Langage selon wittgenstein

Pages: 5 (1009 mots) Publié le: 7 novembre 2010

The theme of our philosophical essay will be the question of the language through a citation of Ludwig Witgenstein :

“Language is a labyrinth of paths. You approach from one side and know your way about, you approach from another side and no longer know your way about it.”

Wittgenstein wrote this citation in his Philosophical Investigations, his most important study afterthe Tractatus.

To be more efficient in trying to explain what the citation of Wittgenstein could mean and after that to present my own opinion, I will divide the citation in 2 parts. The first part will be: “Language is a labyrinth of paths.” The second part will be : “You approach it from one side and know your way about, you approach from another side and no longer know your way about.”Let’s talk now about the first citation. Language is a labyrinth of paths. I believe that to understand the meaning of this sentence, we have to clarify the definition of the language. Language is a form of communication peculiar to Humankind. If we accept this a an appropriate definition, we can say that only Humans have a “Language”, only them have the right Human Thought Process which candecode the ensemble of signs, icons and symbols we use. And it’s this HTP which makes us, humans able to find the right path in the labyrinth of language.
But is language really a labyrinth of paths? From one hand, we can say yes, forasmuch with language you can explain the same idea in many different ways, and also burr different ideas in the same sentence. From the other hand, we could say no,and that language is absolute and not relative, one sentence can contain only one idea.

The second part of the citation says: You approach from one side and know your way about, you approach from another side and no longer know your way about.
What does it mean? You here a sentence (for example about your job: you are sent to China) and it means to you something good. But then you hear itfrom somebody else who modulate it in a different way, and suddenly it appears to you as a bad new (in the case of China, punishment). Everything depends on the way we formulate our sentences and also on the tone we use. Language makes everything become subjective, even an information which at first seemed to be objective.

In his Philosophical Investigations, Wittgenstein expounds thateven if animals had a language (as developed as humans’, not a primitive communication form), we could not communicate with them, since our aspects, our point of views are not the same. For example, imagine that lions would have the biological abilities to talk, we could not communicate with them, because we are not interested in the same things. We humans would be interested in how lions organisetheir judiciary problems, while lions would perhaps like to know our hunting methods. Even if my example is quite banal, I believe it shows what Wittgenstein wanted to say. But do we have to agree with him and accept his theory or not? Don’t we communicate, even on a very small level, with our dogs, the horses we ride, the animals we use in the zoos, like monkeys, elephants or dolphins?Language, as we already have told, is a form of communication. We could call it a way of explaining simpler an idea emerged in a human brain. Why simpler? Because I believe that the activity of a human brain can’t be represented in its entire reality. It’s to complex. Who could explain what’s going on in the mind (or brain) of a man the second before he jumps from the 10th stair and commits asuicide? I don’t think those mental activities pursuits can be related by words. But then, is it really a positive thing to try to explain complex, mentally appeared ideas with simple words, sentences and because of that give a false framing of them?

I propose know to approach the problem of language through Learning. Language is a tool of Learning, it’s through our language that our parents...
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