Δευτέρα 11 Σεπτεμβρίου 2017

Wittgenstein... and the law... and the language...

"To adopt a concept from Wittgenstein's later philosophy, we can regard law as a category of phenomena that display no more than a 'family resemblance' to one another. As he explains, 'we see a complicated network of similarities overlapping and criss-crossing: sometimes overall similarities, somtimes similarities of detail' ... But there need be no signle identifying or defining feature; it may be impossible to build a single model in order to explain what law is. If we think that 'law' must have a precise definition or we misunderstand the complexity of the phenomena that the category encompasses, we make mistakes about what it is and assume that it works in a certain way; we may ask the wrong questions - about origins, institutions, or functions; or we may deny that social phenomena are law in a way that does not make sense. If we are to be true to our own concept, and to the language rules that govern its application, we must recognize and explore this diversity.

"There are, nevertheless, right and wrong ways to apply any particular term and to analyse it. The rules and definitions for the use of a concept do not need to be very precise ...; if a category, such as law, is abstract, then the rules are complex, and metaphorical useage may increase this complexity, but they must be explored if we are to understand and analyse its nature. How, then, is this exploration to be done? We are after more than a discussion of how the term 'law' is used in everyday language. Rodney Needham (1975) adopted the term 'polythetic classification' to capture Wittgenstein's notion of family resemblance and to discuss the challenges it presents for the anthropologist. 'It is the recognition ... of a class composed by sporadic resemblances', he says, that is needed for the study of jural institutions, as much as for the study of human capacities ... . Comparison provides a particular challenge. What is needed 'is not a convenient technique for cutting down the number of variables, but a means of accomodating as many as possible' ... . The possibility of borderline cases is always present."

Τα αποσπάσματα είναι από το βιβλίο της F. Pirie, pp. 8-9.

Στην πρώτη φωτογραφία, δύο από τα ωραιότερα βιβλία που έχω διαβάσει και που εμπνέονται από τη ζωή του Wittgenstein - το πρώτο είναι μια εξαιρετική βιογραφία.

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