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Senior Course Study: Philosophy of Language - Essay Example

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Philosophy of language Thesis: The rule-following problem is a deep philosophical problem. It raises questions about what meaning is and what language is. The rule-following problem may be referred to the problem of meaning underdetermination of an intentional phenomenon…
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Senior Course Study: Philosophy of Language
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Download file to see previous pages Though Kripke’s ideas are often criticized for his skeptical approach to the rule-following paradox, there are followers of Kripke who consider him to be dominant over Wittgenstein for his attempt to solve this problem in such a way and not only theorizing, as it did Wittgenstein. Introduction to the philosophy of Wittgenstein Early Philosophy of Wittgenstein Wittgenstein is a great philosopher. He discusses the issues of self and meaning. He tries to draw parallels between the role meaning plays in the communication. He tries to see what language is and considers its structure. The studies of Wittgenstein present a perfect background for development of numerous philosophical ideas. Our discussion concerns his vision of language. In order to understand his paradox of rule following, it is relevant to trace tendencies of his development as a philosopher. Wittgenstein in his early philosophy developed ideas of Russell borrowed from Principia Mathematica and was focused on discussion of false or true propositions. Wittgenstein was focused on application of logic for semantics. He was inspired by Frege and Russell and their considerations about axiomization (Kaplan, 2006). In the course of his creative activity, Wittgenstein referred to symbolic depiction and mathematic language in order to show a factual basis of the language. An integration of different approaches to solving the problem of what logic is, what language is and how these issues are reflected in an individual, make Wittgenstein a great philosopher. In his early theory of language, Wittgenstein reflects his ideas about interrelatedness of things and words. Thus, “if the words in a factual proposition were not correlated with things, no sentence constructed out of them would say anything” (Stern, 2006). A correlation between things and words is the basis of communication. Therefore, Wittgenstein uses philosophy as a ‘tool’ in identification of the language function. From this claim it is seen that the philosopher considers correlation between separate things, thus he refers to the ideas of ‘atomism’ developed by Russell, i.e. in his early years Wittgenstein considered different phenomena separately, like ‘atoms’, and in his later years he considered different phenomena in relation to each other. Further on, Wittgenstein developed his ideas and made remarks to his Tractatus. Gradually, Wittgenstein started to step back from his version of ‘logical atomism’. Firstly, in Tractatus he claimed that “A proposition can determine only one place in logical space: nevertheless the whole of logical space must already be given with it” (Wittingstein1922, 3.42 cited by Stern, 2006). Consequently, Wittgenstein moved to holism (Crary and Read, 2000). Thus, he rejected the ideas of atomism taken from Russell. Wittgenstein widened his philosophical views and started to appeal for consideration of things in integration and interaction. Wittgenstein started to claim about a set of logical elementary proposition and considered the structure of the language, which “might be visible on its surface and might actually be gathered from the ordinary uses that we make of words in ordinary situations” (Wittgenstein, 1968). Consequently, Wittgenstein descended to his later philosophy. The later Wittgenstein is of great importance in the modern philosophical paradigm. In a modern context of world’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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