Wittgenstein and Contemporary Linguists

Paul Henry

Abstract


In the Yellow Book, that is to say the notes for the Cambridge lectures of the years 1932 to 1935, in the middle of a discussion about what makes the difference between hypotheses and grammatical rules, Wittgenstein suddenly asks us to consider all the things about which we would have to change our minds in order to be able to accept as an hypothesis that there is a hippopotamus in this room. He thus chooses a hypothesis which is at the limit of absurdity in order to compel us to consider that which we would otherwise escape. Wittgenstein has used the same trick many times.

Keywords


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; grammar; linguistics; name; language; ideal; phonology; psychology

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