Language Games and Criticisms

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  • Created by: Lucas D
  • Created on: 16-04-12 15:34

Wittgenstein’s language games

- All language is a game, no language game is any better than another.

- Uses example of Chess to explain how language works. In Chess, rules state how pieces should move. But, to talk about how the ‘Queen’ or ‘Pawn’ should move only makes sense in context of the game of Chess.

- Thus language only has meaning in the context of what you are talking about.

- Some everyday words such as ‘necessary’ have different meanings in different games e.g. The philosophy game.

- Language games are concerned with expressing sensations, storytelling, telling jokes etc.

- Language games are not private they develop, change and drop out of use, but to the people using the language it is meaningful (e.g. slang words)

- Religious terminology e.g. omnipotence is a language game and is understandable and meaningful to people who participant in that language game.

- When religious believer says ‘God exists and is a reality in my life’- This has particular meaning and significance to the one who utters it.

- However, a non-religious believer we find this hard, if not impossible to understand as they are not in the language game.

- For religious believer ‘god loves me’ has a deep significant meaning, but for the atheist the statement is made by a religious person, but the expression lack significance to them.

- Wittgenstein argues


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