question whether someone is an automaton cannot even arise without first discarding a great deal of what goes into my basic attitude toward other people. Though talk about people's having souls is a figurative expression, we do not use it in place of other, literal expressions.

v. We do not necessarily make tacit presuppositions when inferring people's mental states from their behavior. If someone groans and I give him a painkiller, that does not mean that I am presupposing that the groan expresses pain and that he is not faking it. In certain language-games, there is no place for doubt.

vi. Whether someone claims that, for him, knowing how to play chess is an inner process is immaterial: our criteria for saying he knows how to play chess is in how he plays the game, not in what goes on inside him. The same can be said for mental states that accompany certain words. We are not interested your mental state you when you speak, so long as we can understand you.

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