apolliana: (Default)
I dreamed last night that I was giving them (being a big nerd), so here goes:

Pace Wittgenstein, we can give a definition of what it is to be a game. To be a game, a set of actions must contain routine or ritual components which have an indeterminate outcome that depends either on chance, on skill, or both.

There is no need to specify the number of players, the fact that some games are played with balls, others with words, etc.

There may be concepts that can't be pinned down through definitions, but this isn't one of them. (It's certainly true that we don't LEARN most concepts in this way, but that doesn't mean definitions can be given afterwards. Harder concepts to do this for are basic sensory concepts, like 'red,' and perhaps qualitative concepts.)
apolliana: (Default)
Like a spiral, and like "doing philosophy,'' indexing never seems to end. But as Wittgenstein put it in On Certainty, explanations (34), giving grounds (110, 204), testing (164), justifications (192, 204), substantiations (563), and doubts (625) all come to an end, and so too much indexes: leave loop-holes open," he writes in On Certainty (139), "and the practice has to speak for itself" (Marjorie Clay, "A Conceptual Index of Wittgenstein's On Certainty," 1979).


She also published "Towards a Definitive Index of Wittgenstein's (Later) Work: More Terms for an Index of On Certainty" later in the same journal, but neither article actually contains an index. The titles made me hope someone had actually done it--something I've actually thought about doing. Most, if not all, W. books contain indexes now, but there are always things it would be good to add.

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