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a structural or essential feature of conceptuality as such. That is, Searle does not seriously examine the consequences of the idea that the possibility of what we call ‘marginal cases’ is part of the structure of concepts as such. Instead, the rigorous purity of the centre/ margin opposition is dogmatically assumed in order to satisfy the non-logical desire to restrict ‘looseness’ – to restrict play. Two remarks in Zettel summarise Wittgenstein’s reading of the ideal of exactness and the desire to restrict play: How should we have to imagine a complete list of rules for the employment of a word? – What do we mean by a complete list of rules for the employment of a piece in chess? Couldn’t we always construct doubtful cases, in which the normal list of rules does not decide? Think e.g. of such a question as: how to determine who moved last, if a doubt is raised about the reliability of the players’ memories? (Z, §440, my emphasis) Consider also the following proposition: ‘The rules of a game may well allow a certain freedom, but all the same they must be quite definite rules.’ That is as if one were to say: ‘You may indeed leave a person enclosed by four walls a certain liberty of movement, but the walls must be perfectly rigid’ – and that is not true. – ‘Well, the walls may be elastic all right, but in that case they have a perfectly determinate degree of elasticity.’ – But what does this say? It seems that it must be possible to state the elasticity, but that again is not true. ‘The wall always has some determinate degree of elasticity – whether I know it or not.’: that is really the avowal of adherence to a form of expression. The one that makes use of the form of an ideal of accuracy. As it were like the form of a parameter of representation. (ibid., §441, my emphasis) What is not tolerated by thinking dominated by this ideal of accuracy or exactness is indefiniteness internal to human conceptuality as such – internal to the conceptual ‘as such’ as such. In Searle’s work the purity of rules is acknowledged to be an ideal, but, as his exclusion of the marginal indicates, for Searle this is an ideal which is still approached or approximated in normal cases. This is precisely not what Wittgenstein is suggesting with the notion of family resemblances (see PI, §81). Of course, as I have noted, the promise of a unity of meaning appears to be absolutely necessary for the possibility of thinking or communicating anything at all and as such: The sense of a sentence – one would like to say – may, of course, leave this or that open, but the sentence must nevertheless have a definite sense. An indefinite sense – that would really not be a sense at all. (PI, §99)


Glendinning, simon on being with others heidegger‚ derrida, wittgenstein  
Glendinning, simon on being with others heidegger‚ derrida, wittgenstein