On Surveyability

Quotes from Hans Sluga, Wittgenstein

Chapter 6. Our Unsurveyable Grammar

Essential Complexity

“The physical universe, for instance, is very large but we may still be able to construct a surveyable representation of certain of its properties. That is why we can formulate general laws of physics that have both an explanatory and a predictive power. The human world, on the other hand, is only a small part of the physical universe but since we are interested in a vast array of diverse and shifting relationships, the human world turns out to be unsurveyable. And because of this, find ourselves unable to formulate anthropological, social, or historical laws. Biology, finally, seems to fall between these two cases. The facts that concern biochemistry may be fully surveyable, but the actual course of biological evolution may not.”

The Practice of Language

 


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