WHAT IT IS LIKE TO MEAN SOMETHING?
|455.||We want to say: 'When we mean something, it's like going up to someone, it's not like having a dead picture (of any kind).' We go up to the thing we mean.|
|456.||'When one means something, it is oneself meaning'; so one is oneself in motion. One is rushing ahead and so cannot also observe oneself rushing ahead. Indeed not.|
|457.||Yes: meaning something is like going up to someone.|
|1.||While Wittgenstein often describes temptations one does not oneself experience, one can generally at least understand how someone might be so tempted; but it is difficult even to have some initial sympathy for this temptation. If one had to answer the question what it is like to mean something, one of the very last answers that would suggest themselves is that it is like going up to someone.|
|2.||It is a distinct departure from one of Wittgenstein's very typical practices, to end up endorsing a temptation, as he certainly appears to do in §457.|
|3.||That he should do this here is particularly surprising in as much as he probably does not think that meaning something is anything, and therefore ought not to think that it is like going up to someone, or like anything else. Only if anything is some phenomenon or other would one think it could be either like or unlike anything.|
By contrast with these arresting features, it is only quaint that Wittgenstein should have said it is oneself meaning, and one is oneself in motion, rushing ahead, and not observing oneself doing so. Although the temptation to say such things is also fairly remote, he at least does not endorse such idiocy,