Talk at Bogazici: Gordon Bearn (Lehigh) on “Feeling Words: An Attitude to Linguistic Life.” 23/10/2012
Gordon Bearn (Lehigh) will be giving a talk at Bogazici on Tuesday 23/10/2012. The talk will take place from 5-7pm in TB130.
“Feeling Words: An Attitude to Linguistic Life.”
ABSTRACT: Increasingly Wittgenstein is being favored with praise for his attention to the experiential dimension of linguistic life. Following Rhees, I think Wittgenstein’s attention to experience, much of it appearing in pages devoted to seeing aspects, was drawn from him by his concern with whether something important would be missing if you did not experience the meaning of a word. Wittgenstein’s answer was: No, nothing important would be missing from our understanding of language if we were unable to experience the meaning of a word. In this paper, I show that Wittgenstein’s repression of experience was a constant theme of the Investigations, and I suggest that it was a mistake. Wittgenstein’s formalism, however rich, and it is rich, prevented him from following his thoughts in the direction they were leading. He held himself back, but we should not be so careful. We should risk feeling in the dark for a way to sensual semantics.