Reading Notes

Addison, Joseph. From The Spectator, No. 62, Friday, May 11, 1711.

Addison admires Locke's "best and most philosophical account" of wit in distinction from judgment, as what assimilates as opposed to discerning differences. He goes on to explain this sense of wit further by distinguishing it from false wit, which registers likenesses in appearances rather than in ideas. Consequently upon this distinction he defines a kind of "mixed wit," which finds likenesses between ideas ready-made in likenesses between appearances. Dryden's definition of wit ('propriety of words and thoughts adapted to the subject') seems to Addison to cover all good writing whatsoever. In a coda, Addison praises the "beautiful simplicity" of writing founded on truth, and criticizes the "Gothic" disposition (which he attributes to the bulk of English poets and readers) to plunder the accomplishments of this writing rather than to make the truth show up in fresh simplicity.

Aquinas, Thomas. The Treatise on the Divine Nature: Summa Theologiae I 1-13. Translated by Brian J. Shanley, O.P. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. (2006).

--Summary of Prologue
Three maxims distinguish the teaching of beginners in theology: 1) Only ask, assert, and argue what is necessary. 2) Treat things in the order in which they have to be learned. 3) Avoid frequent repetition.

--Question 1: Concerning Sacred Teaching: What Is Its Character and What Is Its Range?

--Summary of Q. 1, a. 1, "The Necessity of Sacred Teaching"
The disciplines which study by reason whatever is are insufficient to make known the end to which human beings are ordered. Furthermore, as much as they do make known about this end they make known only to a few and over a long time. Human salvation requires a science from a source higher than human reason, which has the same content as philosophical theology, under a different aspect, and also reveals what is "beyond the human senses" (metonymically for reason).

--Summary of Q. 1, a. 2, "Is sacred teaching a science?"
Sacred teaching inherits its principles from the beatific science of God and the blessed. In this respect it is a subsidiary science as music is with regard to arithmetic. It includes particulars only in a secondary sense, as examples.

--Summary of Q. 1, a. 3, "Is sacred teaching one or many sciences?"
The various matters treated by sacred teaching all come under the common formal aspect of revelation, which is to say, in their being ordered to God as source and end. By analogy with the common sense with respect to the individual senses, the power which regards things in this single character is higher than the powers which divide the same things up.

--Summary of Q. 1, a. 4, "Is sacred teaching a speculative or practical science?"
Sacred teaching is more speculative than practical, if one has to choose, but it has for its subject the subjects of both kinds of science. The actions to which it orders men by law and exhortation are for the sake of knowledge.

--Summary of Q. 1, a. 5, "How does sacred teaching relate to the other sciences?"
Both theoretically and practically, sacred teaching transcends the other sciences. It is more certain (by nature, though this may be obscured by weakness of intellect), and has a nobler subject because its subject exceeds reason. It is ordered to a more ultimate end. It does not depend on philosophical sciences but puts them to use in making its promulgation smoother.

--Summary of Q. 1, a. 6, "is this teaching wisdom?"
Sacred teaching judges all things through the highest cause. It is not itself architectonic but is the only science available to men that derives from the ultimately architectonic science of God. Its judgment of the other sciences is not original to its own thinking but has authority on the basis of its derivation. It is to be distinguished, however, from wisdom as a spiritual gift.

--Summary of Q. 1, a. 7, "What is the subject of this science?"
God is the subject as the governing aspect under which the science ranges over many things. It refers everything it takes up to the originating end to which each thing is ordered by way of the effects of that end, which in itself remains unknown.

--Summary of Q. 1, a. 8, "Does sacred teaching involve arguments?"
Although arguments would be incompatible with the faith by which the principles of the science are received, on the basis of these same principles it is reasonable and necessary to deduce, dispute, and defend. The knowledge founded on faith is thus rationally extended. This foundation on authority does not debase the science because it is divine rather than human authority.

--Summary of Q. 1, a. 9, "Should sacred scripture use metaphorical or symbolic language?"
Mediation through sense is the appropriate mode of delivery to humans, and God accordingly makes himself known in this way. The sacred teaching mediates itself through senses for the sake of knowledge, not pleasure, and avoids the risk of lingering on images by giving its images a transitivity that points past them to their meaning. For the sake of this transitivity it is more fitting that these images be of base things, so that 1) they would lend themselves less to confusion and 2) they would be more attuned to a via negativa, and 3) the debased perception from which divine things must be protected will scorn these images.

--Summary of Q. 1, a. 10, "Should sacred scripture be interpreted in multiples senses?"
Intending the literal sense of an event in salvation history intends also not other sense of the word, but everything that the sole sense's object means in its turn in the language of God. One sense turns itself over to another: the historical/literal to the allegorical (the spiritual action of the old law to the spiritual action of the new law), and the allegorical to the moral (the action of Christ to our action) and to the anagogical (to the future action of eternity). The literal sense can be historical or aetiological or parabolic. In the last case the literal sense is not the sense of the letter, but this sense does turn itself over parabolically to a historical sense.


--Summary of Q. 2, a. 1, "Is the Existence of God self-evident?"
Insofar as self-evidence consists in the predicate's being analytic, God's existence is self-evident. But since we do not know what God is, we lack the subject of the analysis and His existence fails to be self-evident to us. We might even fail to know that God is "that than which a greater cannot be thought," to which existence would have to attach. The knowledge of God's existence present in us to begin with is indeterminate.

--Summary of Q. 2, a. 2, "Is the existence of God demonstrable?"
By a quia demonstration (from the effects, from what is caused by God's being what He is), not a propter quid (in which the middle term would be what God is (which is unknown), we can demonstrate God's existence from his effects. The knowledge of God's existence achieved by this demonstration is not contrary to faith, but is the nature which the grace of faith perfects (this natural knowledge can be achieved through naive belief as well). This perfection fills out the imperfection due to the disproportion of the effects to God.

--Summary of Q. 2, a. 3, "Does God exist?" (I'll give you three guesses)
The existence of God can be proved through motion, cause, generation, order, and the regularity of achievement. The infinite comprehension of God is not mitigated by the finite existence of evil because His goodness can bring good out of evil. The reduction of phenomena to will and nature does not sufficiently explain them, as shown by the argument from regular achievement.

QUESTION 3--Divine Simplicity

--Summary of Q. 3, a. 1, "Is God a body?"
If He were, his actions would suffer reactions and could therefore be moved, he would be divisible and therefore include potentiality, and His nobility would be dependent on what makes a body noble and therefore would not be most noble. The bodily attributes which are said of Him are said transitively of spiritual truths.

--Summary of Q. 3, a. 2, "Is there composition of form and matter in God?"
Composition implies potentiality of the matter to the form, participation of the composite in the form as something prior (and therefore more essentially good), and dissociation from agency, which is through form. It is also the basis of individuation regarding forms predicable of many, but God is not predicated of anything, and need not be individuated through matter. "Soul" and "anger" are said transitively of will and divine punishment.

--Summary of Q. 3, a. 3, "Is there composition of quiddity, essence, or nature and subject in God?"
God's identity with his form leaves nothing of subjectivity outside of nature for His nature to be in composition with. The explanation of the like composition in creatures is that it necessarily belongs to imitation. God is spoken of as having a nature within Him only for the sake of understanding, which knows through composites.

--Summary of Q. 3, a. 4, "Is there composition of essence and existence in God?"
If god's existence were something beyond his essence, He would be dependent on a cause for his existence, and on the addition of that existence for His actuality, and would have existence as though by participation in something prior to Himself. Nothing can be added to God by His nature, not by abstraction from the concrete (as in the case of common existence). Nor would it follow that what He is would be known in knowing that He is, because the latter knowledge does not involve knowledge of what His existence is.

--Summary of Q. 3, a. 5, "Is there composition of genus and difference in God?"
God cannot be a species, because His genus would be in potentiality to specific difference, because His genus would have to being, which is not a genus, and because He would have His essence as predicate shared with others. Nor is God the principle of a genus, because such a principle would not reach beyond its genus, but God is the principle of all existence. To be in the genus of substance means not to have existence in one's own essence. The manner in which God measures things is not by proportion within a genus but by degree of spiritual approach.

--Summary of Q. 3, a. 6, "Is there composition of subject and accident in God?"

Blumenberg, Hans. The Legitimacy of the Modern Age. Translated by Robert M. Wallace. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

--Summary of Part I, Chapter 4 (pp. 37-51): Instead of Secularization of Eschatology, Secularization by Eschatology

Progress as a theory of history is necessarily discontinuous with eschatology as such, because the expectation of an imminent end radically devalues the world and its remaining time. Far from some worldly faction seizing upon eschatology for their own purposes, the recalcitrant existence of the world forced eschatology to secularize itself, creating in one moment the unworldly and the worldly. The events decisive for salvation were registered in the past rather than the future. The end of time can no longer loom in expectation. The pressure of being determined as antithetical pushed reason to reoccupy the positions of eschatology, which eschatology by its own logic required itself to abandon to the worldly.

--Summary of Part I, Chapter 5 (pp. 53-61): Making History So As to Exonerate God?

Philosophy of history is discontinuous with theodicy in content and continuous in function. It is not traceable to Pelagianism taken as an "intratheological alternative" to Augustinianism, nor to Leibniz's practice of theodicy, which excludes the possibility of human contribution to "the production of a 'better world,'" in virtue of the fact that this world is taken to be the best already. Enlightenment theodicy has already been divested of its theological function, and is concerned with establishing "reliability" and the privilege of reason regarding all things, rather than a justification of God. The thesis that the philosophy of history affirms God's justice by arrogating absolute freedom (and therefore responsibility for evil) to man fails to account for the fact that absolute freedom has to be provided through history.

--Summary of Part I, Chapter 6 (pp. 63-75): The Secularization Thesis as an Anachronism in the Modern Age

The idea that some property of Christian theology has been seized by secular philosophy is founded on the deligitimization of non-Christian possession of truth. Augustine's principle of the Christian right to Egyptian riches, as well as the common early Christian trope of tracing pagan insight to secret learning of the Hebrew Scriptures. The Christian age distinguishes knowledge and ignorance in Platonic terms of original and image: knowledge is such only when received through revelation. The modern age's criterion, on the other hand, is production.

--Summary of Part I, Chapter 7 (77-87): The Supposed Migration of the Attribute of Infinity

The application of the attribute of infinity to the world (i.e., to the cosmos, or to space, or to time, or to progress), is not substantially continuous with a prior application to God. Christian theology never succeeded in coherently applying infinity to God. The applications to time and space affects only the background of the cosmos, not the world itself--they are a threat not to God's infinitude but to the commensurability of reality with reason. Finally, the appication of infinity to progress is in fact the correlative of a limitation, not an aggrandizement, of human capacity. (The secularized infinite is evidently in each case a bad infinite.)

contents of Chapter 7:

  • The unworldly style of early modernity, particularly in political theory, was due in part to a paucity of linguistic resources to express the new, in part to a rhetorical covering up of the novelty of the epoch.
  • Ritualized, and therefore vacant systematic tropes serve as sanctioned positions at the disposal of the rhetorical self-justification of modernity.
  • An attribute can relocate to a new substrate only because it was already in conflict with its prior host. Bruno could arrogate infinity to the world, because the infinity of the divinely generated Son had already failed to come to logical reconciliation with the necessary finitude of creation.
  • It is questionable whether the detachment of the attribute of infinity from the world (remarked upon by Weizsaecker) should issue in the restitution of the prior ownership.
  • Infinity, coupled with omnipotence, acted as a digestive "enzyme" in the Aristotelian Christian theology, forcing it into contradictions (Blumenberg does not here specify--see II, 3.
  • Although the empirical inaccessibility and divine aura of Newton's concept of absolute space as sensorium dei invite interpretation in terms of secularization, Newton introduced it precisely to conserve God's sole absoluteness, and Leibniz opposed it (recovering the finitude of space, "not in the interest of God's omnipresence but rather in the interest of reason's omnicompetence."
  • Besides, Newton's retracting metaphorization of the divine organ reduces the point to a matter of muddied waters, rather than decisive appropriation.
  • In contradistinction to the infinity of time posited by Aristotle and his successors in "secularized" science, Newton's absolute time did not commit him to eternality of the world. His absolute time rendered the end of the world eminently thinkable.
  • The infinity attributed to progress is originally a limitation of progress, by which Pascal, e.g., opposes the notion of a maturity or completion of the universal man, in order to turn man to his need for the transcendent infinite.
  • Absolute spirit as the hypostatized subject of history is a "compensation" for this irreconcilability of the punctiform individual with the rationality of history as a whole.
  • The difference between Hobbes' and Descartes' sense of infinity exemplifies the manner in which infinity becomes a term of indeterminacy, evacuating rather than answering traditional questions.
  • Final culminations of progress get their allure from the unsatisfying infinitude of progress, not from eschatology, as evidenced by the necessary combination of finite and infinite concepts of progress in the theory showing the possibility of decisive action.
  • The reoccupation of ritualized linguistic turns makes the final situation appear to secularize eschatology, by obscuring the difference between the fruit of labor and the advent of a dispensation.
  • The Christian concept of happiness parrots the language of fullfilment, a function whose content was originally immanent. (I don't know what the point is here of bringing up the fortuitousness of there being no objective concept of happiness.)

Part IV: Aspects of the Epochal Threshold: The Cusan and the Nolan

--Summary of Part IV, Chapter 1 (457-481): The Epochs of the Concept of an Epoch

Contents of IV, 1:

  • The notion of a singular epoch-making event is a rhetorical function whose veracity never otherwise presents itself.
  • Goethe's attribution of epochality to the cannonade of Valmy meant less to him than it would according to the current standing of the concept, because it had not yet undergone its "inflation" by historicism.
  • Epoch earlier had the minimal sense of a significant event. (Goethe's usages between 1792 and 1820 illustrate how little an epochal event adumbrates.)
  • Despite the etymological suitability of "epoch" for describing a critical point, a transition occurs to periods.
  • As opposed to the measuring of spans of time (even when these are called "epochs") according to signal events, modern historiography measures the magnitude of events according to the epochal unities of time before and after.
  • By 1831, Goethe's usage focuses on contrast of the divided spans, rather than on the dividing moment.
  • The confusion of times which Bossuet sought to ameliorate with his concept of epoch as a vantage point for understanding indicates a step in the direction of epochal periods which determine what can happen when.
  • The criterion of datability destroys realism regarding epochs [in a manner analogous to the enzyme of infinity in the Medieval tradition]
  • The need for history to be divided by moments of intensity is due to the sense that it is important to have an impact on history.
  • Historicism comes into "ill repute" by dismantling the turning points of history, and therefore also the possibility of ushering in a new epoch by some action "perceptible and attainable within the 'life-world.'"
  • If the self-consciousness of modernity's historical departure is not necessarily identical with the starting point of an epoch (since other epochs started without any such consciousness), the radical self-perception of early modernity can be deconstructed as a myth.
  • As a result of this deconstruction, the clear lines dividing modernity from the Middle Ages melt away.
  • If history is to be understandable, a continuity--located in the history of science--must underlie all epochal divisions.
  • Subradical factors must be the focus of any rational science of radical pivots.
  • An "identity of the overall movement" is preserved in the self-exhaustion of theoretical systems.
  • The theory of downfalls has to be supplemented by a theory of replacements.
  • Reoccupation explains replacements while minimally fulfilling the requirement of continuity as a frame of reference.
  • The background of epochs need not have any metaphysical necessity.
  • The framework suffers alterations, such as the appearance and disappearance of a concern with immortality.
  • ...
  • The conditions for the reality of the epoch of modernity are different than those for the Middle Ages, because the concept of epoch is a constitutive feature of the epoch.
  • Among the changes which make up history, epochal changes must be decisively organizing and irreversible.
  • The advent of an epoch is traceable more by marking its absence than its arrival.
  • Even if the epochal turning point cannot be marked, points which fall before and after must show themselves to have a definite and differing alignment (like slopes on the points before and after a critical point in calculus):here these points will be Nicholas of Cusa and Giordano Bruno of Nola
  • The possibility of opposing the Nolan to the Cusan depends on a continuity of questions between them.
  • The phenotypic invisibility of the epochal threshold is inconsistent with modernity's demand for self-progeniture.
  • The discovery of history's preparations for modernity deligitimizes modernity's gesture of rejection.
  • The Cusan, by mediating the transition to modernity, challenges the newness of the Neuzeit by bringing out the "irreversible contradiction between the self-consciousness of the [modern] epoch, especially in its explicit form of philosophy, and its leveling off by theory" (471).
  • The Cusan is not merely an earlier founding figure but the site of a completely different kind of beginning, grounded in piety for what came before.
  • History as the inquiry into a "larval stage of what is to come" both legitimizes the present and undermines its finality by reference to a "future retrospective vision."
  • ...
  • Modernity's form of "new seriousness" is a challenge to be aware.
  • ...
  • It may be possible to purge the gesture of rebellion from modernity.
  • ...
  • Man makes chronal history, but epochal history makes itself.
  • ...

--Summary of Part IV, Chapter 2 (483-547): The Cusan: The World as God's Self-Restriction

Nicolas of Cusa's work makes sense as a project of shoring up the Middle Ages. Confronted with the intensification of Christianity's problematic in nominalism, Cusa proposes a special dignity of man's intellect founded on his knowledge of ignorance. By yoking man and cosmos to God by the concept of image, Cusa initiates the modern confidence in reason in piety, rather than the overweening and rebellious gesture of self-progeniture.

Summary of Part IV, Chapter 3 (549-596): The Nolan: The World as God's Self-Exhaustion


Des Chenes, Dennis. Physiologia: Natural Philosophy in Late Aristotelian and Cartesian Thought. Ithaca: Cornell University Press (1996).

Part I (17-251): Vicaria Dei

Summary of Chapter 1 (17-20): Natural Change

  • Aristotelianism is distinguished by the posit of an underlying "substantial form" which ties together individuality and the potentiae and ends of the individual.
  • (Des Chene's summary of Ch. 2:)
    • 2a: Intransitive change (beoming) is worked into a system of successive states by way of a formal or modal distinction between motus (change) as a directedness of states and the changed states themselves. Transitive change
    • 2b: Transitive change involves an order between agent and patient, in which only the patient changes. Cartesian physics denies passive and active powers and so cannot rely on the distinction to classify natural kinds of substances.
  • (Des Chene's summary of Chs. 3-4)
    • 3+4: Privation, as the contrary state of a thing before a change to a different form, implies natural groups of properties, within each of which change takes place (except production of substance).
    • 3.1: The Aristotelian scheme combining the actus/potentia ordering with the form/matter/privation does not explain any change but gives the criteria for a change that is sufficiently articulated to be explained in terms of nature.
    • 3.2-4.2: substantial form and prime matter as incomplete substances combining in material things.
    • 3.2: The metaphysical motivation for substantial form is the need for an explanation of the possibility of a principled conjunction of powers, a phenomenon which the modern science is not as well equipped to handle.
    • 3.3: Des Chenes will discuss the adequacy and (from our view) opacity of a concept of form as substance.
    • 4.1: The function of the Cartesian determination of the essence of the substance of bodies as extension is more theological than Manichaeism and Spinozism.
    • 4.2: Descartes took care to avoid heresy with regard to the identification of matter and quantity as it bore on the Eucharist.
    • 4.3: Figure, which Aristotelians side-lined as a byproduct of natural change, becomes more important in Descartes.
  • 5: Descartes purges disposition, a key concept of the causal properties of form, of its teleology.
  • 6: The Aristotelians defended final cause by limiting its applicability to rational agency and the instrumentality of material things.
  • Descartes renders serious the reductio ad absurdum present in Aristotelianism, against the presuppositions of Aristotelianism.
-- Lerner, Mary. "Little Selves."
If you don't like "spoilers," just read the story first: As her death approaches, a spinster's devotion to the dangerous magic of memory presses her inward almost to the point of disappearance; her converse verges on idiocy and her attention sheers constantly away from the world. Her devotion has its reward, but seems, in light of her impending death to have secured nothing until her niece offers to adopt the magical children born and nursed in senile reflection.

-- Koethe, John. The continuity of Wittgenstein's thought. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press (1996).

The difference between the early and late Wittgenstein is a matter of the rejection of a "conceptual framework," but the general tendency to describe semantic activity in terms of behavior survives this rejection. The new attitude of the later Wittgenstein is analogous to that which he admired in the fictions of Tolstoy, in which he "turns his back" on the reader.


Koethe distinguishes a continuity in "constructive vision" from the disjunction in Wittgenstein's attitude to the "conceptual framework" governing the TLP. The persistence of an ocular metaphor and the importance of social life are markers of this continuity. Koethe argues that the interpretation of the later Wittgenstein as concerned with "epistemology" is misguided. The destruction of metaphysical/supernatural accounts is due to the inherence of truth in social ways of life, in accordance with ordinary experience.

--Kripke, Saul. Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press (1982).

quote: "The Investigations is written as a perpetual dialectic, where persisting worries, expressed by the voice of the imaginary interlocutor, are never definitively silenced."

Kripke takes the discussion of private sensation language as a renewal (rather than a an application) of the general argument of about rule-following in the context of the specific concern that sensations are 'obviously' expressed in a private language. A "skeptical problem" governs the Wittgensteinian paradox of rule-following, and it admits of a "skeptical solution."

-- Maclean, Kenneth. John Locke and English Literature of the Eighteenth Century. New York: Russell & Russell, Inc. (1962).

Summary of Book One: Locke gives logical, but mostly empirical arguments against innate ideas and principles. If the various metaphors for the conclusion of the natal mind (tabula rasa, empty cabinet, etc.) are interchangeable, then overwhelming agreement with Locke's conclusion is discernible among the eminent literary figures of eighteenth century England. A growing sense of the urgency of education especially reflects the leveling tendency of Locke and his influence. The project of intellectual equalization is made conceivable, though not necessarily possible, by the rejection of innate ideas, and the correlative emphasis on sense experience. The morality of toiling for broad-mindedness which underlies Locke's Essay echoes in the century's exhortations.

-- Rosenblatt, Benjamin. "Zelig" A remake of Bartleby? Only with "I haven't a cent by my soul" rather than "I would prefer not to." Zelig is "alone as a stone." And as stingy, too. Fixation on an idealized life in Russia for which he sacrifices his humanity [like the guy in "Gooseberries."] The Russia he wants to return to doesn't exist. Ends up giving in to his grandson's demand for college tuition funding, but in a pretty darn creepy way.

-- Wittgenstein, Ludwig. Philosophical Investigations, translated by G. E. M. Anscombe, P. M. S. Hacker, and Joachim Schulte. Revised 4th edition by P. M. S. Hacker and Joachim Schulte. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell (2009). Summaries of sections:

1. The Augustinian view of language takes basic nouns representing physical objects as the paradigm of language: each word is connected with some object, be it thing or person, or action, or something else TBA. An attempt to apply this view to a simple test case finds no object for "five," but only a way of using the word.

2. A very primitive but functional language can be imagined that conforms to Augustine's view ("block", "pillar", "slab", "beam").

3. Augustine describes only the region of language that can be called a "system of communication."

4. In fact we use words in more than one way, and one misreads language in taking it all one way.

5. "Meaning" obscures language.

6. The ostensive teaching of words (associating them with a representative of a species of thing) does not yet prepare the student to understand an utterance of the word. It is not yet a word until it has a function in a system of communication. In the builders' language, the utterance is a request and is understood if the listener does as requested.

7. Each pedagogical use of a word is part of a language-game preparatory for a more complex game.

8. Language (8) adds words used like number-words, deictics (used like "there" and "this"), and color samples to the builders' language (2). The deictic "this" can be used like a basic word (e.g. "slab").

9. Groups, not series, could be used in ostensive teaching of number-words. Deictics are more difficult--the fact that the pointing itself which enables ostensive teaching is also part the word's use cannot be pointed out.

10. To say that a word "signifies..." has only a corrective use. It can redirect a kind of use to a different thing, or it can specify what "signifies" would mean of this word: that it "signifies numbers" means it has a different kind of meaning. When "to signify" is understood, its device of a grammatical similarity between kinds of use does not remove but all the more urges the insoluble difference between kinds of use.

11. The phonemic/graphemic likeness between words creates the sense that they are all used the same way.

12. Phonemes and graphemes are like handles on a machine: the way each is used depends on how the handle relates to the workings.

13. That every word "signifies something" says nothing, except as a corrective to their being meaningless.

14. The general definition of a tool as what "modifies something" fails to clarify anything.

15. Naming something "most straightforwardly" means giving a name to a thing (like attaching a name tag to it)

16. Color samples may not seem like part of a language, but words sometimes have the same function, e.g. "Say the word 'the.'"

17. How words themselves are classified depends on how the classifications are to be used.

18. The objection that languages (2) and (8) are not complete in its functioning is frivolous, since language is always taking on new uses, and we would not consider it incomplete for this reason.

19. Every imaginable primitive (i.e. single-use) language, far from a homogeneically articulated sector of words, is a distinct way of relating to the world. It is this "form of life," not any reference to a more completely put sentence, that gives it its meaning.

20. The "complete" articulation of language has only the contrastive function that arises in a more complex situation (involving more forms of life).

21. Tone is not sufficient to establish meaning.

22. By (20), the assertion sign only has the function of contrasting the assertive use from others: it marks the beginning of a sentence. (it doesn't say that it does so within the sentence).

Add. (obscure)

23. The use of words and sentences is as indeterminately diverse as the possibilities of life.

24. All forms of language are in a certain way replaceable with statements of fact, but, this reduction only ignores the diversity of use rather than composing it. Later, the possibility of reducing all forms of language to descriptions of my inner life will show its significance. Hint: solipsism.

25. The mental abilities which could found a use of language cannot be anything distinct from language.

26. Naming is preparation for the use of a word.

27. Naming is not the attachment of a word to an object. It is already a kind of talk.

28. Ostensive definition cannot distinguish between various forms of life.

Add. Negative ostensive definition suffers only that same ambiguity.

29. The explicit specification of a kind does not save ostensive definition as an explanation of coming to understand meaning. The specification itself has to be explained in turn. In fact specification of kind of use only serves the contrastive function of correcting someone who takes the word as having a different kind of use than the one intended (someone who uses it differently).

30. What has to be known before a name can be understood is known in a different way from what one learns in learning the name.

31. As an illustration of (29) understanding the meaning of "king" in chess requires having a position reserved for him in a set of rules.

32. The child Augustine 'remembers' learns language as though already having it with different words.

33. To the objection that no explicit clarification of the category of ostensive definition is needed, if the learner can just tell what the definer is pointing at, it is fair to ask how it is possible to point at a shape, a color, a number; what it means to concentrate attention on one of these. It is neither a physical action nor the thoughts and feelings that one has while performing the action. It is made clear by the circumstances (like a move in chess).

34-35. The characteristic processes accompanying an explanation can be replicated without meaning the same thing.

Add. Meaning happens in language--different meanings of the same series of words mean different language-games.

36. Since no physical process constitutes pointing in a different way at something, we call it a spiritual process.

37. It is indeterminate what relation inheres between a name and a thing named.

38. The paradoxical treatment of deictics as names arises from a philosophical decontextualization of names. The attempt to say a name without language tries to iron out reference to match the model of direct address. Naming on this view takes on an occult aura, in which the deictic is the most perfect form of the vocative.

39. The preference for deictics is due to the anxiety that names should signify simples, so as not to be in danger of losing their reference (which would make it possible for a statement using a name to be nonsensical).

40. The anxiety (39) depends on a false identification of meaning with thing signified.

41. The name of a broken tool in the name-tag variant of the builder's language (15) would become meaningless, since it would be a request for something to be brought which could not be brought. But there is no necessity that it should be so, since there could be a rule for responding to the name of a broken tool.

42. Names of fictive tools could likewise be meaningful, if there were a rule for responding to them.

43. "Meaning" mostly means use, and a name is sometimes used with an indicative to prepare it for use.

44. A language-game in which names are meaningful only in the presence of a bearer could be imagined. In this language deictics would be perfectly interchangeable with names.

45. The insolubility of presence is not, however, the basis of naming. Even in language-game (44) the name would be explained by the deictic.

46. The concern that names should signify simples is based on a concern that all things should be divisible into ultimate, indescribable basic units.

47. Composition is not an absolute but is tied to a use in a language-game. Thus there is no reason to think of a chair as composed of simple parts, any more than the visual image has an absolute composition. The legitimacy of the term "composite" depends on a clear use, i.e. a clear contextualization. Insofar as philosophy abstracts from language, the philosophical question of composition is illegitimate.

48. The concept of composition is indeterminate, even in a Theaetetian language-game of pure description. A series of colors can be composed of moments in the series and their order, or of kinds of color and their distribution.

49. Naming is not a move in a language-game but the placement of something into the context of the game in preparation for a move.

50. The notion of tautologous being (that the opposition being/non-being belongs only to connections between objects, which must exist if they can be named) holds within a game. It just means that something which does not exist cannot be used in the game.


... (<--yes, those are "dots of laziness")

477-483. Reasons for believing, as opposed to logical bases, lack absolute validity. We are persuaded according to the way the game is played.

484-486. Justification of a belief on the grounds of experience comes to rest not in a catalog of sense data but in a language-game played without generalizing and applying rules.