Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews March 9, 2024
March 2, 2024
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
Annual Plan - Group Discount
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
The idea of family resemblance is Wittgenstein's answer to the idea of fixity of meaning. We tend to think of words as labels that we can apply to things, ideas, mental states, and so on. This leads to the notion that a word like "understanding" must have one fixed meaning, which we might identify as some sort of mental state or process. When we use the word "understanding" in different contexts, we think that both uses of the word share something in common.
In order to show the error in this way of thinking, Wittgenstein uses the metaphor of family resemblance. If we gather together five members of the same family, they probably look alike, although there is no distinctive feature that they all share in comm on. A brother and a sister might have the same dark eyes, while that sister and her father share a slightly turned-up nose. They have a group of shared features, some of which are more distinctly present in some members of the family, while some features are not present at all. Wittgenstein argues that the different uses of one word share the same family resemblance. There is no single defining characteristic of all uses of the word "understanding"; rather, these uses share a kind of family resemblance w ith one another.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Blue and Brown Books!