ignores the possibility that there are many different sorts of moral language correlated in that moral language often cannot be separated out, as an autonomous universe of . restrictively, is evidently unable to make sense of any putative reasons for .. important difference between an informed, understanding rejection of. THE thesis of this paper is, to use the language of a recent writer, that "we live in a of ethics; and ethics in this sense is evidently not dealing with a special aspect scientific hygiene as to the relation between bodily health and pure water. Evidently, the problems of logic and ethics meant the same to him. . 5 According to that idea, there is no exhaustible philosophy of language that might not . 14In that entry, the connection between ethics and aesthetics is also expressed: the.
Rather, by allowing for ways of life that are not necessarily compatible with the individual well being, Wittgenstein appears both to call to mind the sense question as a basic facet of ethical enquiry and, furthermore, to make no distinction between that enquiry and the moral philosophical approach to good and morally compelling actions.
Ethics, that is, also as moral philosophy, refers to the sense question and, therefore, meaning or sense plays a leading role in the discourse of ethics.
Such a general theory without preconceived ideas of the good life is in any case impossible because a formal moral principle implies a material understanding of the Good, or human happiness, not compatible with any arbitrary individual idea of the right way of living. The remarks on ethics in the Tractatus and the associated diary entries already allude to this viewpoint. In these sources, we find: Not the action as a describable, worldly fact is to be qualified as ethical, but the individual intentions of the subject, in whose actions that ethical dimension is expressed.
For that reason, Wittgenstein can also state in Tractatus that the will cannot be called the vehicle of the ethical cf. Only insofar as the subject evaluates his actions according to ethical categories, thus lending meaning to the world, does a connection emerge between the world of the subject and the world that is given as a finite entity. In that case, the starting point is the indefatigable plurality of life forms, language games and the cultural and moral traditions that flow into them.
Advocates of these possibilities such as Richard Rorty and Michael Walzer insist at the same time that this view implies no relativism, in so far as that represents a theory, by which all ethical value systems can be either proved true or false. Whoever accepts or passes judgement on a specific ethics as true implies something about his life conduct.
A theoretical statement on the superiority of his ethics is not yet achieved.
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Not relativism, but pluralism, in the sense of accepting diverse answers to value judgements in ethics is therefore a measured response to the requirements of universalism. These situations produce partial common interests and solidarities. In other words, minimal morality implies a basic store of principles and norms that recur at particular times and in special situations and may be recognized by actors of various cultural, historical and linguistic backgrounds cf.
On the contrary, the code is irreducibly bound with particular meaning and semantically loaded and is always linked to specific morals, as they were developed in specific historical and cultural contexts.
For that reason, a minimal morality cannot be the theoretical basis, to be deduced and anchored to specific and materially substantive morals, but merely seen as a slice of those circumstances cf.
The life forms in which actors circulate, who act morally and reflect on their actions, are fed by a dense network of equally pre-contractual agreements, common interests, rules for participation that, taken together, constitute a way of life that has grown historically: Minimalism […] is less the product of persuasion than of mutual recognition among the protagonists of different fully developed moral cultures.
Walzer17 9 Against Rorty, it can also be mentioned in this connection that, quite unlike Wittgenstein, he neve The concern expressed by some universalists against this alternative of giving up any sort of moral judging, if no rational foundation can be found for that process, 10 is just as much a sign of an incorrect approach to the problem as the opposite claim: By contrast, to follow Wittgenstein is to remember that a particular ethics can only be defended, in so far as it forms an integral part of a form of life.
The arguments to be brought in their favour are as much our own as the language used in that process is also our own. Indeed, only in that way can it be made plain what the justification of a particular norm or moral judgement is to mean.
To understand, for instance, what is intended by someone who gives such weight to a moral judgement that he claims its value exceeds every context, it is necessary to know the relevant context in which the claim was made, to whom the claim was addressed, how it was expressed and received, how reactions were etc.
The entirety of these practices and reactions of the linguistic and non-linguistic kind belong to a particular language game that the actors actually control, yet without the game resting on a metaphysical guarantee, like reason.
No rational structure is available that points beyond the contexts in which individual languages are used and that underpins the related purpose still further; and, moreover, according to Wittgenstein, such a structure is superfluous.
The relevance of rules in ethics results from the fact that moral norms in ethical discourse are to be represented as a particular class of practical rules, according to which, specific ways of acting can be described as obligatory. Firstly, Wittgenstein insisted that following a rule is not an interprettation in the sense of theoretical activity, in which a general rule of thumb can be applied to individual cases.
The perception of rule-following as interpretation leads to a regression of rules for rules. Wittgenstein is very direct about this matter: Interpretations by themselves do not determine meaning.
In this case, Wittgenstein used the example of route marks, allied to the course of action, in order to follow the direction that they show: The resulting characterization of rule-following as a practice neatly summarizes the embedding of using rule-expression with ways of action that they determine cf. The manner of using a linguistic expression has no immediate equivalent in grammatical form. That tells us as little as interpretation about the right way to use an expression without any doubt.
In that sense, following rules is a practice and to understand rules means to know how to practice a technique: To understand a language means to be master of a technique. On the contrary, in the language game of practicing, it is not yet a use to follow a rule. The only course of action is therefore to oppose the practiced link of expression and use. In that case, however, another game is already being played: You cook badly if you are guided in your cooking by rules other than the right ones; but if you follow other rules than those of chess you are playing another game; and if you follow grammatical rules other than such-and-such ones, that does not mean you say something wrong, no, you are speaking of something else.
Z 20The use of linguistic expressions must therefore be understood as an inter-subjective practice, as a custom, or even an institution. In that sense, the use hardly differs from games like chess.
Usage alone is a criterion to test if someone actually follows the rule. For that reason, rule-following not only implies an understanding of rule expression, but also of uses that are appropriate for the rules, or as Wittgenstein writes: By that, Wittgenstein means the respective association of activities and actions in language games, amongst those language games, and in human life as a whole.
The argument implies, namely, that consensus must already exist in the judgements themselves, before the rules that hold sway in discourse ethics can even be effective in society.
Rather, what is necessary is a further consensus of the manner of its application. Yet that way is only made manifest in the practice of rule-following, which in turn, constitutes a way of life.
Even rules of discourse, therefore, only consist of a complexity of practices that are relative to the life form. For that reason alone, they are recognized as such and followed as rules. Rules devised from such theories for ethical-practical discourses are […] simply abstracted from, and not very far from, contemporary democratic culture. If no such culture existed, this particular version of a minimal morality would not even be plausible to us. Walzer13 23Even discourse ethicists, such as Habermas, work with rules that imply material and ethical preconceptions.
However, these ideas only function with specific cultural systems that, in turn, yield independent and varying forms. The kind of consensus on these practices that exists in such a system is not the result of a rational consensus building, but is rather created by a common way of life. In an individual sense, it characterizes persons who belong to various discourse communities, and who therefore have the linguistic resources and social strategies to affiliate and identify with many different cultures and ways of using language.
The cultural identity of multicultural individuals is not that of multiple native speakers, but, rather, it is made of a multiplicity of social roles which they occupy selectively, depending on the interactional context in which they find themselves at the time.Adela (Eng. 2 Language, Culture and Society)
We have already specified that members of the community as representatives of some definite culture share sets of beliefs, political or ethical, they share to a large extent the way they construe the world, how they classify objective phenomena, what meaning they give to this classification.
Communities share a common history and agree about what is or is not important to them, a common value system. All these things are their culture. What is the connection between language and culture?
Is it always and necessarily the case that languages and cultures go together? May communities with different cultures use the same language? Or may a culturally homogeneous community use different languages?
Historically speaking, it seems to be the case that when two groups of what was a single cultural community lose physical, economic and political contact with each other they begin to diverge [Corder On the other hand, when two culturally different communities come into contact and develop common economic and political systems there appear to be several different things that can happen. They may eventually merge, they may remain culturally distinct whilst being politically and economically a unit.
Their languages may coalesce, one may supersede the other, or they may both continue side by side suffering some degree of mutual influence [Weinreich Firth said [Firth Unity of language is the most figurative of all unities, whether it be historical, geographical, national or personal. But what is the relation between them?
Before suggesting an answer to this question we should note one important fact: Learning these is the process of socialization and is principally carried out through language, first in the home, later in the school and in the life of the community at large.
Language mediates between the individual and the culture. But to do this successfully it must possess certain specific properties which qualify it for this task. For example, it must have codifiability, an economical and easily learned way of referring to objects and events which that culture classifies together or regards as useful or important.
To take a specific example, if it is regarded as socially valuable, important for the maintenance of social structure, then the language of that community will encode that information in an economical and readily memorizable form, e. In this sense the language of a community will reflect the culture, and serve the needs of that community by making it easy for it to realize distinctions where these are important and useful, whilst disregarding distinctions where they are not important or socially relevant.
If, then, languages do reflect cultures, it is easy to see that where there are cultural differences between communities these will be reflected in differences in their linguistic systems. So far we have been considering the relations between a language, an individual and a culture. We have been working intralinguistically or intraculturally. But in the context of our research we must also consider the problem cross-culturally.
This means asking the question: Languages evidently do differ in the way they symbolically reflect the world, that is, in the way they categorize or codify the experience of their speakers. As we have seen, the way they do this reflects the interests, needs, concerns and preoccupations of the community they serve. Where a society needs to recognize distinctions readily and economically, the language will reflect this need.
This is most clearly seen in the lexical encoding of experience. Thus we would expect to, and do, find differences in the vocabularies of two different languages. Where language A has a single name for some phenomenon, language B has no such word and has to resort to periphrasis to express the same notion.
The upshot of this discussion seems to be that languages vary, therefore, in the ease with which they permit codification. We can also note, that what is lexically coded in one language may require both lexical and grammatical means in another, since circumlocution involves grammatical relations. Following Weinreich [Weinreich ] it should be pointed out that language contact or contact of two languages might be considered as one of the aspects of culture contact.
It is necessary to mention that the relationship between the field of language contact and the field of culture contact has not been properly defined yet. Anyway when two languages are usually brought into contact, idiosyncrasies in linguistic behavior of speakers — representatives of different cultures — tend to cancel each other, while socially determined speech habits and processes characteristic of the cultures become significant.
It is clear that when two languages come into contact the dominance of one of them is largely determined by the usefulness of this language, its role in social advance and its cultural value. When a language-contact situation is examined in detail, the interrelation of cultural conditions and linguistic phenomena is apparent.
In Search of Meaning - Sense of Ethics and Ethical Sense - KIT Scientific Publishing
In a great majority of contacts between groups speaking different languages, the groups constitute, at the same time, distinct ethnic or cultural communities. Situations of congruent culture-and-language contact seem to invite interference of a lexical- cultural type. The relationship of the cultures to one another in a particular geographic habitat determines what one group learns from the other and defines such gaps in the vocabulary of each group as may need filling by borrowing. Thus culture contact naturally produces the diffusion of non-material as well as of material culture elements.
The non-material side of culture is particularly significant in explaining not only the borrowing of abstract vocabulary, but the principles of selectivity and rejection of vocabulary. Amongst those who have dilated upon the affinity between language and culture, it is Duranti who encapsulates how these two interpenetrate: The role of language as a vehicle of thought enables human thinking to be as complex and varied as it is.
Language enables one to imagine counterfactual objects, events, and states of affairs; in this connection it is intimately related to intentionalitythe feature of all human thoughts whereby they are essentially about, or directed toward, things outside themselves. Language allows one to share information and to communicate beliefs and speculations, attitudes and emotions.
Indeed, it creates the human social world, cementing people into a common history and a common life-experience. Language is equally an instrument of understanding and knowledge; the specialized languages of mathematics and science, for example, enable human beings to construct theories and to make predictions about matters they would otherwise be completely unable to grasp.
Language, in short, makes it possible for individual human beings to escape cognitive imprisonment in the here and now. This confinement, one supposes, is the fate of other animals—for even those that use signaling systems of one kind or another do so only in response to stimulation from their immediate environments.
The evidently close connection between language and thought does not imply that there can be no thought without language. Although some philosophers and linguists have embraced this view, most regard it as implausible.
- “There are, indeed, things that cannot be put into words.”
Prelinguistic infants and at least the higher primates, for example, can solve quite complex problems, such as those involving spatial memory. Similarly, among human adults, artistic or musical thought does not demand specifically linguistic expression: A more reasonable hypothesis regarding the connection between language and thought, therefore, might be the following: But language may also be the source of cognitive failures, of course.
The idea that language is potentially misleading is familiar from many practical contextsperhaps especially politics. The same danger exists everywhere, however, including in scholarly and scientific research.
Philosophy of language
In scriptural interpretation, for example, it is imperative to distinguish true interpretations of a text from false ones; this in turn requires thinking about the stability of linguistic meaning and about the use of analogymetaphorand allegory in textual analysis. The same worries apply to the interpretation of works of literature, legal documents, and scientific treatises. In the early 20th century the rapid development of modern mathematical logic see formal logic similarly inspired the idea of a language in which grammatical form would be a sure guide to meaning, so that the inferences that could legitimately be drawn from propositions would be clearly visible on their surface.
If the connection between words and things is entirely arbitrary or conventional, as it seems to be, it is difficult to understand how language enables human beings to gain knowledge or understanding of the world. As William Shakespeare — later put the difficulty: That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
If this kind of skepticism seems natural, it is because conventionalism about names is closely related to conventionalism about truth. A person who says that animal is a tiger seems to communicate only that the thing he names as that animal falls into the class of things he names as tiger. But if it is arbitrary or conventional which class of things tiger names, how does his statement communicate any real knowledge?
Plato thought that the only possible explanation is to suppose that words are by nature connected to the things they name.