Understanding Wittgenstein: Studies of Philosophical Investigations

By J. F. M. Hunter | Go to book overview

Thirteen
THE PICTURE AND THE IMAGE OF PAIN

300. It is -- we should like to say -- not merely the picture of the behaviour that plays a part in the languagegame with the words 'he is in pain', but also the picture of the pain. Or, not merely the paradigm of the behaviour, but also that of the pain. -- It is a misunderstanding to say 'The picture of pain enters into the language-game with the word "pain".' The image of pain is not a picture and this image is not replaceable in the language-game by anything that we should call a picture. -- The image of pain certainly enters into the language-game in a sense; not only as a picture.

301. An image is not a picture, but a picture can correspond to it.

THERE ARE many dark passages in the Philosophical Investigations, but few as dark as those above. What distinction is intended here between an image and a picture? Can we credit the idea of there being either an image or a picture of pain? What could be meant by saying that the image of pain enters into the language-game with the word 'pain'?We could begin with the third of these questions, which divides into two: what is it in general to 'enter a certain language-game'; and in what sense can the image of pain do this?Since Wittgenstein neither explains the expression 'to enter a language-game' nor uses it often enough to enable us to sleuth out what it means, one can only guess; but clearly there would be a difference depending on whether it was the image of pain or the expression, 'the image of pain' that did this:
1. In the former case 'entering the language-game' might mean something like 'being as a matter of fact something that has to go on when the language-game is played'. If it were a

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