[Wittrs] The Language Game of Professional Philosopher
whoooo26505 at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 16 13:56:26 CDT 2012
... here would be my idea of this.
What you are saying now is that the term "professional" is a family resemblance. It, too, has various senses. When we ask ourselves what makes something "professional" and something not, we do not look for authority for this answer. We look to the language culture and see the various things that people are doing with the idea. And so, if someone wants to call someone who exchanges money for services a "professional" -- and if that works -- that's one idea. Another idea might be a level of skill, regardless of whether a person gets paid.
And unfortunately, one surely could find a context in which professional amateur made sense. Wasn't there a character in Doonsbury who never wanted to leave college and stayed there for quite a long time? If you've made it your life's work to be an amateur -- we'll, the expression will have some legs.
So, once again, being Wittgenstein, I could never agree that there must be a permanent and authoritative sharp boundary. Instead, we let people do whatever they do communicatively with the idea -- which involves imposing temporary boundaries in some contexts but not others. Here's more on the subject:
Regards and thanks.
Dr. Sean Wilson, Esq.
Wright State University
Personal Website: http://seanwilson.org
SSRN papers: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=596860
Wittgenstein Discussion: http://seanwilson.org/wittgenstein.discussion.html
----- Original Message -----
From: Han Geurdes <han.geurdes at gmail.com>
To: wittrs at undergroundwiki.org
Sent: Monday, April 16, 2012 1:27 PM
Subject: Re: [Wittrs] The Language Game of Professional Philosopher
But the ostensive definition of 'the professional philosopher' would do
nicely to Walter too I think. A points at B saying... this is a
professional philosopher. We watch and see a long white beard. In the
sequence we hear interesting questions from B about language and truth.
Then we give him money for showing a piece of his professional capacities.
This is the professional part. So?
What is a professional politician or greengrocer? We give them money to
their display of activities. In the pub I can be a politician but will not
get a free beer for my politics. I can sell vegetables from my garden but
am not a professional greengrocer.
I need to earn a living, support wife and kids, with the tricks that I
display and then I am called 'professional'.
Can someone be a professional amateur?
On 16 April 2012 19:11, Sean Wilson <whoooo26505 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> ... Yes Han. I agree. But that's not the issue we were discussing. You are
> quite correct that whether one labels a border case (or anyone) a
> "professional philosopher" or not says nothing about the value they
> contribute to human thinking, if any. I myself would find no need for the
> expression, except, perhaps, in a derogatory context -- or perhaps a purely
> administrative (and pedestrian) one.
> But that doesn't get at the issue. The issue I was trying to show Walter
> (unsuccessfully, as usual) was that one could observe the term with a sharp
> boundary or not. The lesson was hence: what Walter thought was a matter of
> "empirical truth," was merely a matter of the sense of the idea he
> preferred. Periodically -- about once a year -- I try to see if Walter's
> made any progress.
> But I agree with you that the the expression really doesn't do much,
> either way.
> Regards and thanks.
> Dr. Sean Wilson, Esq.
> Assistant Professor
> [spoiler]Wright State University
> Personal Website: http://seanwilson.org
> SSRN papers:
> Wittgenstein Discussion:
> http://seanwilson.org/wittgenstein.discussion.html [/spoiler]
> Wittrs mailing list
> Wittrs at undergroundwiki.org
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