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(Sektion 140: Philosophische Untersuchungen von Ludwig Wittgenstein).

Does a picture (ein Bild) force a particular use upon us? This is a crucial question for Wittgenstein's later examination of rule-following and private languages. Wittgenstein suggests that at most, this compulsion of a certain (gewiss) application of a picture is psychological (or habitual?), and not at all logical. That is, a particular picture or image can mean or suggest anything, logically. It is only within a psychological or practical context that we feel the command to obey a certain interpretation--such questions of interpretation are at the heart of Wittgenstein's philosophizing, for the school of thought against which he is theorizing almost always believed that this particular interpretation was the only one, was the logical one. Of course, this leads us into falsely reifing an interpretation as the meaning or the reference that singularly determines a name or a word.


140. But then which kind of thing was my mistake; that which one would like to express: I thought the picture forced a particular use on me? How could I think that? What have I thought? Is there, then, a picture, or something like a picture, that forces a particular application on us, and my error was thus a confusion?--Then we could also express ourselves like this: we are at most under a psychological compulsion, and not a logical one. And now it appears as if we know two kinds of cases.

What does my argument do? (Was tat denn mein Argument?) It made it clear to us (reminded us), that we would in other circumstances also call something other than that which originally occured to us the process of "applying the picture of a cube". Our 'belief, that the picture forces a particular application' consists in the fact that we only considered one case. "Other solutions also exist" means: there are other things that I would name "solution"; to which I am preperated to apply this or that picture, and this or that analogy, etc..

And what is essential is then that we see that the same thing can come before us when we hear a word and the application still be different. Does it have the same reference both times? I believe that we would answer in the negative.

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