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form of life

Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


P hilosophy of language For later Wittgenstein , the context of practice or culture in which speaking a language is embedded in the form of language games . Since language is a set of social activities, speaking a language becomes part of a communal activity and a way of living in society. Wittgenstein calls the totality of communal activities, the culture into which language games are embedded, a form of life. A form of life comprises shared natural and linguistic responses, broad agreement in definitions and judgments , and corresponding behavior . Language is connected with our life through our shared playing of language games and is thus interwoven with non-linguistic contexts. To imagine language is to imagine a form of life that in itself can neither be justified nor unjustified. This indicates that grammatical rules are an integral part of human historical practice and are subject to change. Insofar as there are foundations for language for the later Wittgenstein, what must be accepted as given are forms of life. Wittgenstein's remarks about this term are not always consistent and clear and have consequently led to exegetical controversy. In particular, he sometimes speaks of multiple forms of life as specific patterns with limited scope. “Hence the term ‘language-game’ is meant to bring into prominence the fact that the speaking of language is part of an activity, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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