(sent to analytic)
Wittgenstein used the idea of "language game" in multiple ways. Kuhn did the same thing with "paradigm," only much worse. I imagine anyone that uses an innovate new idea will have an array of senses that populate the use.
For our purposes, two senses are critical:
1. The rules and practices that come to structure the behavior of sentential ideating. Note that I don't say "uttering" or "talking," because we wouldn't want to say that Wittgenstein is talking about ordinary language (English) grammar. So instead of using talking grammar, let's use the idea of sententializing or ideating. We might call this idea "the game itself." The idea here is that being sentential first requires having some notion about the conditions of sententiality. I believe that one of the things that led Wittgenstein to see this was a soccer game where the players are passing the ball back and forth, the goal being to get it in the net. Once one recognizes that language is a behavior something akin to this -- that we throw around our language in a shared activity, the goal being to get the notion in the net -- one sees that language is a behavior.
2. Another critical sense is a mistake within the game (or a game within the game). The idea here is that one plays words in a way that shows the speaker: (a) doesn't understand conditions of assertability; or (b) has unsophisticated grammar. When one becomes bewitched by the language activity itself.
Two ideas: that the game exists, and that mistakes within the game are made.
Dr. Sean Wilson, Esq.
Wright State University
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