"We must do away with all explanation, and description alone must take its place." (Part I, section 109)

Traditional philosophy generally attempts to explain the phenomena it studies, be it language, the mind, or metaphysics. Wittgenstein identifies the shortcomings of traditional philosophy in this drive toward explanation. In looking for explanations, we assume our ordinary language is somehow at fault, and try to dig beneath it to find its inner workings. Wittgenstein suggests that our true error comes from not properly understanding the surface features of our language, and mistaking them to be pointing toward deeper phenomena that must be uncovered and explained. Instead of explanation, Wittgenstein proposes a philosophy of pure description: we must do no more than investigate and describe the varieties of ways in which we speak. This descriptive method will bring to light the variety of different ways we use words like "meaning," thus disabusing us of the notion that there must be a single concept of "meaning" that must be discovered and explained.

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