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Sharing a Form of Life? Section 241

241. “So you are saying that human agreement decides what is true and what is false?”- It is what human beings say that is true and false; and they agree in the language they use. That is not agreement in opinions but in form of life.”

And Davidson would tell us that they do not even agree in the “language” they use, but only that they each can be said to use language, and have beliefs.

You might jump up and yell in Quinianese “Gavagai!” And I might say, “Ah, Momentary Rabbit-part!” If this is sharing a form of life, I am unsure. Perhaps…but what makes it a form? There is no appeal to such a form which makes agreement justified. There is something about the word “form” that is so satisfying. And when one is satisfied, perhaps one should look closer.

Forms are seen (sometimes felt). Forms are per-formed. This is what captures the imagination here. But also, forms transcend, they some how stickout from the accidental, and the contentful. Forms are patterns: speaking this way invites us to imagine a huge larger pattern (for when does the sharing stop). My dog and I get along when in the woods, is this because we share a form of life? Does this mean that my dog, I AND the woods are sharing a form of life?

When does one stop sharing a form of life? When disagreement comes, are not we still sharing a form of life? What role does the phrase “sharing a form of life” play in explanation? If not-sharing-a-form-of-life fails as a meaningful description/explanation, what value does its contradiction hold? (I do not recall Wittgenstein ever writing “they failed to share a form of life”.)

How would the explanation change if the spade-turning phrase changed to “sharing a world”? What would be lost, and what gained.

I think, perhaps, the Behaviorist, bodily-action emphasis would be shifted, to more an experiential and causal understanding of the conditions of behavior.

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One response to “Sharing a Form of Life? Section 241

  1. Pingback: Some Nonsense Thoughts: Wittgenstein’s Nonsense « Frames /sing

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