Volume 5, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1384-6639
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9692
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Traditionally, compared with Wittgenstein, philosophers have begun their investigation too late in the day. They have thought of people as being already self-conscious, self-contained individuals, acting in a willful and intellectual manner. Indeed, they have interpreted Wittgenstein’s latter philosophy, and his claim that the meaning of a word is its use in the language, in this way: as if he were concerned with language only as a tool, or as move in a language-game, with words said willfully and intellectually. In this view, words have meaning only if they are systematically connected with states of affairs and/or states of mind. There is, however, another side to Wittgenstein: a concern with the beginnings of language-games in spontaneous bodily reactions, and with such reactions as being the prototypes for new ways of thinking rather than as the results of ones already in existence. Here, meaning is understood in terms of one’s direct and immediate responsiveness to one’s surroundings. This paper explores this side of Wittgenstein’s thought, and relates it to practical methods for beginning new practices, by noticing the presence within our old practices of such, usually unnoticed spontaneous bodily reactions.


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