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Whenever a discussion about Wittgenstein has come up in classes before, such as
in the Philosophy of Language course (PHL 360 is what it used to be, although it
seems to have disappeared from Schedule Builder...), the primary discussion
point is language games. I had only ever heard about it in terms of the builder
analogy, and not as moves in a game such as chess. As a result, I found myself
very confused early on in "On Certainty" when he was beginning to talk about
rules in a game, distinguishing between bad moves and erroneous moves and the
like. The discussion we had in class was quite helpful in illuminating these
points, and I feel more comfortable now with the concept of a language-game
itself. However, I still find myself confused about how we go from rules like
those in chess to rules that guide a language-game. The connection is not an
obvious one, at least to my eyes. At first glance it seems that the connection
to chess is in how we explain these rules; "the rook moves like 'this'; the
bishop moves like 'that'". Thinking on it, however, this seems incorrect. It
appears as though the rules of a game are just what we mean to do when we do
something within the game. For instance, the bishop moves in such a way because
that is what it "means" to move a bishop.  The bishop cannot be moved in a
different way because then you aren't moving the bishop, or you're moving the
bishop incorrectly, or you're doing something to the bishop which you shouldn't
be, etc. So when I speak English using certain words or sentences in the ways
that I do, I am attempting to follow the rules of my language-game. There
doesn't seem to be a guarantee that I am following these rules properly other
than people giving me funny looks or asking, "what do you mean" when I say
something that violates these rules, but there doesn't seem to be a way to rule
out the improper use of words thus far. For instance, the Positivist would want
Wittgenstein to tell us how we could know that metaphysical language is a
violation of the rules of our language-game. There seem to be many ways of
answering such a question. For instance, the language-game which would eliminate
metaphysical talk might be a science which accepts the tenets of physicalism.
This means that there might be games in which metaphysics is a meaningful point
of discussion. Wittgenstein has yet to provide such a picture, however. 

Something that I have been wrestling with is what Wittgenstein might mean when
he says things like "I do not know how the sentence... is to be used".  For
instance, in 258 (page 34), Wittgenstein says that he does not know how the
sentence "I have a body" is to be used. But he doesn't say why, or at least not
immediately so. Such sentences have been cropping up throughout the last hundred
or so lines as well, each time with no substantial explanation of why. Is it
because he doesn't think he can? I know that these are notes in a notebook and,
as such, we are working through his thoughts as they come to him along with him,
albeit we are far more in the dark on what he may intend with his words than we
might like. My primary goal is to figure out why he might not believe he knows
how it is to be used. Presumably, it does not align with particular kinds of
rules. But rules of what kind? This remains unclear to me.  How deeply should we
expect this to tie into judgments, beliefs, and knowledge? 


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