josh blog

Ordinary language is all right.

One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.

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12 Mar '14 02:46:01 PM

'What kind of medium a screen is'

11 Mar '14 09:39:24 PM

Girl Canons

11 Mar '14 05:45:40 PM

The more your profiles and streams of comments and likes and replies take on an independent existence thanks to being caught up in the constant hum of activity, the more the corresponding stream of notification emails comes to seem like a backchannel between you and your own (scare-quoted) life, your way of catching wind of what's going on with you out there.

11 Mar '14 05:37:26 PM

'… untethered to geography, universal in topic and voice…'

11 Mar '14 03:16:54 AM

—As if to answer the question, 'what does the imagination do?' with another question, 'well what can doing do?'

11 Mar '14 02:25:07 AM

In the Investigations Wittgenstein regularly considers and dismisses various roles mental 'images' might serve in meaning and understanding things. Near the beginning of the Blue Book, he is much more explicit about having 'the imagination' in mind:

'There is one way of avoiding at least partly the occult appearance of the processes of thinking, and it is, to replace in these processes any working of the imagination by acts of looking at real objects. Thus it may seem essential that, at least in certain cases, when I hear the word "red" with understanding, a red image should be before my mind's eye. But why should I not substitute seeing a red bit of paper for imagining a red patch? The visual image will only be the more vivid. Imagine a man always carrying a sheet of paper in his pocket on which the names of colours are co-ordinated with coloured patches. You may say that it would be a nuisance to carry such a table of samples about with you, and that the mechanism of association is what we always use instead of it. But this is irrelevant; and in many cases it is not even true. If, for instance, you were ordered to paint a particular shade of blue called "Prussian Blue", you might have to use a table to lead you from the word "Prussian Blue" to a sample of the colour, which would serve you as your copy.

We could perfectly well, for our purposes, replace every process of imagining by a process of looking at an object or by painting, drawing or modelling; and every process of speaking to oneself by speaking aloud or by writing.'

Several similar examples have already been given by this point; to a reader of the Investigations they seem no different from the odd procedures and devices which the shopkeeper, the builders, and others are described as using to carry out their orders and conduct their business. But in the descriptions of language-games in the Investigations, these replacements for imagination appear as imagined. Why? (Is it because 'to imagine a language is to imagine a form of life'? But then why less emphasis, early on, on 'the imagination'?)

10 Mar '14 07:18:31 AM

'That ain't what kinda world it is.'

10 Mar '14 04:18:53 AM

Or, 'o friends, there are no friends'

10 Mar '14 12:04:17 AM

Academics, never far from smaller-print reminders of their affiliations. Smaller print, bigger authority.