Language-Games Analytical Essay by roberts2

Looks at the concept of language-games from the perspective of Ludwig Wittgenstein, Sigmund Freud and Paulo Virno.
# 114212 | 1,455 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2009 | US

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This paper explains the concept of language-games, as related by Ludwig Wittgenstein, in which humans create language with loopholes that do not allow any person to know any fact, in statements expressing the truth, with certainty. The paper also discusses how Sigmund Freud's analysis of jokes parallels the idea of language-games as a societal norm for judging the truth of statements. Next, the paper investigates Paulo Virno's concept of the presence of the third person, or the praxis, which suggests that there is a societal norm judging the success of a joke.

From the Paper:

"Wittgenstein's attack on knowing with certainty suggests that language-games break down what humans consider as knowing. He does hint, however, that there are generalized rules that humans consider as true, although they will never be able to know with certainty if they are. These are as if the propositions listed in G.E. Moore's article. Because of this, one must conclude that there is a societal norm suggesting certain propositions are true, despite their logical-syllogistic proof."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Freud, Sigmund. The Joke and Its Relation to the Unconscious. London: Penguin Books, 2002.
  • Virno, Paulo. Multitude: Between Innovation and Negation. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2008.
  • Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty. New York City: Harper & Row Publishers, 1969.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Language-Games (2009, June 02) Retrieved August 18, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Language-Games" 02 June 2009. Web. 18 August. 2019. <>