So, a second week of OPC2—last week I found Williams’ paper helpful, clarifying for me some of what Wittgenstein was up to at the beginning of Philosophical Investigations. I know too little to engage with that debate, but it strikes me prima faciethat (in the builders’ language-game) builder A’s “Slab!” (spoken to builder B) must have been the expression of a thought that we might adequately describe as “Bring me a slab!” or “Make it so that B brings A a slab.” Certainly A must have wanted a slab, and must have thought that saying “Slab!” to B would help to satisfy that want—otherwise, there could hardly have been a language-game. Cf. two robots, 1 and 2, with 1 beaming a pulse of light (of some sort) towards 2 whenever 1 detects an insufficiency of slabs, and with the detected pulse causing 2 to take a slab to 1. Could such a transmission of photons be a linguistic act? Maybe, in the sense of computer languages, but how about if a billiard-ball collides with another, so that the momentum of the first is transferred to the other—is that a linguistic act? And if so, what is not?So, underlying A’s command “Slab!” there must have been (as a basic linguistic component) a thought that we might adequately describe as A entertaining the epistemic possibility that B could (actually, but in other cases fictionally, or theoretically) bring A a slab(no thoughts, no language, is how I see it—I mean, language is a medium for the communication of our thoughts), which is a relation of intentional objects(?)
I am old; in 2003, at the age of 40, I was published in the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, but since then I've done little. Blogging since 2007, my main involvement was via the Philosophers' Carnival, which moved to Facebook.