Sunday, May 03, 2009

About language and thinking

If I give someone the order "fetch me a red flower from that meadow", how is he to know what sort of flower to bring, as I have only given him a word? (...) Now you might ask: do we interpret the words before we obey the order? And in some cases you will find that you do something which might be called interpreting before obeying, in some cases not. (...) We are tempted to think that the action of language consists in two parts: an inorganic part, the handling of signs, and an organic part, which we may call understanding these signs, meaning them, interpreting them, thinking.

Wittgenstein, The Blue Book

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