PHILOSOPHICAL INVESTIGATIONS I
561. Now isn't it queer that I say that the word "is" is used with
two different meanings (as the copula and as the sign of equality),
and should not care to say that its meaning is its use; its use, that is,
as the copula and the sign of equality?
One would like to say that these two kinds of use do not yield a
single meaning; the union under one head is an accident, a mere in-
562. But how can I decide what is an essential, and what an in-
essential, accidental, feature of the notation? Is there some reality
lying behind the notation, which shapes its grammar?
Let us think of a similar case in a game: in draughts a king is marked
by putting one piece on top of another. Now won't one say it is in-
essential to the game for a king to consist of two pieces?
5 63. Let us say that the meaning of a piece is its role in the game.—
Now let it be decided by lot which of the players gets white before
any game of chess begins. To this end one player holds a king in each
closed fist while the other chooses one of the two hands at random.
Will it be counted as part of the role of the king in chess that it is used
to draw lots in this way?
564. So I am inclined to distinguish between the essential and the
inessential in a game too. The game, one would like to say, has not
only rules but also a point.
565. Why the same word? In the calculus we make no use of this
identity!—Why the same piece for both purposes?—But what does it
mean here to speak of "making use of the identity"? For isn't it a
use, if we do in fact use the same word?
566. And now it looks as if the use of the same word or the same
piece, had a purpose— if the identity is not accidental, inessential. And
as if the purpose were that one should be able to recognize the piece
and know how to play.—Are we talking about a physical or a logical
possibility here? If the latter then the identity of the piece is something
to do with the game.
5 67. But, after all, the game is supposed to be denned by the rules!
So, if a rule of the game prescribes that the kings are to be used for
drawing lots before a game of chess, then that is an essential part of
the game. What objection might one make to this? That one does not
see the point of this prescription. Perhaps as one wouldn't see the point
either of a rule by which each piece had to be turned round three times
PHILOSOPHICAL INVESTIGATIONS I
before one moved it. If we found this rule in a board-game we should
be surprised and should speculate about the purpose of the rule.
("Was this prescription meant to prevent one from moving without
568. If I understand the character of the game aright—I might
say—then this isn't an essential part of it.
((Meaning is a physiognomy.))
569. Language is an instrument. Its concepts are instruments.
Now perhaps one thinks that it can make no great difference which
concepts we employ. As, after all, it is possible to do physics in feet
and inches as well as in metres and centimetres; the difference is
merely one of convenience. But even this is not true if, for instance,
calculations in some system of measurement demand more time and
trouble than it is possible for us to give them.
570. Concepts lead us to make investigations; are the expression
of our interest, and direct our interest.
571. Misleading parallel: psychology treats of processes in the
psychical sphere, as does physics in the physical.
Seeing, hearing, thinking, feeling, willing, are not the subject of
psychology in the same sense as that in which the movements of bodies,
the phenomena of electricity etc., are the subject of physics. You can
see this from the fact that the physicist sees, hears, thinks about, and
informs us of these phenomena, and the psychologist observes the
external reactions (the behaviour) of the subject.
572. Expectation is, grammatically, a state; like: being of an
opinion, hoping for something, knowing something, being able to do
something. But in order to understand the grammar of these states
it is necessary to ask: "What counts as a criterion for anyone's being in
such a state?" (States of hardness, of weight, of fitting.)
573. To have an opinion is a state.—A state of what? Of the soul?
Of the mind? Well, of what object does one say that it has an opinion?
Of Mr. N.N. for example. And that is the correct answer.
One should not expect to be enlightened by the answer to that
question. Others go deeper: What, in particular cases, do we regard
as criteria for someone's being of such-and-such an opinion? When
do we say: he reached this opinion at that time? When: he has altered
his opinion? And so on. The picture which the answers to these
questions give us shews what gets treated grammatically as a state here.