ISSN 2567-6458, 24.Januar 2023 – 24.January 2023
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch

Parts of this text have been translated with (free version), afterwards only minimally edited.


This post is part of the book project ‘oksimo.R Editor and Simulator for Theories’. It can be read as a direct continuation of the text ‘Start . The ‘inside’ of the ‘outside’ – Part 2‘.

Transient’ events and language

After we have worked our way forward in the biological cell galaxy ‘man’ so far that we can determine its ‘structuredness’ (without really understanding its origin and exact functioning so far), and then find ourselves as cell galaxy nevertheless – according to the appearance – as ‘concrete body’ which can ‘communicate’ with the ‘environment of the own body’ (often also called ‘outside world’) twofold: We can ‘perceive’ in different ways and we can produce ‘effects’ in the outside world in different ways.

For the ‘coordination’ with other human bodies, especially between the ‘brains’ in these bodies, the ability to ‘speak-listen’ or then also to ‘write-read’ seems to be of highest importance. Already as children we find ourselves in environments where language occurs and we ‘learn’ very quickly that ‘linguistic expressions’ can refer not only to ‘objects’ and their ‘properties’, but also to fleeting ‘actions’ (‘Peter gets up from the table’) and also other ‘fleeting’ events (‘the sun rises’; ‘the traffic light just turned red’). There are also linguistic expressions that refer only partially to something perceptible, such as ‘Father of Hans’ (who is not in the room at all), ‘yesterday’s food’ (which is not there), ‘I hate you’ (‘hate’ is not an object), ‘the sum of 3+5’ (without there being anything that looks like ‘3’ or ‘5’), and many more.

If one tries to understand these ‘phenomena of our everyday life’ ‘more’, one can come across many exciting facts, which possibly generate more questions than they provide answers. All phenomena, which can cause ‘questions’, actually serve the ‘liberation of our thinking’ from currently wrong images. Nevertheless, questions are not very popular; they disturb, stress, …

How can one get closer to these manifold phenomena?

Let’s just have a look at some expressions of ‘normal language’ that we use in our ‘everyday life’.[1] In everyday life there are manifold situations in which we – or other people – sit down (breakfast, office, restaurant, school, university, reception hall, bus, subway, …). In some of these situations we speak, for example, of ‘chairs’, in others of ‘armchairs’, again in others of ‘benches’, or simply of ‘seats’. Before an event, someone might ask “Are there enough chairs?” or “Do we have enough armchairs?” or … In the respective concrete situation, it can be quite different objects that would pass for example as ‘chair’ or as ‘armchair’ or … This indicates that the ‘expressions of language’ (the ‘sounds’, the ‘written/printed signs’) can link to quite different things. There is no 1-to-1 mapping here. With other objects like ‘cups’, ‘glasses’, ‘tables’, ‘bottles’, ‘plates’ etc. it is not different.

These examples suggest that there may be a ‘structure’ here that ‘manifests’ itself in the concrete examples, but is itself located ‘beyond the events.'[2]

If one tries to ‘mentally sort’ this out, then at least two, rather three ‘dimensions’ suggest themselves here, which play into each other:

  • There are concrete linguistic expressions – those we call ‘words’ – that a ‘speaker-hearer’ uses.
  • There is, independently of the linguistic expressions, ‘some phenomenon’ in everyday life to which the ‘speaker-hearer’ refers with his linguistic expression (these can be ‘objects’, ‘properties’ of objects, …)[3].
  • The respective ‘speaker’ or ‘listener’ have ‘learned’ to ‘establish a relation’ between the ‘linguistic expression’ and the ‘other’ to the linguistic expression.

Since we know that the same objects and events in everyday life can be ‘named’ quite differently in the ‘different languages’, this suggests that the relations assumed in each case by ‘speaker-hearer’ are not ‘innate’, but appear rather ‘arbitrary’ in each ‘language community’.[4] This suggests that the ‘relations’ found in everyday life between linguistic expressions and everyday facts have to be ‘learned’ by each speaker-hearer individually, and this through direct contact with speaker-hearers of the respective language community.

… to be continued …


wkp := Wikipedia

[1] Instead of ‘normal language’ in ‘everyday life’ I speak here also simply of ‘everyday language’.

[2] A thinker who has dealt with this phenomenon of the ‘everyday concrete’ and at the same time also ‘everyday – somehow – abstract’ is Ludwig Wittgenstein (see [2a,b]). He introduced the concept of ‘language-game’ [2a] for this purpose, without introducing an actual ‘(empirical) theory’ in the proper sense to all these considerations.

[2a] wkp en: Language game, URL:

[2b] wkp en: Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 1921/1922 , Note: Written during World War I, the work was completed in 1918. It first appeared, with the support of Bertrand Russell, in Wilhelm Ostwald’s Annalen der Naturphilosophie in 1921. This version, which was not proofread by Wittgenstein, contained gross errors. A corrected, bilingual edition (German/English) was published by Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner and Co. in London in 1922 and is considered the official version. The English translation was by C. K. Ogden and Frank Ramsey. See URL:

[2c] wkp en: Philosophical Investigations,1936-1946, published 1953, Note: The Philosophical Investigations is Ludwig Wittgenstein’s late, second major work. It exerted an extraordinary influence on the philosophy of the 2nd half of the 20th century; the speech act theory of Austin and Searle as well as the Erlangen constructivism (Paul Lorenzen, Kuno Lorenz) are to be mentioned. The book is directed against the ideal of a logic-oriented language, which, along with Russell and Carnap, Wittgenstein himself had advocated in his first major work. The book was written in the years 1936-1946, but was not published until 1953, after the author’s death. See URL:

[3] In the borderline case, these ‘other’ phenomena of everyday life are also linguistic expressions (when one talks ‘about’ a text or linguistic utterances’).

[4] wkp en: List of Language Families, URL:, Note: Due to ‘spatial proximity’ or temporal context (or both), there may be varying degrees of similarity between different language.