language game

language game
   The term 'language game' was introduced by Wittgenstein in Philosophical Investigations to refer to the different uses of language. Wittgenstein purposely leaves the concept open, but it can be identified indirectly by the enumeration of examples including asking questions, issuing orders, guessing and joking. The 'game' involves the appropriate use of the language within the rules of a particular context rather than the transmission of some mysterious hidden-away 'meaning'. Moreover, different games are self-contained such that it is incorrect to transfer the language of one into another. This concept has appealed to some Christian theologians and philosophers (for example, D. Z. Phillips), who see in it a means to establish the autonomy of Christian belief over against classical foundationalism. Critics object that this conception loses the realist reference of philosophical and theological language, and thus that meaning cannot be replaced by a consideration of usage.
   Further reading: Baker and Hacker 1984; Kerr 2002; Kripke 1982; Wittgenstein 1958

Christian Philosophy . . 2015.

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