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Saturday, August 30, 2008

back to the rough ground!

107. The more narrowly we examine actual language, the sharper becomes the conflict between it and our requirement. (For the crystalline purity of logic was, of course, not a result of investigation: it was a requirement.) The conflict becomes intolerable; the requirement is now in danger of becoming empty.--We have got on to slippery ice where there is no friction and so in a certain sense the conditions are ideal, but also, just because of that, we are unable to walk. We want to walk: so we need friction. Back to the rough ground!

116. When philosophers use a word--"knowledge","being","object","I","proposition","name"-- and try to grasp the essence of the thing, one must always ask oneself: is the word ever actually used this way in the language-game which is its original home?--

What we do is to bring words back from their metaphysical to their everyday use.

Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations

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