Guide Persons And Their Minds: A Philosophical Investigation

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Body and human being are presented as the best pictures of the human soul and unlike other pictures I cannot show what they are pictured of as independently verifiable facts. They correspond to the concept of a soul. These pictures have to be used in different ways from our pictures that picture empirical realities.

They are not given in the language of information; but they are not without cognitive content. They have different roles. They are more like how people express their love in a variety of ways — poems, metaphors, letters, etc. They give expression to their soul. A poetic expression is different from a scientific proposition or a mathematical formula. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, C. Ogden, trans.

A Philosophical Investigation

Vorstellung is here better understood as idea, concept or imaginative representation. To say that a human being has such- and-such a sort of body is not to imply that the person is a thinking thing that owns that body. Descartes, who argued for such a view, admitted that the soul is not merely present in the body as a sailor is present in a ship, but rather very closely joined and, as it were, intermingled with it, so that soul and the body form a unit. As I cannot identify my self with my body, I cannot do so with my mind. A human being is neither a body nor a mind.

However, a human being is not without a mind or a body. It is true that we do not assign psychological predicates to the body and its parts, but we cannot ascribe them to the mind either. Otherwise it would be the mind that sees, smells, feels, thinks, desires, decides, etc. Ambrose, ed. Luckhardt and Maximilian A. Aue, trans. It is also not like the inside of something, a box, for example, or something like an inner room or inner cave.

The inner corresponds to human subjectivity. According to Wittgenstein, the assumption of the ego as an independent entity results from philosophical confusions. This is because of the bewitching power of the picture of the language in which words always seem to name objects.

According to this picture, the meaning of a word is the object for which the word stands PI 1. If body is not a proper object for self, we feel forced to posit an immaterial substance — the real ego BB That is not denying the reality of the inner. What is resisted is our temptation to treat it as a material or ethereal object. It is not the inner that is deluding; it is to assume the inner as an object, material or ethereal, that is the delusion. Indeed, there are also inner and outer facts — just as there are, for example, physical and mathematical facts.

They relate to each other in a variety of ways in the stream of our life and thought. Wittgenstein is realistic about the inner; but we should not see it as an object similar to a material object. Wittgenstein does not assume that all that is real is empirical. Rhees and G. Anscombe, eds. We want to draw attention to the fact that it is not the soul that perceives, thinks, remembers, loves, wills, believes, etc.

It is wrong to give a pre-eminence to the soul. That a living human being has a soul is my fundamental attitude in dealing with living human beings. It is not, however, something about which we can talk in the language of physical things. The inner confers a kind of unity to the living human being that is categorically different from the unity conferred by the body.

It is a unity that is captured especially from within, from the first-person perspective. There is no single property or a sum of properties like a fibre that runs through the whole length of the thread, on the part of all and only phenomena so called but only overlapping of many fibres PI A grammatical investigation gives a description of the various uses of these words clarifying the existence and nature of the inner. It is used in our language as a principle to unite all the mental, rational, and spiritual characteristics, something characteristic of human beings.

The characteristics of a human body do change, but gradually and within a recognizable range. Thus, the use of the concept of an individual human being depends on certain contingent facts BB This, as far as philosophy is concerned, should be treated not only as an empirical fact but also as a logical fact.

Often Wittgenstein reminds us that language-games and forms of life and the words and concepts that are interwoven with them are closely connected with facts about human nature and the nature of the world. Induction is made logically possible by the regularity of events OC Actions like walking, eating, and bringing up children are part of our natural history PI 25, Expecting, loving, and hoping arise only in certain surroundings and situations PI , They cannot come to be by their own strength, Or yet maintain themselves by their own strength; Conforming to the influence of other dhammas, Weak in themselves and conditioned, they come to be.

They come to be with others as condition. They are aroused by others as objects; They are produced by object and condition And each by a dhamma other [than itself]. Of course, the reference to 'object', here, shows that the lines mainly concern nama. The most obvious way in which the physical affects the mental is through the process of perceiving objects. From the Suttas it is clear that consciousness and other mental states arise dependent on sense-organ and sense-object.

A common refrain is:. Eye-consciousness arises dependent on the eye and visible shape; the coming together of the three is stimulation; from stimulation as condition is feeling; what one feels one cognizes Parallel things are also said about ear-consciousness, nose-consciousness, tongue-consciousness, body-consciousness and mentation-consciousness.

Again, in the Adhidhamma, it is clear that the arising of a sense-consciousness is not only conditioned by physical factors, but also by mental ones: the previous moments of cifra such as the bhavanga state, the latent ground state of consciousness Ptn. That is, consciousness is dependent on physical states, but also on previous states of consciousness and other mental states.

What, though, is said of whether there is a physical basis for mind-consciousness? The Abhidhamma clearly specifies that there is such a basis vatthu , though it does not specify what it is. The rupa supported by which mentation-element mano-dhatu and mentation-consciousness-element mano-vinnana-dhatu occur, that rupa is related to them and their associated states by support condition Conditioned by eye-sense-sphere is eye-consciousness; Moreover, karmically active mental states are also seen as conditioned by such a basis ibid.

However, the physical 'basis' of mind is itself said to be dependent on mental states, from the moment of conception p. While this basis is always a 'prenascent' i. This must be because, at conception, mentation-consciousness is that which is transmitted from a dead person and, on entering the womb, conditions the development of a new psycho-physical organism, including mentation and the physical basis for the continuance of consciousness.

In the ongoing flow of life, the mental dhammas mutually condition each other, but are also conditioned by the physical 'basis' ibid. In the later Theravada tradition, the physical 'basis' of mind is specified as the 'heart-basis' hadaya-vatthu Vism. The heart was probably chosen as, in terms of immediate experience, many emotional states seem to be physically centred in the middle of the chest. Certainly, many of the physical sensations associated with meditation are 'felt' here.

The 'heart-basis' is said to act as the 'support' for mentation-element and mentation-consciousness-element, and to 'uphold' them, being itself dependent on the blood Vism. Buddhaghosa sees the 'basis' as a tiny region of the heart Vism. Jayasuriya, though, argues that 'heart' is not literally meant, and that what may be referred to is the entire nervous system including the brain : which certainly is dependent on the oxygen supply in blood , appendix A.

Yet if the 'basis' is seen as present from conception, it cannot be identified, as such, with either the heart or nervous system in their fully developed forms. Buddhaghosa also holds that in being the 'basis' for mind-consciousness, the heart-basis is not a 'door' for consciousness, like eye-sensitivity Vism.

That is, it is not a place where consciousness receives content from outside Asl. It simply supports it occurrence. Similarly, it is not a 'door' to setting up activity in the body, as 'bodily intimation' and 'vocal intimation' are Vism. Perhaps the main way in which the mind produces effect in the body is through states of mind leading to speech and physical behaviour.

In the Theravadin Abhidhamma, the two crucial intermediaries in these situations are:. In the Dhammasangani sec. That is they are forms of matter dependent on the 'four great elements'. That state of bodily tension or excitement, or state of excitement, on the part of one who advances, or moves back, or fixes the gaze, or glances round, or retracts an arm, or stretches it forth: the intimation, the making known, the state of having made known a citta mind-moment or thought That is, both are seen as physical states which make known a thought.

As Buddhaghosa says, they 'display intention' Vism. However, the two intimations are the only kind of rupa which are said to be 'coexistent with citta' Dhs. That is they are the only kind of material dhammas that last no longer than a moment of citta, and change in unison with citta. In his commentary on these passages, though Asl.

This is because a cifra exists only for one seventeenth of the time a rupa dhamma lasts Vism. In fact, Buddhaghosa sees the two intimations as only 'nominal' dhammas Vism. They are 'nominal' in a similar way to that in which the 'impermanence' of rupa is a nominal dhamma.


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Now the body originated from citta: that is not 'intimation'. But there is a certain alteration in the mode akara-vikaro of the primary physical elements when set up by citta, through which, as condition, the motion element is able to strengthen and agitate the conascent body. This is intimation. Bodily intimation is the alteration in the mode in the citta-originated motion element that causes the occurrence of moving forward etc.

Thus the two intimations are seen as fleeting modulations in the 'motion' and 'solidity' elements, which modulations can last as long as a citta mind-moment , but not as long as other rupa dhammas. They are 'nominal' dhammas as they are merely modulations of other 'real' dhammas. Thus the mind sets up movement in the body by altering the mode of rupa produced by citta. Non-solid mind does not so much 'bump into' extended, solid matter, as modulate the way in which aspects of matter arise.

In that case, the mind would move the body by effecting the electrical modulation of nerve discharges. The discussion still leaves the meaning of 'citta-originated' citta-samutthana rupa states to be determined. Does this imply that citta can actually create certain kinds of matter, or what? Nevertheless, citta cannot 'originate' matter on its own: citta-originated rupa arises dependent on the primary elements, and skilful or unskilful mental processes ibid. This is because any 'derived' rupa depends on the primary elements, and these always arise dependent on each other.

Thus the position of the Theravadin Abhidhamma seems to be that citta can produce or create certain kinds of matter, but not literally 'out of nothing', for 'citta-originated' matter is also dependent on other forms of matter. The kind of mental processes that can 'originate' rupa are said to include: desire, energy, thought citta , investigation when concentrated these are the 'four bases of psychic power' , volition, and meditative trance jhana Ptn.

These act as conditions for the origination of rupa dhammas by being conascent with them i. The citta-originated becomes evident through one who is joyful or grieved. For the rupa arisen at the time when he is joyful is smooth, tender, fresh and soft to touch. That arisen at the time when he is grieved is parched, stale and ugly. This clearly implies that mental states effect the kind of physical states that arise in the body. As Asl. When a thought 'I will move forward or step back' occurs, it sets up bodily qualities.

Now there are eight groups of these bodily qualities: the four primaries Among these, motion strengthens, supports, agitates, moves backward and forward the conascent material body. While mental processes are normally seen as conditioned by physical ones, there are said to be situations where this is less so than normal. Thus one Sutta passage, after referring to an awareness of consciousness as dependent on the physical body see above, life-principle section , refers to a meditative state in which the meditator applies himself to calling up a 'mind-made body' mano-maya kaya :.

He calls up from this body another body, having form, mind-made, having all limbs and parts, not deficient in any organ. Just as if, O king, a man were to pull a reed out of its sheath, he would know 'This is the reed, this the sheath. The reed is different from the sheath. It is from the sheath that the reed has been drawn forth'. This shows that that consciousness is seen as able to leave the physical body by means of a mind-made body.

Such a body could be seen as a kind of 'subtle body', for a being with a mind-made body is said to feed on joy D. As such a body relates to the 'realm of pure form', the subtle matter composing it can only be visible and audible matter Vibh. However, the mind-made body is invisible to the normal eye Pati.


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It occupies space, but does not impinge on gross physical matter, for the 'selfhood' of a certain god with a mind-made body is said to be as large as two or three fields, but to cause no harm to anyone A. With such a body, a person can exercise psychic powers such as going through solid objects, being in many places at once, or flying D. In the Suttas, there is a standard list of meditation-based 'psychic powers' iddhis.

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These include: multiplying one's form; going through a wall as if through space; diving into the earth as if through water; walking on water as if on the ground; flying, crosslegged, through the air M. The Buddha is said to have claimed that he could do these either with his mind-made body, or with his physical body of the four elements S. Such powers, if one is to take them seriously, clearly involve remarkable 'mental' control of matter, whether this be the matter of one's own body or of objects passed through, for example.

In discussing such powers, Buddhaghosa says that when, for example, diving into the earth, the earth usually only becomes water for the performer Vism. This suggests that, when psychic powers are exercised by means of the 'mind-made' body, there is no effect on ordinary matter, but that when it is done with the physical body, such matter is affected. The late canonical text the Patisambhidamagga goes into some detail on how the powers are developed.

They require that a person has attained one of the meditative jhana states and has developed the four 'bases of psychic power': concentration of desire, of energy, of thought and of investigation Pati. As seen above, these four states are listed in the Patthana as mental states which can 'originate' rupa states. To develop the power of diving through the earth, the meditator attains meditative concentration by focussing on water, then makes water appear where there is earth p. To walk on water or fly, meditation is on earth, then earth is made to appear in water or the air ibid.

The implicit principle, here, is that by focusing on, investigating, and gaining knowledge of an element e. The later tradition, though, holds that all physical matter contains all four primary elements, though in different 'intensity'. Let us imagine a language for which the description given by Augustine is right.

Through this progress, Wittgenstein attempts to get the reader to grapple with certain difficult philosophical topics, but he does not directly argue in favor of theories. But, if possible, to stimulate someone to thoughts of his own. The Investigations deals largely with the difficulties of language and meaning. Wittgenstein viewed the tools of language as being fundamentally simple, [19] [ non-primary source needed ] and he believed that philosophers had obscured this simplicity by misusing language and by asking meaningless questions. He attempted in the Investigations to make things clear: " Der Fliege den Ausweg aus dem Fliegenglas zeigen "—to show the fly the way out of the fly bottle.

Wittgenstein claims that the meaning of a word is based on how the word is understood within the language-game. A common summary of his argument is that meaning is use. According to the use theory of meaning , the words are not defined by reference to the objects they designate, nor by the mental representations one might associate with them, but by how they are used. For example, this means there is no need to postulate that there is something called good that exists independently of any good deed.

Section 43 in Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations reads: "For a large class of cases—though not for all—in which we employ the word "meaning" it can be defined thus: the meaning of a word is its use in the language. Wittgenstein begins Philosophical Investigations with a quote from Augustine's Confessions , which represents the view that language serves to point out objects in the world.

The individual words in language name objects—sentences are combinations of such names. In this picture of language we find the roots of the following idea: Every word has a meaning. This meaning is correlated with the word. It is the object for which the word stands. Wittgenstein rejects a variety of ways of thinking about what the meaning of a word is, or how meanings can be identified. He shows how, in each case, the meaning of the word presupposes our ability to use it.

He first asks the reader to perform a thought experiment: to come up with a definition of the word "game". Any definition that focuses on amusement leaves us unsatisfied since the feelings experienced by a world class chess player are very different from those of a circle of children playing Duck Duck Goose. Any definition that focuses on competition will fail to explain the game of catch, or the game of solitaire. And a definition of the word "game" that focuses on rules will fall on similar difficulties. The essential point of this exercise is often missed.

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Wittgenstein's point is not that it is impossible to define "game", but that even if we don't have a definition, we can still use the word successfully. Wittgenstein argues that definitions emerge from what he termed " forms of life ", roughly the culture and society in which they are used. Wittgenstein stresses the social aspects of cognition; to see how language works for most cases, we have to see how it functions in a specific social situation.

In short, it is essential that a language is shareable, but this does not imply that for a language to function that it is in fact already shared. Wittgenstein rejects the idea that ostensive definitions can provide us with the meaning of a word. For Wittgenstein, the thing that the word stands for does not give the meaning of the word.

Wittgenstein argues for this making a series of moves to show that to understand an ostensive definition presupposes an understanding of the way the word being defined is used. Why is it that we are sure a particular activity—e. Olympic target shooting—is a game while a similar activity—e. How do we recognize that two people we know are related to one another? We may see similar height, weight, eye color, hair, nose, mouth, patterns of speech, social or political views, mannerisms, body structure, last names, etc.

If we see enough matches we say we've noticed a family resemblance. Wittgenstein suggests that the same is true of language. We are all familiar i. This brings us back to Wittgenstein's reliance on indirect communication, and his reliance on thought-experiments. Some philosophical confusions come about because we aren't able to see family resemblances. We've made a mistake in understanding the vague and intuitive rules that language uses, and have thereby tied ourselves up in philosophical knots. He suggests that an attempt to untangle these knots requires more than simple deductive arguments pointing out the problems with some particular position.

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Instead, Wittgenstein's larger goal is to try to divert us from our philosophical problems long enough to become aware of our intuitive ability to see the family resemblances. Wittgenstein develops this discussion of games into the key notion of a language-game.

For Wittgenstein, his use of the term language-game "is meant to bring into prominence the fact that the speaking of language is part of an activity, or of a life-form. We speak of various kinds of games: board games, betting games, sports, "war games".

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These are all different uses of the word "games". Wittgenstein also gives the example of "Water! The meaning of the word depends on the language-game within which it is being used. Another way Wittgenstein puts the point is that the word "water" has no meaning apart from its use within a language-game. One might use the word as an order to have someone else bring you a glass of water. But it can also be used to warn someone that the water has been poisoned. One might even use the word as code by members of a secret society.

Wittgenstein does not limit the application of his concept of language games to word-meaning. He also applies it to sentence-meaning. Wittgenstein argues that independently of use the sentence does not yet 'say' anything. It is 'meaningless' in the sense of not being significant for a particular purpose.

It only acquires significance if we fix it within some context of use. Thus, it fails to say anything because the sentence as such does not yet determine some particular use. The sentence is only meaningful when it is used to say something. For instance, it can be used so as to say that no person or historical figure fits the set of descriptions attributed to the person that goes by the name of "Moses". But it can also mean that the leader of the Israelites was not called Moses.

Or that there cannot have been anyone who accomplished all that the Bible relates of Moses, etc. What the sentence means thus depends on its context of use. Wittgenstein begins his discussion of rules with the example of one person giving orders to another "to write down a series of signs according to a certain formation rule. Wittgenstein draws a distinction between following orders by copying the numbers following instruction and understanding the construction of the series of numbers.

One general characteristic of games that Wittgenstein considers in detail is the way in which they consist in following rules. Rules constitute a family, rather than a class that can be explicitly defined. Indeed, he argues that any course of action can be made out to accord with some particular rule, and that therefore a rule cannot be used to explain an action. Following a rule is a social activity. Saul Kripke provides an influential discussion of Wittgenstein's remarks on rules. For Kripe, Wittgenstein's discussion of rules "may be regarded as a new form of philosophical scepticism.

The answer was: if everything can be made out to accord with the rule, then it can also be made out to conflict with it. And so there would be neither accord nor conflict here. Wittgenstein also ponders the possibility of a language that talks about those things that are known only to the user, whose content is inherently private. The usual example is that of a language in which one names one's sensations and other subjective experiences, such that the meaning of the term is decided by the individual alone.

For example, the individual names a particular sensation, on some occasion, 'S', and intends to use that word to refer to that sensation. Wittgenstein presents several perspectives on the topic. One point he makes is that it is incoherent to talk of knowing that one is in some particular mental state. For Wittgenstein, this is a grammatical point, part of the way in which the language-game involving the word "pain" is played. Although Wittgenstein certainly argues that the notion of private language is incoherent, because of the way in which the text is presented the exact nature of the argument is disputed.

First, he argues that a private language is not really a language at all. This point is intimately connected with a variety of other themes in his later works, especially his investigations of "meaning". For Wittgenstein, there is no single, coherent "sample" or "object" that we can call "meaning".