Philosophical Investigations 206:The Common Behaviour of Mankind

Richard Raatzsch


Philosophical Investigations 206:The Common Behaviour of Mankind: Imagine you came into a strange country. You did not understand the language of the people - if their verbal utterances were a language at all. Now: (Q) "In what circumstances would you say that the people gave orders, understood them, obeyed them, rebelled against them, and so on?" [PI 206]. This Wittgensteinian question (Q) is commented by Savigny with the thesis: (i) "The answer to the question in [PI 206]b demands a theory." (i) can be understood at least in two different ways: (i') (Q) demands as an answer a theory, that is: only a theory could be accepted as an answer. (i'') The answer to (Q) - whatever it will consist of - demands a theory. (With regard to (i'') one could, and perhaps would, tacitly add : "... as a justification of the answer.") What Savigny writes a bit later is not thesis - for the reason that it is, in my eyes, undebated: (ii) "Wittgenstein does not tell us, what his theory is." In short: Wittgenstein does not give us his theory. From (i') and (ii) follows in my view: (iii) Wittgenstein does not answer (Q).


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; human; behaviour; interpretation; language game

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