<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head><meta charset="utf-8"> <title>Grant (Sandy) - How playing Wittgensteinian language-games can set us free (Theo Todman's Book Collection - Paper Abstracts) </title> <link href="../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../TT_ICO.png" /></head> <BODY> <CENTER> <div id="header"><HR><h1>Theo Todman's Web Page - Paper Abstracts</h1><HR></div><A name="Top"></A> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_22/PaperSummary_22084.htm">How playing Wittgensteinian language-games can set us free</A></th></tr> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../Authors/G/Author_Grant (Sandy).htm">Grant (Sandy)</a></th></tr> <tr><th>Source: Aeon, 24 January, 2017</th></tr> <tr><th>Paper - Abstract</th></tr> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=600><tr><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_22/PaperSummary_22084.htm">Paper Summary</A></td><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_22/PapersToNotes_22084.htm">Notes Citing this Paper</A></td><td><A HREF="#ColourConventions">Text Colour-Conventions</a></td></tr></TABLE></CENTER></P> <hr><P><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><U>Author s Introduction</U><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>We live out our lives amid a world of language, in which we use words to do things. Ordinarily we don t notice this; we just get on with it. But the way we use language affects how we live and who we can be. We are as if bewitched by the practices of saying that constitute our ways of going on in the world. If we want to change how things are, then we need to change the way we use words. But can language-games set us free?</li><li>It was the maverick philosopher <a name="8"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/W/Author_Wittgenstein (Ludwig).htm">Ludwig Wittgenstein</A> who coined the term  language-game . He contended that words acquire meaning by their use, and wanted to see how their use was tied up with the social practices of which they are a part. So he used  language-game to draw attention not only to language itself, but to the actions into which it is woven. Consider the exclamations  Help!  Fire!  No! These do something with words: soliciting, warning, forbidding. But <a name="1"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_110.htm">Wittgenstein</A><SUP>1</SUP> wanted to expose how  words are deeds , that we do something every time we use a word. Moreover, what we do, we do in a world with others.</li><li> & </li><li>With this spotlight on language-games, <a name="2"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_110.htm">Wittgenstein</A><SUP>2</SUP> asks readers to try to see what they are doing. But if we are entranced by our linguistic practices, can we even see what we re doing? <a name="3"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_110.htm">Wittgenstein</A><SUP>3</SUP> s attempts to see met with the charge that he was stopping us from seeing anything else, from perceiving new possibilities: his linguistic obsessions were a distraction from real politics. The chief accuser was <a name="9"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/M/Author_Marcuse (Herbert).htm">Herbert Marcuse</A>, who in his blockbuster <em>One-Dimensional Man</em> (1964) declared that <a name="4"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_110.htm">Wittgenstein</A><SUP>4</SUP> s work was reductive and limiting. It could not be liberatory, for the close focus on how we use words misses what s really going on.</li><li>These objections are serious. But do they succeed?</li><li> & </li></ol></FONT><BR><U>Author s Conclusion</U><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>Marcuse s objections are unfounded. He fails to show that <a name="5"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_110.htm">Wittgenstein</A><SUP>5</SUP> s astonishing scrutiny of language-games is either pointlessly stupid or enslaving. In fact, his efforts only heighten regard for <a name="6"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_110.htm">Wittgenstein</A><SUP>6</SUP> s relevance in the darkness of these times.</li><li>Using language is an integral part of the human condition. We live within language, yet our way of life is something we find hard to see. <a name="7"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_1/Notes_110.htm">Wittgenstein</A><SUP>7</SUP> is not peddling ready answers to this predicament. Indeed as long as there is language it will bewitch us, we will face the temptation to misunderstand. And there is no vantage point outside it. There is no escape from language-games then, but we can forge a kind of freedom from within them. We might first need to  be stupid if we are to see this. </li></ol></FONT><hr><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><B>Comment: </B><BR><BR>See <a name="W3847W"></a><A HREF = "https://aeon.co/ideas/how-playing-wittgensteinian-language-games-can-set-us-free" TARGET = "_top">Link</A>.<BR><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR></P><a name="ColourConventions"></a><p><b>Text Colour Conventions (see <A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1025.htm">disclaimer</a>)</b></p><OL TYPE="1"><LI><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li><LI><FONT COLOR = "800080">Mauve</FONT>: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); &copy; the author(s)</li></OL> <BR><HR><BR><CENTER> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR><TD WIDTH="30%">&copy; Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2018.</TD> <TD WIDTH="40%">Please address any comments on this page to <A HREF="mailto:theo@theotodman.com">theo@theotodman.com</A>.</TD> <TD WIDTH="30%">File output: <time datetime="2018-08-02T09:47" pubdate>02/08/2018 09:47:14</time> <br><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1010.htm">Website Maintenance Dashboard</A></TD></TR> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="#Top">Return to Top of this Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="40%"><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1140.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="../../index.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Home Page</A></TD> </TR></TABLE></CENTER><HR> </BODY> </HTML>