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Posted Sun Jul 25th, 2010 5:30am Post subject: Language is a city...

I noticed that Mr. Fry was particularly drawn to the image of language as a city. I can't remember to whom he attributed this image, but it was also a favourite of Ludwig Wittgenstein. His 'Philosophical Investigations' is a text I treasure.

Okay, enough gushing! Here is wonderful quote from Wittgenstein:
"...ask yourself whether our language is complete;---whether it was so before the symbolism of chemistry and the notation of the infinitesimal calculus were incorporated in it; for these are, so to speak, suburbs of our language. (And how many houses or streets does it take before a town begins to be a town?) Our language can be seen as an ancient city: a maze of little streets and squares, of old and new houses, and of houses with additions from various periods; and this surrounded by a multitude of new boroughs with straight regular streets and uniform houses."

I encourage anyone who is interested in language to give the 'Philosophical Investigations' a look in. As both a philosopher and a classicist, I have found this work to be the best on the topic. But beware, Wittgenstein does not make it easy; his aim is to show you how language works by teaching you to look at how language is used.

-Magistra Corona.

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Posted Sun Jul 25th, 2010 4:11pm Post subject: Language is a city...

Interesting post. Stephen has mentioned his interest in Ludwig Wittgenstein on at least two prior occasions, so now I know where he got the analogy from. Just a few weeks ago I did some minor investigation into who Wittgenstein was, and must admit that I was interested to learn more, but wasn't sure where to start. Perhaps you have given me a starting off point. Thanks for the post and the suggestion.

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Posted Wed Feb 13th, 2013 7:30am Post subject: Language is a city...

That is what the downside of Wittgenstein.

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