Wittgenstein’s Concept of Language Game: A Critical Discourse
Wittgenstein's language game thesis remains one of the most important and controversial discourses within the philosophy of language. It contends that words should be understood within the context in which it is used in a language (meaning as used). In the Philosophical Investigations, He maintains that words have no intrinsic meaning but only within a context or form of life and further states that words have nothing in common, at best what they have is a family resemblance, just like games have nothing in coming but resemblance because each game has its own rules and these rules must be learnt within a form of life. This paper adopts the method of analysis in exploring the idea of the form of life, rule-following, and family resemblance in the Wittgensteinian language game thesis. It argues that the language game remains very significant within the philosophical domain but embodies certain flaws when one critically examines the idea of the form of life, rule-following and family resemblance that seem to form the bedrock of Wittgenstein’s language game. The work critically exposes these ideas within the language game thesis and concludes that the whole idea of the language game needs to be revisited to manage these perceived flaws.
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