Ideas from 'Philosophical Investigations' by Ludwig Wittgenstein [1952], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Philosophical Investigations' by Wittgenstein,Ludwig (ed/tr Anscombe,E.) [Blackwell 1972,0-631-14670-9]].

Click on the Idea Number for the full details    |     back to texts     |     expand these ideas


1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 3. Philosophy Defined
Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language
1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 6. Despair over Philosophy
What is your aim in philosophy? - To show the fly the way out of the fly-bottle
2. Reason / B. Laws of Thought / 3. Non-Contradiction
The problem is to explain the role of contradiction in social life
5. Theory of Logic / E. Structures of Logic / 1. Logical Form
Wittgenstein says we want the grammar of problems, not their first-order logical structure
5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 1. Naming / a. Names
Naming is a preparation for description
5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 1. Naming / b. Names as descriptive
A name is not determined by a description, but by a cluster or family
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 2. Resemblance Nominalism
Various games have a 'family resemblance', as their similarities overlap and criss-cross
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 5. Essence as Kind
Essence is expressed by grammar
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 4. Belief / c. Aim of beliefs
The belief that fire burns is like the fear that it burns
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 2. Phenomenalism
Are sense-data the material of which the universe is made?
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 4. Sense Data / d. Sense-data problems
As sense-data are necessarily private, they are attacked by Wittgenstein's objections
12. Knowledge Sources / E. Direct Knowledge / 1. Intuition
How do I decide when to accept or obey an intuition?
13. Knowledge Criteria / D. Scepticism / 6. Scepticism Critique
One can mistrust one's own senses, but not one's own beliefs
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 4. Other Minds / c. Knowing other minds
I don't have the opinion that people have minds; I just treat them as such
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 4. Other Minds / d. Other minds by analogy
It is irresponsible to generalise from my own case of pain to other people's
To imagine another's pain by my own, I must imagine a pain I don't feel, by one I do feel
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 3. Privacy
If a lion could talk, we could not understand him
If a lion could talk, it would be nothing like other lions
16. Persons / C. Self-Awareness / 1. Introspection
To say that I 'know' I am in pain means nothing more than that I AM in pain
17. Mind and Body / D. Property Dualism / 6. Mysterianism
Why are we not aware of the huge gap between mind and brain in ordinary life?
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 10. Rule Following
An 'inner process' stands in need of outward criteria
One cannot obey a rule 'privately', because that is a practice, not the same as thinking one is obeying
If individuals can't tell if they are following a rule, how does a community do it?
Every course of action can either accord or conflict with a rule, so there is no accord or conflict
18. Thought / C. Content / 6. Broad Content
Externalist accounts of mental content begin in Wittgenstein
Is white simple, or does it consist of the colours of the rainbow?
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 2. Ontology of Concepts / b. Concepts as abilities
Man learns the concept of the past by remembering
Possessing a concept is knowing how to go on
Concepts direct our interests and investigations, and express those interests
19. Language / A. Language / 1. Language
To imagine a language means to imagine a form of life
19. Language / A. Language / 7. Private Language
If a brilliant child invented a name for a private sensation, it couldn't communicate it
We cannot doublecheck mental images for correctness (or confirm news with many copies of the paper)
If we only named pain by our own case, it would be like naming beetles by looking in a private box
Was Witggenstein's problem between individual and community, or between occasions for an individual?
If the reference is private, that is incompatible with the sense being public
Getting from perceptions to words cannot be a private matter; the rules need an institution of use
19. Language / B. Meaning / 1. Meaning
Make the following experiment: say "It's cold here" and mean "It's warm here"
19. Language / B. Meaning / 3. Meaning as Verification
Asking about verification is only one way of asking about the meaning of a proposition
19. Language / B. Meaning / 4. Meaning as Use
For Wittgenstein, words are defined by their use, just as chess pieces are
We do not achieve meaning and understanding in our heads, but in the world
We all seem able to see quite clearly how sentences represent things when we use them
In the majority of cases the meaning of a word is its use in the language
We don't have 'meanings' in our minds in addition to verbal expressions
19. Language / B. Meaning / 9. Meaning Holism
To understand a sentence means to understand a language
19. Language / D. Theories of Reference / 1. Reference theories
How do words refer to sensations?
19. Language / D. Theories of Reference / 3. Direct Reference / b. Causal reference
The standard metre in Paris is neither one metre long nor not one metre long
19. Language / G. Interpretation / 3. Charity
To communicate, language needs agreement in judgment as well as definition
Common human behaviour enables us to interpret an unknown language
20. Action / A. Definition of Action / 3. Actions and Events
What is left over if I subtract my arm going up from my raising my arm?
29. Religion / A. Religious Thought / 2. Religious Meaning
Grammar tells what kind of object anything is - and theology is a kind of grammar
29. Religion / E. Immortality / 2. Soul
The human body is the best picture of the human soul