I was skimming through the Philosophical Investigations (Wittgenstein) and found this: "You learned the concept ‘pain‘ when you learned language"
I found this very interesting. We can be very basic and use our prephilosophical intuitions. We could also use primitive notions in philosophy and say ‘oh but doesn’t pain exist independently of language’, being an ontological realist about pain.
The concept pain is learned from language. The putative notion of pain is that it is physical, not linguistic. It is a perception given from the senses. What could Wittgenstein possibly mean?
Perhaps language determines the limits of intelligibility. If something is not intelligible by language, then we can say nothing of it. Consider this in sociolgocial terms. Certain social concepts may not exist, and do not exist because language does not have a determinate conception of it. The self, is a largely western phenomena, notions of ‘career’ or ‘individuality/uniqueness’ do not apply in contexts where the words pertinent to selfhood do not exist. Perhaps homosexuality, or evolutionism did not exist if the terms describing them were not present.
I am an agnostic. The term agnosticism was invented by Huxley. Before Huxley, no one was an ‘agnostic’, either they were religious or were atheists. The concept of marital rape, the rape of one’s spouse, was legally defined in the late 20thC, before it was possibly abuse, or even before that, it was having what is owed to them. Maybe if there were no agnostic, I would not be one. If there were no word for male, I would not be one. The linguistic turn is like the copernican revolution in that they both note how a given thing (language, the mind) creates the world we experience.