DefN: A Wittgenstein word is one which has a manifold of uses, but no determinate meaning that applies to all of them; it seems so fundamental a part of the furniture of our lexicon that it resists analysis itself.
Wittgenstein’s example is of a ‘game’. What is a game? We may ask; we can give a conception (having objectives), but we then find a use of the word ‘game’ that does not fulfill this construction; some games, as we know, don’t have determinate objectives.
Okay; let me consider a few ‘Wittgenstein words’; every candidate is going to be contraversial, I must admit. But I’m simply tying up some thoughts that myself and Michael are having in our discussions.
Here are our thoughts:
1. Love – this word is a conceptual primitive (inspired by J. Armstrong) [Michael will write a post on this in more detail perhaps]
2. Knowledge – we have addressed this issue in the past, with Williamson’s suggestion that the concept of ‘knowledge’ evades conceptual analysis.
3. Truth? – this is a scary one – I don’t want to say any more about this…
Destre (aided by Michael)