Thursday, January 18, 2007

2.221 What a picture presents is its sense.

Theory of meaning beginning here? See also 4.031. Black (p. 93) prefers ‘shows’ here, and in 2.2-2.22, for darstellt, rather than ‘represents,’ in order to avoid the “bad mistake” of thinking that a picture represents its sense “in the way that picture-elements represent, go proxy for, the corresponding objects.” Generally, though, Black prefers 'to present' for darstellen, and I follow him in this, saving 'represent' for vorstellen. It seems a good idea to be consistent (although I have not checked yet to see whether my own translation of these words is consistent).


N. N. said...

I wonder whether 'darstellen' shouldn't be translated as 'representation.' In the notebooks, Wittgesntein uses 'darstellugsmethoden' as an alternate expression for a method of projection. Accordingly, a darstellugsmethoden consists of the naming relations between names and objects.

Names stand for objects. They point to objects. That is, they point to something other than themselves. A sentence, on the other hand, "points to" a possible configuration of objects. That is, it "points to" a possible configuration that is other than the configuration of names.

As I understand the difference between presentation and representation, a picture of city hall presents itself and represents city hall. The sense of the picture is city hall (as a possibility which may or may not be actual), i.e., is something other than the picture. The sense, then, is a representation. Right?

*Sorry, this was written hastily, and may be a bit obscure.

DR said...

Yes, it's a tricky issue. Roger White, in his new book, says on p. 145 that what matters most with works such as darstellen is consistency of translation. There is something to be said for either 'presentation' or 'representation.' At 4.0141 Wittgenstein talks about a law of projection that takes us from, e.g., a musical score to the grooves on a record and back again. I assume that this is related to his earlier remarks about a method of projection (perhaps that's a mistake). Does the record represent the score? I suppose it could, but I might rather say that both the score and the record present the same music. I don't know.

Here's the note I wrote to myself about this translation:

Ostrow suggests that vertreten be translated as ‘go proxy for,’ ‘deputize for’, or ‘stand for,’ since he sees an important difference between this and representing, which is how he translates darstellen. See pp. 36, 39-40, 62-63, and 86. See also Friedlander p. 50, who notes differences between vertreten (‘standing for’ or ‘being representative’, as in 2.131), abbilden (‘depicting’, as in 2.17), vorstellen (‘presenting’, as in 2.11), darstellen (‘representing’, as in 2.202), and stimmen (‘agreeing’, as in 2.21). Black (p. 76) also says that vertreten should be translated as ‘to deputize for’ or ‘to go proxy for.’ He prefers to translate darstellen as ‘to present’ in most cases. I think darstellen should be ‘present’ and vorstellen ‘represent.’ Darstellen has to do with representation and performance, as in theatre. Vorstellen has to do with presentation or putting forward (as). To do it to yourself is to imagine. Plus, Schopenhauer’s Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung, which surely influenced Wittgenstein’s thinking, is generally translated as The World as Will and Representation. It might be worth using ‘representation’ here just in case some reference to Schopenhauer is ever intended by Wittgenstein’s use of this word. Note also that Guillermo E. Rosado Haddock A Critical Introduction to the Philosophy of Gottlob Frege (Ashgate 2006), p. 32, writes: “it should be stressed that Frege’s use of the word ‘representation’ … in his whole work is restricted to designate what is subjective, psychological and incommunicable.” See also p. 20 of Haddock, where he says that the word he translates as ‘representation’ is indeed Vorstellung.

DR said...
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