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Degas at home, Plato on holiday. Keeping ourselves talking about, living in and responding to this remarkable world.

 READING: From §38 of “The Philosophical Investigations” by Ludwig Wittgenstein (his emphases)

This is connected with the conception of naming as, so to speak, an occult process. Naming appears as a queer connexion of a word with an object. — And you really get such a queer connexion when a philosopher tries to bring out the relation between name and thing by staring at an object in front of them and repeating a name or even the word “this” innumerable times. For philosophical problems arise when language goes on holiday. And here we may indeed fancy naming to be some remarkable act of mind, as it were a baptism of an object. And we can also say word “this” to the object, as it were address the object as “this” — a queer use of this word, which doubtless only occurs in doing philosophy.  

The clinical psychologist Lois Shawver comments on this passage as follows:

This sentence “For philosophical problems arise when language ‘goes on holiday’,” is a famous sentence in Wittgenstein. It…

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