Российская Академия Наук


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Приложение II


M.S. Kozlova

Methods of language analysis
 in the late Wittgenstein's concept*

1. Among the concepts of logical analysis of knowledge/language - those which belong to the XXth century, but haven't yet received adequate understanding and judgement - there are some ideas of the late Wittgenstein. Wittgenstein's philosophic investigations are united by one  important topic: correlation between verbalism and reality. The main impulse of all his speculations is a clear vision of reality through the linguistic means of its refiexion. "The notion of clear representation is of fundamental importance to us. It determines the form of contemplation, the way we approach things"1 . A large amount of data and facts is analyzed to demonstrate that adequate view of reality - both in science and in everyday life - is difficult to achieve. The movement to it is hindered by a lot of obstacles of conctptual and linguistic character. The lack of adequacy in understanding language forms, like distorting spectacles, causes the erroneous vision of reality. The verbal pictures created by us are often represented as a piece of reality, so that we become their captives2 . The ability of articulate perception, of correlating verbalism and reality presupposes certain training, certain habits and skills. For the solution of this problem, a special technique, special practice of speech cklarification or analysis was elaborated by Wittgenstein. It was stressed that the research in  question has a logical-grammatical character and that the problems to be solved deal with the logic of using concepts (the logic of conceptual behaviour)3 . We are going to offer a concise description of the peculiarities present in the late Wittgenstein's analytical concept (or even in his practice) which are so elusive, so difficult to grasp; in so doing, we shall try bring to light - to the best of our ability - all his worthwhile creative findings, at the same time, to reveal the causes of the absurdities and misrepresentations, so frequent in the attempts to interpret them.

2. The method of clarification introduced by Wittgenstein carries the conceptual charge characteristic of natural languages. It is an entirety of partical methods which criss-cross, get transformed one into another, reveal new aspects when approached from new positions. They resist any attempts to introduce delimitations or strict order into their realm, to systematize them. L.Wittgenstein was himself aware of the difficulty and confessed that his own attempts to systematize his remarks turned to be a failure4 . Yet, within the totality of the analytic procedures suggested by him, one can discern those of a wider scope and of a more generalized meaning. The most significant among them is the "language-game" idea/method. This is a special way of experimenting with language mentally which makes it possible to distinguish within the language  - or construct artificially - all kinds of the simplest (or of more sophisticated) models of speech behaviour, which enables us to vary linguistic rules, emphasizing any, interesting to the researcher, aspect of it - in order to get a deaper insight into its nature. Such conventional "games" have referential, rather than direct, cognitive significance; their nature is auxiliary, clarifying, methodological. This method is intended to bring language into action, to turn this static entity into a constant dynamic address to the speech practice, to its usage in different contexts, in varying situations. It is aimed at revealing, through its activity, of the aspects concealed by static language. In this way, differentiation of various kinds of linguistic instruments, as well as numerous types of usings, of different communicative functions performed by them is brought about. This analytic idea is likely to find wide application not only in linguistics, but also in pedagogic practice; it can also be successful in supplementing the already existing logical devices of making language more precise (the latter seems to be especially important for humanities and humanitarian practice with their linguistic means - both rich and ambivalent as far as their spectre of meanings is concerned).

3. The procedure of language games encompasses the whole scope of methods. Among them, is the method of simplifying the language which is followed by gradual complication of it; the method of artificial distinctions; the method of bringing into action of the static conceptual speech apparatus; of varying the contexts of usage; of "deciphering" abstractions (conventional restoration of the initial word-usage), etc. The "family resemblances" method can be mentioned as an example of a relatively autonomous analytic device broadly used in Wittgenstein's works to shake the rigid  notions concerning the relation between general notions and reality. Thus, while analyzing the problem of consciousness, he demonstrates how often corresponding words (meaning, thinking, understanding, ets.) generate the idea of their correspondence to some clearly outlined and homogeneous realities, However, as follows from his analysis, there exist innumerable variations of phenomena covered by a single expression, despite the fact that often "there is no one class of features characteristic of all cases"5 . Analytic devices concentrated around the idea of "family resemblances" are meant to overcome the illusion of literal correspondence of every notion to some unified entity (a set of features and so on). Using them reminds us every time that, to nearly every of the notions, a multifarious reality corresponds which includes a continuity of transitional stages and has no strict boundaries. Indeed, there are no pure biological, psychological or social types; as is known, in real objects, the corresponding features exist as mixed up, varied, intervowen. The analytic idea of "family resemblances", while undermining the oversimplification of notions, helps to correlate variable reality with its conceptual speech expressions in a more flexible and adequate manner.

4. Understanding the essence of the late Wittgenstein's analytic programmes and of his practical methods is hindered by the obtaining practice of reading his analytic considerations (excercises, illustrations and so on) in terns of usual theory. The result is viewing the "language-game" idea as a relativist, subjectivist theory of language, as the idea of "family resemblances" - so, it is treated as a theory of abstraction deserving severe criticism, as a frequently practiced analytical device of translating inner (mental, etc.) phenomena of psychology onto the plane of an external, available to the analysis, concrete action, i.e. as the behaviorist theory of consciousness This "shift in attitude" gives rise to various absurdities: the positions asccribed to the philosopher are those which he himself criticizes, etc. The correct reading of Wittgenstein's texts requires one to take into consideration the fact that the analytic ideas elaborated by him have practical-methodological - rather than theoretic - nature; so, they should be viewed as artificial procedures whose aim is create the habit of accuracy in correlating the verbal with the real. Meanwhile, both readers and investigators of Wittgenstein find it difficult to realize that the author of the analytic interpretation of philosophy could give up theoretical mode of thinking; that philosophy is, in his view, an activity (practice) - rather than a doctrine - aimed at clarifying the conceptual-speech forms through which the complicated, variable and dynamic reality is represented. Along with our critical, polemic attitude towards the analytic interpretation of nature and of the tasks of philosophy as to insufficient one, as to the one overlooking a whole complex of important problems6 , we would like to stress the need for dialectical-materialist interpretation (and pracctical application) of the authentic content present in the logical-speech analysis which is the real achievement of the XXth century analytic thought.

A.F. Griaznov

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