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16 JULY, 2017 (MAINS)



Q1. Bring out the relationship between language games and forms of life. (2015/20)


Please write the answer in comments section

  • Ashish

    Language game, according to Wittgenstein, is a description of the slice of human everyday activities including doubting, affirming, believing, following rules and interacting with others. Language games not only refer to individual human activities but also to those that are common to whole community.
    Wittgenstein now emphasises that speaking is one sort of activity that takes place within the broader framework of human life. Wittgenstein uses the notion of “form of life” to capture this insight. To Imagine a language is to imagine a form of life i.e. speaking of language is part of an activity or form of life.
    Wittgenstein was interested in language in order to understand the nature of the philosophy. The philosophical task is not to correct but to understand properly. All philosophical problems are language generated so we need to understand the language in order to solve the problem.
    According to them, surface grammar reflects the meaning of the words immediately while depth grammar is the application of the words. Example-
    1. All roses have thrones.
    2. All roads have length.
    Surface grammar of both is similar but the difference is in the depth grammar.
    Language is not the uniform thing but is constituted of many divergent activities. It is futile to discover some hidden unity among them. Language game is part of life and may be helpful to gain deeper understanding of language. The concept of game can be understood only in terms of rules. There is no single theory by which phenomena of language can be explained. Each language ahs its own rules and if rules of one is applied to another then philosophical problems arises.
    It also refers to family resemblance, just as family member if family resemble one another; similarly, linguistic activity is also resembles one another. They form a family; there is no single essence or common feature.
    He realises that ideal language is not possible and hence becomes interested in ordinary language. He realises that language is dynamic and evolutionary like an ancient city always growing. It is a continuous process. The meaning changes with form of life and to explain this he takes the help of language games.