Wittgenstein: Language games

Wittgenstein's language games: Religious language.

  • Created by: Becca
  • Created on: 10-03-10 21:08

Wittgenstein language games

The meaning of words is determined by the language game of which the words are part of. Wittgenstein suggested that words perform a function in a language, they do not just signify an object.

The way that language works could be compared to a game of chess. In chess rules state how all the pieces can move. However to talk about how the Queen or Pawns should move only makes sense in the context of the game. The rules of syntax and grammer of a language could function like those of the game of chess. If you use words not in a particular way then you will be talking nonsense.

Wittgenstein didnt suggest that words must follow rigid rules instead words only make sense in the context of a certain background.

The language game doesnt refer to language as a whole! Words are like tools by which words can be used in the world and change it. Language however isnt private and can change, evolve and become invalid.

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Language games cont.

When language games are applied to religious language it reveals a different theory.

Religious terminology is a language game and as such the language of religious belief such as omnipotence and God is understandable and meaningful to those who partcipate in the religious belief language game.

If a person believes that God has an important role in their life then that has significance to the person however a person who doesnt will find this diffucult to understand. You have to be part of the language game to understand it.

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Thank you so much I really didn't understand it. We are studying this at the moment but it really is confusing the hell out of me!!! 




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