The Divided Line

  • John Llewelyn


Presentation or public practice. Ostension or institution. It is natural to suppose that it is one or the other of these alternatives that is the bedrock of meaning. Whether semiological rock-bottom is the one or the other or both is the topic of a debate that was already underway with Cratylus and is underway still after Frege, Russell and Wittgenstein. Presentational theories are of two kinds, private and public. It is an open question whether the parousia Wittgenstein posits in the Tractatus is private or public. That is a question that seems not to interest him there. Parousia goes public only in the Blue Book where the task formerly attributed to ostension neutrally described is transferred to criteria and rules.1 But the identification of criteria depends on more or less direct deixis, phenomenological demonstration. In the Philosophical Investigations and the Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics the assumption of more or less rigid designation that both the private and the public analyses assume is replaced by a semiology restricted to the description of language games and forms of life, a semiology which, as Heidegger would say, sees sense and reference as primarily forms of handiness, Zuhandenheit, Handlung and praxis rather than of presentation and representation.


Language Game Intact Nucleus Greek Language Rigid Designation Concept Ofproduction 
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Notes and References

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© John Llewelyn 1986

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  • John Llewelyn

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