[Wittrs] The Language Game of Professional Philosopher
whoooo26505 at yahoo.com
Sun Apr 15 19:17:28 CDT 2012
[Having some issues with Google. I had no idea that they have not been receiving mail since April 2nd. Trying to see if this lands at Google. Sorry for the double post]
(A discussion between Walter and I regarding the question of whether I
was a "professional philosopher.")
> > andy_kappa wrote:
> > AFAIK, Sean is the only list member who is a professional philosopher.
> As I understand it, Sean teaches political science at Wright State--and,
> as we know from the "esq." is also a lawyer. I don't think he's even claimed
> to be a philosopher, professional or otherwise.
... I think it would depend upon what this language game was doing. Surely
what I do bears some family resemblance to what some would call
"philosophy." Of course, if my book fails, my career will too -- meaning
there would be host of other language games which would disavowed the idea.
Probably the most technical way of speaking would be what this poster said
in an otherwise very Walterian thread that erupted in the bowels of the
Girl's Club during the Midwest Political Science Conference.
The person wrote:
"To those posters who suggested earlier that Professor Wilson is a
"theorist"-- you are incorrect. He is a public law scholar. Insofar as his
work involves philosophical or social theory dimensions, it is in pursuit of
insights that help shape and direct empirical inquiry.
Also, Professor Wilson was trained at West Virginia University. The
political science department at that university does not offer training in
political theory as a major field."
My own view is that I am a Wittgensteinian politicologist doing work
in legal theory.
> What's worse is, I was wrong! Sean apparently DOES think he's a professional philosopher--depending on the "language game."
... which means only that, in certain ways of speaking, it would be an
intelligible idea. Note, Walter, that this is something completely out
of your control. For if the language culture could do this and mean
something by it, it can do it.
The real question is: (a) could it be done; and (b) what, when it
happens, is being "said."
As with the great majority of language games, the matter could be
spoken of either way and still be intelligible, because of sense and
When a person asks any question, the issue is never what is true or
false, but rather what assistance they require. And so the only true
answer is to say to the person: what do you mean by "professional
philosopher -- what do you have in mind?" One could easily imagine
grandmother wielding the idea with something vastly different in mind
from, say, members of the Philosophy Social Club.
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