"Our method is purely descriptive; the descriptions we give are not hints of explanations."

Wittgenstein says this at the end of the first part of the Brown Book, which consists almost entirely of language games that show the variety of different uses of a word. For instance, there is no one paradigmatic case of "reading": there is instead a whole family of uses that share certain similarities. After giving a number of examples of different uses of the word "read," Wittgenstein warns us that he is not providing these examples so that we can identify what they all share in common. His method is to highlight differences, not to identify fundamental similarities. He wants to show that philosophy should not and cannot identify hidden essences, but only highlight—by means of the descriptive method of language games—that there are no hidden essences, only variegated surface features.

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