When we say 'the context determines the sense', do we mean it selects a sense which is already there? If so, where? [2/40]


The 'bucket' theory of meaning; meaning is in words. And it is in words; where else could it be? The question might be how it got there... [1/83]


From previous uses, previous relationships between the same or similar contexts and those words? (As little as that illuminates its origins.) In any case, the context can't select a meaning in the word, because words in themselves don't have meaning - it belongs to them through a history of use. [s2/40]


We can't always be too specific about which use - though in the case of some concepts, invocations may be very specific. [s2/40]


But given the context and word isn't it true that a sense is selected in the word? Won't the terms contained in a particular form of discourse ensure the relevance of one meaning of a word rather than another - eg 'tank' in a discussion of warfare, or 'plane' in geometry? [2/40]


Isn't that a misconception? Paradigms of these uses already existed. The use gives 'tank' or 'plane' that meaning doesn't it? It isn't in the words in any other sense. The context doesn't have to select a meaning in these words - the sense lies in their application to a particular context. [2/40; 2/41]


Then why does the context seem to be selecting a meaning in the words? Isn't it because our analysis disrupts the functioning of the contextual relationships, so that the context indicates meaning is 'in' the word? [2/41]


It is our attention to the context that produces this result. Hence, although 'the meaning of a word is its use', analysis of the use reveals meaning is in the word. In fact analysis precipitates a shift of meaning into the word. [2/41]


The relationship between the parts of a form of expression is sustained during analysis by terms like 'context' and 'use' which assign them a function in respect of the whole. But it isn't done without consequences; the form of analytical attention a context gets determines what we see in it.... [2/206:6]


'The context gives meaning to the word.' [s2/41]


Isn't this what someone might say after they had analysed an idea in such a way as to isolate it from its context - then wanted to explain how the meaning generated by relation had got into it? [-]


Analysis presupposes the context analysed. The difference it makes is the analyst's starting point. [s2/41]


The precipitation of meaning into a word occurs on analysis; otherwise it is part of the whole, part of the context as we understand it. [2/167]


'If the interpreting thought is itself without meaning, how can it bestow meaning on the thought which it interprets?' Ayer on the lack of intrinsic meaning in thoughts. Central Questions of Philosophy, p 146. [2/70]


In the sense that they give a meaning to a word, all contexts are interpretive. [-]


Ayer's observation can be related to the effect of analysis on the contextual generation of meaning - the meaning which seems to reside in words or concepts when they are isolated (in their contexts) by the focus of our attention. [2/101]


The ideas take on this aspect; are thus transformed. ('Tank' seemed to fill with a particular meaning...) [2/134]


And isn't it strange how this transformation seems to be some additional thing, an enhancement mysteriously summoned out of the ether of meaning. Where does it come from? [s2/89]


Where but from the relationship between the interpreting thought and the thought interpreted... [-]


Is the meaning in the interpreting thought, or the thought it interprets? Doesn't it pass from one to the other by a shift of aspect? [2/70]


A thought in its context isn't 'without meaning'; the absent meaning is registering the contextual disruption which is a consequence of analysis severing the relationship between the interpreting thought and the thought interpreted. (See 4.2.3-6 above.) [-]


Concepts assign meaning to other concepts (through the shift of aspect) without appreciable consequence till the relation is interrupted, when by virtue of the disruption, the meaning seems to be 'in' the concept isolated from its context. Prior to disruption, the effect of the continuity was to generate a step-like sequence of distinct but related meanings, each determined by some preceding concept. [2/192]


In this respect it is appropriate to remark that the investigator ought to be wary of falling into the error of supposing that his investigation is an exception to the rules devised for others. In analysing contexts he cannot avoid determining what is seen. It would be inconsistent to suppose otherwise, this being (subject to certain constraints) the purpose of his activity. The knower's context takes no account of its own determining function. [-]


Concepts do have meanings in themselves (how else would they signify a distinction?); but these are not generated from within. Meaning is introduced through relation; there would be no intrinsic qualities without relation. [2/79]


The contextual overlap is the locus of this meaning; seen thus, it is evident why it dissolves upon analysis - and why meaning seems to be absent from the interpreting thought isolated from its normal function. [2/168]


Thus the interpreting thought bestows meaning on the thought it interprets via the shift of aspect, and in turn has meaning bestowed upon it by an interpreting thought. Meaning forms a continuum, which analysis disrupts. [-]


Thought in a context points to something beyond itself, but is also in itself contained. That is to say, perhaps, that ideas are invoked by a context, function as part of it, but do so in order to secure that which lies beyond the pattern (including 'things') within it. (See 1.13.9-11.) [2/20]


'For something to mean something, it must have a sense beyond itself. But perhaps that is just to say that the sense it has beyond itself is the sense it contributes as part of a whole, via the shift of aspect.' (See 2.12.12-13.) [2/85]


Internal order is a transformation of external order. Doesn't internal order become an aspect of external order? (See eg 1.11.8-9.) [s1/101]


If we ask where this process of determining a meaning or conferring a quality starts, the answer seems to be that the significance generated doesn't arise at a single point - it belongs to the relation and in consequence exists at all points covered by the relation simultaneously. [2/374:5]


Things apparently without significance in themselves, bestow a significance on other things, in a context, through relation. Isolating the thing from its relationships (like distinguishing a word from its context) 'gives' it a significance which seems to be separable from these relations. [2/228:8]


I place a litre bottle against a 70 centilitre bottle - which then looks smaller. It seems as though the bottle must always have been smaller. Where did this quality of being smaller come from? Was it determined by the context. Did the context (ie the larger bottle) select a significance already there? If it was already there, what purpose does the relationship serve? What does it mean to speak of bringing out a significance in a thing? [2/41]


The dimension of a piece of string being measured seems to belong neither to the string or the measuring instrument. It isn't any help to suppose the scale of measurement somehow 'reflects' the length of what is measured (as though it already possessed what measurement revealed), or that the length thus determined belongs to both measure and measured. It can be distinguished as an aspect of both, but neither the length on the scale or that of the thing measured exists independently of the other. The dimension determined by the application of the scale 'becomes' an aspect of the article measured which is otherwise unaffected by measurement. What is interesting is the way the dimension attaches itself to what is already there and becomes at one with it (it seems the string was that length before it was measured - or at least it is impossible to say it wasn't) while remaining distinguishable. The paradox of distinct entities bearing a common aspect (overlapping) underlies the apparent difficulty. The dimension is conferred by a shift of aspect. [2/308:5 and 2/321:3]


It seems (though the assumption is hardly reasonable) that space should still be three dimensional when we don't inhabit it - like an idea in the mind of Berkeley's God. If we deny it is three dimensional when the mind isn't around to conceive the dimensions, it seems as though the mind makes it three dimensional. That's not right either. [2/141]


Isn't it hard to understand how distance and space (perhaps even relation itself) can really exist outside the mind? But why should that be any less true of the qualities generated by the relations conceived between things? [2/100]


Isn't this difficulty due to the additions of the mind which we cannot subtract - and to dissociation which suggests they are subtractable? [2/100]


In these examples, doesn't it seem as though the dissociation of an entity or event from the determining factors introduced by a contextual relationship to mind and other entities allows its qualities to come into existence via the shift of aspect - in much the same way that a meaning gets into words and ideas? [2/126]


We would say the coin has this appearance, the idea has this significance, matter is such. The context enables us to say, see, or sense it thus. The context is the way, the means of presenting a significance in x through a shift of aspect. It isn't disregarded, nor does it perform some magical act which introduces a hitherto absent meaning into x, or discover one already there. (See 3.11.1-10.) [1/164]


Things become determinate by virtue of dissociation - which effectively denies the entity against which they're defined. They acquire boundaries because what bounds them is denied. An example might be a positive shape against a negative background or a negative shape against a positive background. Or a tape measure held against a piece of string. The shared aspect is assigned to the entity being determined. [2/131]


We don't just explore the world through our senses, but use, by extension, things (and nothing) to probe the qualities of other entities. This manipulation can be a physical audit or a process conducted in the mind, using symbolic equivalents of physical entities and actions. [2/260:1]


Space is the context in which the coin acquires a shape, or shapes (see 1.24.8). But the relationship between these two presupposes something which is neither. [07 Phn.NTE 1/4]


In respect of the qualities of things, the role of the human mind and the contexts or entities it endorses (including the body) is perhaps to provide a point of relation which doesn't seem to be there at all insofar as the entities determined by it exhibit no evidence of a connection or the determining effect of these relations. [2/148]


I assume that when I touch some object I am discovering how it is; assuming that touching it can be set aside as a matter which in no way interferes with the evidence. The difference it makes is just between how it is, and my feeling how it is. (Something very similar is true when we 'touch' things with words, isn't it?) [06 Phn.NTE 2/6]


At a certain point the functioning of this determining process and the origin of the meanings or qualities it is said to 'select', 'introduce' or 'bring out' are shrouded in obscurity. What it yields emerges from nowhere... [2/126]


Perceiving things to be so doesn't make them so, but they are not so until perceived thus. This is the effect of dissociation. [2/140]


There seems a possibility of answering the question of what things are like when we aren't looking - just as there seems a possibility they don't exist at all when we aren't looking. [2/77]


The picture behind our thinking is contradictory; on the one hand things are autonomous and freestanding outside the mind, and its absence doesn't affect them; on the other, things depend on the mind's power of conception and are determined by the contexts it introduces, or by factors associated with the circumstances of conception. (The heirs to these positions are, respectively, realism and idealism.) [2/77]


It is said an experience is not a physical entity, nor can the existence of a physical object be inferred from it. The claim to possess a knowledge of the physical world (implicit in the use of ordinary language) therefore goes beyond the evidence - the evidence being our experiences and nothing more. (See 1.21.1-5.) [s2/109]


The difficulty that arises in justifying the distinction (routinely made in ordinary language) between what is experienced and an experience (see 1.21.3) presumably accounts for the tendency to assign determinism to the mind and senses. It isn't easy to find anything else to assign it to - since everything else is what is in doubt [2/137]


Why is the distinction between an experience and what is experienced but is NOT an experience, difficult to convey? It isn't, is it? The difficulty is not that they can't be distinguished, but that they can't be separated - because what is not an experience constitutes what is experienced. They are distinct and related. (See 1.22.1-4.) [2/128]


The only reality is what we know or experience. That is the paradox of our relation to the world; we conceive it to be autonomous, though all our knowledge of it is determined. The forms of life it holds are acquired through our knowledge and experience and without a language it seems we could not distinguish and articulate our experiences, or perhaps even have experiences of things. Yet these forms of life seem to be beyond the occurrences in our minds or the effects on our senses and cannot be identified solely with either or reduced to the terms used to express or describe them - a conclusion apparently reached on the basis of evidence derived from our experiences and nowhere else. [2/138]


Why do we want to go beyond the aspect things have for evidence of their reality? What is supposed to be beyond the way they seem to us, beyond the ideas or experiences we have of them? [s2/58]


Accepting that the attributes of an entity (elephant, shrub, coin) vary and may conflict in different contexts and that some contexts are nevertheless still considered to be valid determinants of aspects of the thing itself, one still wants to ask where is the thing itself in all of this? Or is there no thing itself? Is it just a facade, a behaviour observed? What is it that is observed? It looks as though a thing is entirely its outwardness, its modes of relation to other entities or the effects these relations produce (including what is experienced, but is not an experience); and at the centre of everything is nothing. [s2/109]


The strange feature of the limit or boundary of things, aside from it always being an aspect of something else (including the mind) is that the limit is the thing, insofar as it can be defined at all, and it can only be determined relative to other entities. [2/195:1]


It is an illusion produced by distinguishing a thing from its situation and circumstances to suppose it could exist without ANY external relations. The context employed to distinguish an idea or entity, itself displaces these relations. [s2/109]


Why do I think things exist when I can't find any evidence of their existence which isn't in the form of an experience or an idea? [-]


Isn't that an odd way to put it? Experiences and ideas are the evidence that lead me to conclude things exist or don't exist - not an obstacle to this conclusion. [-]


What kind of evidence are they supposed to constitute? [-]


What grounds are there for saying that we can know something through something else? (A physical object through an experience, or someone else's thoughts through our ideas of them.) [-]


How can mind which is mental relate to physical and material things. How can a thing be in the mind or the mind be in the world .....? [2/229:6]


What happened when I tried to go to a meeting in my head? How did I manage to see the dog as a lion? Wasn't it just my idea of dates and times that got confounded; wasn't the 'dog' just an idea of a dog in my mind, mistaken for an idea of a lion? (See 1.15.3, 2.14.4.) [2/229:7]


By this view, nothing we could know would satisfy the criteria of physicality. [2/229:7]


Certain manifestations of a dog are in the mind, not aspects of the animal itself. But isn't the appearance the dog; isn't its bark an aspect of the animal itself? We would say so, yes; but we would say too that within the mind these are the experiences we have of its appearance and the sounds it makes. The physical qualities are aspects of the animal - not mental phenomena resident in the mind. [2/237:5]


The trouble is these are our ideas, the ones we've always had - they only tell us what they have always told us.... [-]


They don't help us to understand the nature of the mind's relation to things, do they? In fact insofar as it assigns physical qualities (big, noisy, shaggy) to the dog, and the idea, image or experience of the qualities to the mind, we can probably discern the outline of the problem of dualism and 'mirroring' in this formulation. Though it expresses the relation between a thing in the world and the corresponding mental entity in the mind while maintaining the distinction between them, it doesn't show how (by what means) they are related or what foundation the distinction has (if any) outside the language which expresses it. [2/237:7]


'The mind/body relation is presupposed by everything we do.' (Then it is founded on what has still to be explained - the relationship of distinct and different entities.) [2/232:11]


I sense I'm moving my hand. Aren't there two entities here; the idea in my head and the hand I'm moving? Surely an idea is being introduced to the physical movement? [2/246:5]


Is it? How do I know the movement of my hand (in this sense) is 'reflected' by my perception or sensation? It wouldn't do to say; 'Since I occupy my own body I ought to know what's there on the other side of my experience...' [2/246:6]


The notion that our ideas and experiences mirror reality, or that they are an image or picture of something else (though the analogy has its uses) tends to support the illusion that we might be able to gain access to the originals. [2/204:1]


It seems as though there should be something corresponding exactly to the idea or experience an individual has of it - against which our impression can be checked. [-]


Nothing corresponds to what is perceived in that sense; an observation focuses something not related thus without the perception which invokes it.... [2/225:10]


Donít acts of observation seems more analogous to assembling the various parts of a perception in the right order? But what follows from a perception being in the right order? [-]


How can I know I have applied an idea correctly to an entity when the idea alone provides access to it? [2/244:4]


In a sense I can't can I? Wasn't that why I tried to pick up the printed image of a ballpoint pen? Trying to pick it up revealed what it was. (See 1.12.3-4.) [2/246:12]


Things can't be determined independently of any ideas or experiences - only of those applied in particular circumstances or contexts. [2/244:7]


Since I can't look behind to see what's there, how do I know what is in my mind is related to what exists beyond my ideas or experiences? We've been into this, haven't we? We verify what is experienced in the course of normal use by proving it in some other context or set of circumstances (see 1.14.3-5); and this 'proof' too is derived from our ideas or experiences. It wouldn't be possible to do this were we not able to depend on the constancy of the factors underlying relations and discount differences affecting the contexts in which our ideas and experiences are applied. [2/229:10; 2/248:6]


The answer to the question of how we know an idea has been applied successfully to a physical event or entity is not particularly illuminating. In the case of my notion that there was a meeting at such and such a time and place with such and such a person, I might expect a certain sequence of events to present themselves as experiences (though I might not think of them as experiences) and these would show my mind had engaged with the world. If that didn't occur, I would suspect it hadn't. [2/246:1]


When I experience something, say through the sense of touch, my attention isn't focused on this elusive relationship between the experience and something beyond it, but on the relations between the sensations themselves and the pattern these form - that's the only way I have of 'getting beyond them'. I judge the surface of a piece of wood is rough or smooth on the basis of the kind of pattern my experiences seem to constitute; and I see the pattern in the context of my activity, whether I'm exploring my own sensations or the nature of the entity these sensations are said to reflect. [1/95]


While attention remains focused on the properties and qualities determined by the relationships between things as we experience them, no irresolvable difficulty emerges. The problem comes in thinking about the 'first person relationship.' (See 3.6.4 and Appendix II, 1.7-13.) It seems to those who have an interest in underlying factors that it ought to be possible to inspect this relationship between an experience and what is experienced, since these are distinct entities. The attempt to inspect the relationship is what dissolves it. [2/243:7]


Analysing the relationship between the experience and what is experienced breaks the link between them - without it being apparent this has happened. The desire to look behind what goes on and the belief it can be done without disturbing the evidence is more interesting and revealing than anything the analysis itself is likely to produce. [-]


A hypothetical creature identifies objects around it by producing signals which it detects as a pattern of echoes when they collide with something. The pattern is distinguishable, though not separable from the mediating signal. The creature isn't interested in its signal, only the pattern which forms an aspect of it. Echoes are all it knows of the world and all it needs to know; its sole interest is in identifying echoes in relation to its movements. Unlike humans it has no notion of anything beyond 'what is echoed' - nor is it plagued by a mesmerising illusion of the accessibility of a something not echoed. [2/250:1]


According to this account what distinguishes things from the apprehending mind isn't the existence beyond it of an entity in some way linked to our mental impressions, but a pattern of relationships between experiences or ideas in the mind determined by factors accessible only through the pattern. [2/238:9]


The development of mind requires a sense of the autonomy of the relationships perceived. Where this sense that what is conceived functions independently of the conception of it is dormant, the mind lacks the dimension which allows us to conceive the existence of an external (and thus autonomous) world. Essentially such a mind remains in a solipsistic (or psychologically perhaps in an autistic) state. [2/336:1]


The world as perceived is distinct but not separable from the mind. While I can't separate my perceptions from what is perceived, I can distinguish one from the other. What enables me to distinguish a something in the mind from the mind are this something's relationships with other entities - things other than the mind. The fact that these too are in the mind is irrelevant insofar as the relations between them aren't governed by my perceptions or conceptions. [2/237:9]


Mind (as such) doesn't form a physical relationship with things; it apprehends the physical relationships between the things experienced - much as it apprehends the relationships between ideas (not the ideas themselves) in other minds. [2/304:8]


The materiality or immateriality of something (for example) is a factor of its relations with other entities (including my own physical presence) which form the subject of my perceptions or conceptions. [2/244:5]


Might it not be argued that if the materiality of things can only be determined relative to something other than the mind, nothing we know is or can be a material quality? [2/272:3]


What is known are the qualities yielded by these determining relations between things which are in the mind in the sense of being experienced and beyond it in the sense they entail relations not determined by the apprehending mind. [2/273:3]


Materiality here is not produced by the relationship between a perception and what is perceived, but by the relationships this relation yields. [2/272:4]


Another way of putting it is to say the quality of materiality experienced doesn't belong to the first person relationship between perceiver and perceived, but the third person relationship between the entities perceived, which in this case would include the body of the perceiver. [2/272:6]


This way of thinking about the relationship of the mind to what is perceived or conceived supports the existence of autonomous entities within the context of the relationship to mind - and the autonomy of their relationships to entities other than the mind insofar as the relationship to mind furnishes evidence of it. [2/340:3]


What is conceived or experienced in a determining context is an aspect of something else... [-]


A pattern of relationships wouldn't exist without the act of perception or conception which presents it, but neither does it exist because of it. When mind alone determines how ideas or perceptions are related, what is conceived or experienced is deprived of its efficacy in other contexts. It ceases to be about anything else. (See 1.13.9-11.) [2/245:9]


There's a sense in which the relationship between the ideas which constitute a context determines their meaning; ('Fresh today!'); and a sense in which it can't because they already have a meaning derived from existing relationships entailing other ideas, the circumstances in which these are used and the experiences to which they are applied and it may conflict with the one being imposed on them. (Attaching a transforming irony to the expression 'Fresh today!' might reconcile it to the existing aspects of its meaning without introducing a conflict.) [2/302:6]


The difference is between perceiving a set of relations that work or make sense as an aspect of something else - and perceiving a set that don't; or (to emphasise the role of mind) between relations that are valid as an aspect of something other than the mind organising them and relations that aren't. The hand can't retrieve an image from the page it is printed on. (See 1.14.3-5.) [-]


It wouldn't occur to me to doubt that beyond what I'd mistakenly seen as a ballpoint lying on a magazine page, was a magazine page bearing the image of a ballpoint. But 'beyond' here just indicates the error is transcended by a subsequent and accurate interpretation. There isn't an alternative to determining what is or isn't there; what disagrees with my perception is yielded by a perception - my failure to pick up what I see as a ballpoint confers the aspect of an error on the preceding interpretation. [2/278:3]


It seems a short step from recognising nothing can be shown to constrain a concept or impression that isn't itself such an entity, to the conclusion that nothing does constrain them but other such entities. This must be wrong. What can be done with words and ideas can't necessarily be done with the things they invoke. The difficulty encountered in thinking about reality is that language changes radically when (attached to the world) it has to contend not merely with ideas, but ideas encumbered with the relationships between things and their demand for ideas. [2/385:4]


What constrains the way ideas and experiences can be related are their relations with other ideas and experiences; what constrains these in turn are the relations between the things and events comprehended by the mental entities. [2/385:5]


Knowledge is perhaps achieved through a reciprocal determination whereby a concept or perception determines the subject and the subject determines a concept or perception. This isn't a tautology; the context of knowledge and what is known through it are determined independently of each other and must be reconciled to produce a state of knowledge. (See 2.20.1-4; 4.18.30.) [2/277:7]


It may be relevant in respect of notes 4.16.2-4 and 7-8 that it is difficult to identify the mind's contribution to the way thoughts and experiences are organised except by the errors it makes. Ideas tend to be transparent and undetectable when the mind gets things right; we can only interpret everything as evidence of its presence - as opposed to the opacity that characterises errors in the relationships between ideas and renders the mind visible as their source. [2/330:4]


Notwithstanding any of this, what is conceived or experienced seems to be a mental event expressed in a common language which I take to be (and which usually is) something more. [-]


That brings us back to the difficulty of accounting for the sense that something is 'there' and the related tendency to suppose the mind contains an image or reflection of it. (See 1.18-19). How to account for the elusiveness of what seems to be mirrored by our ideas and experiences, what is beyond (ie not solely determined by) the knower's context - but is known through it? [2/278:7]


Our perception, for example, is of something; and because it is distinct from the perception it seems this something ought to stand beyond our idea of it. [-]


Except that nothing, apart from other ideas and experiences, stands beyond our ideas and experiences of things to confirm the independence of what is known. [-]


The impression that the mind reflects things stems from the dissociation of our determining ideas and perceptions from the entities invoked. At least, it does until the aspect shifts and there's a familiar impression of seamlessness - as though these ideas were the thing they're invoking... ([2/229:1]


An idea or experience is identified with and dissociated from the thing or event expressed. When we explain or draw attention to it, the significance of the words or gestures used is objectified and becomes at one with and inseparable from the way we see the subject, ('That dark shape on the carpet is the cat...!'), but remains distinct from it in the sense that we can still identify their contribution in the context of the gesture or explanation itself. [-]


What is experienced seems to be both in the mind and (by a shift of aspect) beyond it. In this respect, it is significant that the impression of something being reflected occurs whether what is invoked is there or not. [-]


The determining overlap whereby the perception may form an aspect of what it determines, renders the location of what is experienced inherently ambiguous. The expression 'what is experienced' gives an indication of this; it may refer to the experience or the object of the experience (see 1.21.1-5 and 4.9.3). The significance thought bestows on things (via the shift of aspect) generates a similar ambiguity and may result in things being confounded with thoughts or thoughts with things. (Where the situation does occur it is usually resolved by introducing a disambiguating context.) [2/322:4]


The relationship a context introduces between concepts (the difference of organisation) is what distinguishes them from their function as an aspect of the subject to which a thinker is attempting to contribute sense. The significance attached to them by this contextual relationship should connect them to a subject beyond this use of the ideas through the ideas, via a shift of aspect. It may not of course. [2/262:1]


The reciprocal nature of this relationship - whereby meanings are not only reconciled in the knowledge context, but conferred by it on the sources invoked - is not apparent; these are simultaneously occurring events - as such, inaccessible to the endorsing mind... (See 2.20.1-4.) [2/371:4]


In the measuring example at 4.5.3, a concept of measurement is applied to the task of assigning a dimension to an object. The dimension is determined by a scale and becomes an aspect of what is known. But what the relation yields has no determinate location until assigned one by interpretation. It is inherently ambiguous and can be seen as an aspect of both the conceiving mind and the entity upon which knowledge is conferred (what is known). Its ambiguity derives from functioning as an aspect of both and seeming to move between them. (See 3.11.1-10.) [2/374:6]


The knower's context doesn't simply correspond to ('reflect') a subject. It is both related to and distinguished from it. It invokes and (where an invocation succeeds) constitutes an aspect of the subject, so becoming part of something beyond the thinker's context. Differences introduced to a subject by the context may extend (or conflict with) qualities or meanings derived from other relations. (See also 1.13.1-11, 1.18.1-6, 1.19.1-5, 1.20.1-8 and 2.20.1-4.) [2/246:9; 2/262:3]


This migratory shift of aspect is the source of our sense of an elusive 'something' beyond the idea or experience. [2/312:3]


The shift of aspect itself introduces an apparent hiatus between the contexts it links, and with it the sense of a mind disengaged from what it knows... (See eg 1.13.4.) [2/312:3]


The shift of aspect and the ambiguity associated with it has a bearing on certain perplexing features of the relationship between language, experience and what is experienced.... [-]


Inaccessible to others, our experiences acquire a significance in the context of the common language and the relationships it expresses, as language itself acquires a significance in the context of the experiences it communicates. [-]


What is in somebody's mind is accessible to another through a shared system of gestures or signs to the extent it can be distinguished and interpreted as a pattern of relations in the context of the other's perceptions and experiences. [-]


But why should relating an experience to other experiences (also inaccessible) make it accessible? [2/270:2]


We have access to the relationships that determine what is experienced, not to the experiences themselves. What someone else is experiencing is accessible to the extent our faculties enable us to form an idea based on the relationships involved of the circumstances which produced the experience. [2/335:9]


I draw attention to 'that ballpoint' pointing to a printed image on the page of a magazine on the table before me, ie to the set of relations I experience. The persons I am communicating with don't have access to what I point to, but to the relationship between my gesture and the object of the gesture as they see it. I make accessible to others (through their experiences) the relationship between a verbal invocation, my perception and what is perceived. The others are then in a position to decide whether it conforms with their perception. Isn't that more or less how it works? [2/279:7 and 2/332:3]


What isn't merely in the mind (an experience) becomes clear by virtue of those relations between the entities perceived which are not peculiar to (and hence determined by) any one mind at any one time. [2/280:2]


Apropos the account given above (4.18.1-7). Don't we have a quite different impression, perhaps of having direct access to the source (in the world) of other people's experiences - albeit through our own experience. We get this sense of a world standing free of our experience from the shift of aspect... (See eg 1.17.10-11.) [2/375:4]


If experience seems to us a reflection of what is 'in the world' (and I think this is probably the case) wouldn't it be consistent for us to assume we had direct access to the source of other people's experiences? [2/383:7]


Is there a sense in which I can't know (even in principle) that my experience is the same as somebody else's? [-]


Suppose in comparing colours, I agree with someone that one green is relatively lighter than another. Mightn't I still wonder whether the other person's experience of light green is different to mine? But I can't mean 'different' here as we usually do, because we normally determine whether or not experiences are the same by comparing them. What I seem to mean is 'how do I know what is behind the words is the same?' The question, if valid, can't be answered by the ordinary use of words and ideas. But is anything behind the experience expressed by the words? [2/236:5]


Certainly something seems to be behind the expression in the context of the words that express the experience. But didn't I have the impression here something was behind the words in an absolute sense? (Just as I have the impression the world is beyond my experience in an absolute sense...) [2/376:1]


Language and thought isn't a symbolic representation of something already in the mind; it brings a determining influence to bear on experiences by relating them to other experiences - sometimes wrongly... [2/279:3]


Can ideas determine the nature of experiences, any more than thoughts things? Aren't they different entities? [2/281:4]


Isn't there a tendency to assume the words must somehow have assimilated the experience or the experience the words - though this is impossible because ideas aren't experiences? (Much as words may seem to assimilate things or things the meaning of words - though that too is impossible.) [2/281:5]


The difficulty of understanding how this relationship works would be lessened if we were able to vanquish from our minds the impression that experiences become forms of language. We know it can't be so - and the relationship seems impossible in consequence... [2/343:5]


In a sense, what is communicated isn't like an experience at all, is it? You mean an individual's experience is unique, so whatever is communicated, it isn't that? [2/281:6]


If experiences aren't ideas and aren't communicated by ideas how do we know they exist at all? (We have them.) [2/281:7]


Mrs Miniver (Nov 8th 1937) sees a rocket cascading sparks and thinks 'brightness falls from the air', but cannot recall at once the source of these words - then remembers Nashe's poem, and says to herself it has nothing to do with fireworks. But that was the meaning of the expression as she thought of the words in the context of the firework display. It makes sense to us too because it communicates her experience. But whereas we gain access to the experience through the words and an understanding of the context in which they were uttered, language was the expression of her experience. [2/298:1 and 2/298:5]


From Mrs Miniver's point of view the words are not separable from what they express - they acquire and confer a meaning in the context of her experience. Thus the words of a shared language are yoked to an experience inaccessible to anybody else. The relationship between the experience and the words which express it is not transferable. [2/342:3]


The experience is accessible in the sense that Nashe's words and the context in which they are expressed (the firework display) can be communicated, allowing access to the relationships which determine the character of the experience. What isn't accessible (the relationship between expression and Mrs Miniver's experience) seems to be the source of our sense of something inaccessible behind what is expressed. (See 4.18.11-12.) [2/341:7 & 8]


The illusory possibility of experiences migrating to other minds is discernible in the ambiguity of the relationship between language and what is expressed (see 4.18.29). 'Brightness falls from the air' seems to convey the very spectacle from Mrs Miniver's mind into the head of the reader. Don't we have an impression here the experience is assimilated by the words? [2/343:6]


The experience a person has (watching the sparks cascade) then seems superfluous and capable of being set aside, its significance apparently now residing in the relationships between the words and ideas communicated, while the experience itself remains inaccessible and perhaps mysterious insofar as it is difficult to determine what function it has. [2/341:11]


But if so something is awry; for how can experience which is the substance of our sense of reality be inaccessible, obscure and lacking in function? [-]


For all its privacy it remains the touchstone of a meaning which isn't private. [2/357:8]


A shared understanding of the world is facilitated by the uniformity of the relationships which determine our experiences of it, not by an unmediated access to other minds. [2/341:10]


I have access not to what is beyond another's experience (See 4.18.8-9), but to what is beyond my own; and what is beyond my experience is relative to it - not absolute. [2/376:2]


Expression faces Janus-like in two directions - signifying both in relation to the experience expressed, and outwards to a relationship between events or things experienced and brought to the attention of others through their own experiences. [2/342:10]


When we point to a cascade of sparks exclaiming 'Look there!' the gesture is inherently ambiguous. It can signify in relation to an experience inaccessible to others; or (by a shift of aspect) an event anybody who has the faculty of sight can experience for themselves... [2/342:7]


The aim in communication, perhaps, is that inward and outward relationships should coincide or 'reflect' each other, so that what is expressed in relation to my experience also makes sense in relation to the intended object of my experience as others apprehend it. (See 4.16.8; 4.18.6-7.) [2/342:10]


Isn't there a hiatus between the idea of the physical and the physical state the idea expresses or represents? [-]


How can I know ideas relate to things and not just to other ideas, ie the perceptions, representing things? [2/246:11]


'In apprehending an aspect of the world, language brings the relations between concepts and those holding between things into a correspondence because there is no other way things can be drawn into a relationship with thought but through their relationships with things.' [2/281:1]


It isn't easy to get the measure of this notion when things and the relations between them can only be made to appear through language and thought. How do we know the relations between things or the things themselves exist beyond these concepts? We can only know it through language and thought can't we? [2/281:1]


If words attach themselves to things as well as concepts, will it not be impossible to make clear whether words point to the things or to the concepts and experiences of things? Well we do sometimes confound them. (See 1.22.1-4.) [2/239:4]


Doesnít this difficulty arise from the notion that a thing can't be distinguished from its conceptual invocation? [-]


A thing can be distinguished from its invocation by invoking the difference, but it will be a conceptual distinction. [-]


What gets conceptualised is the distinction between a thing determined by its relation to mind; and the same thing as an entity defined by its relations with other things - even though I only know these through my ideas and experiences. (See 4.15.1-10.) [2/271:6]


The notion of an autonomous presence comes not from just the dissociation and objectification of what is perceived (it may be wrong anyway), but the autonomy experienced as a quality of what is objectified. I can see things have a life of their own beyond my ideas and experiences of them. A resistance to the arrangements introduced by the mind is a distinguishing feature of reality, setting it apart from (eg) psychological constructs and mimesis. This evidence of an autonomous presence, however, is still conceptually furnished. [2/269:1]


Mustn't the foundation for this distinction between our idea of things and the things these ideas point to lie beyond the form of language which has evolved the concepts - and hence be inaccessible, except through a concept? [2/246:2]


Why should I seek access to it in any other way? (Because it seems as though I can, perhaps...?) [-]


Suppose what I'd always thought of as a physical object were really only an idea of one. How would I know? [2/244:4]


How am I able to distinguish the thing from the word or perception that invokes it? ('There's the book!') There is no book until the perception summons it. Then how do I know it was there at all? What difference would its absence have made? Well, I could have perceived the book's absence. How would you have known of its absence before you perceived it...? [2/252:3]


If you say things don't exist when a concept isn't applied to them, don't you fall into the same error as in saying they do exist when a concept isn't applied to them? [2/270:9]


It wouldn't make sense to say that a bird call we didn't hear wasn't there. We'd only say it wasn't there in a determining context that established its absence. [2/227:4]


A thing exists or doesn't exist beyond a context of knowledge within a context of knowledge - which entails its presence or absence among related entities. [2/268:10 and 2/257:5]


This seems to testify, doesn't it, to the primacy of language - to the subordination of things to words and concepts? The distinction between idea and thing belongs to the sense made of the world through language and thought. [2/252:7]


Nothing here seems a breach of the idealist's covenant with ideas; the evidence supporting a distinction between ideas and things is supplied by the concepts we have of them and the relations holding between them. [2/247:1]


None of our ordinary ideas of things seem to be incompatible with idealism. We aren't enjoined to annul the distinctions employed in ordinary language, merely to accept we have access to concepts of physical and not physical entities. [2/252:8-9]


Isn't this what we find so difficult? It seems an unnatural notion - even though without practical consequences insofar as everything we know comes within the compass of ideas and perceptions. [2/252:8-9]


Since all things have a concept or perception attached to or associated with them it seems that even if they did exist in their own right, the idealist would always be able to point to the omnipresence of ideas and ask what use a thing in itself would be when things can only signify through ideas. Reality works equally well without these entities. [2/272:10]


Except that we conceive the world constituted by them to be (in some sense) beyond our ideas of it. [-]


When I consult my ordinary impression of things, the sounds and appearances which were seen to create a divide between the mind and its object (See 4.11.8) seem to become aspects of a continuity spanning such differences. [2/236:8]


If there is a physical realm, how does a relationship cross the divide? What do I mean by 'cross the divide'? Perhaps; how is it that our experiences and ideas of things can seem to be integral aspects of a physical world. [2/246:10]


Why should anyone suppose a thought can't be reconciled with a thing? Surely because mental entities are considered to be different and irreconcilable with things? [2/212:2]


This last point proceeds from a misapprehension doesn't it? Relations are based on difference. (See 4.15.1-10.) [2/211:3]


Certainly they are different. Though they unite, an idea is still an idea and a thing a thing. They don't become alike - not even when one has been mistaken for the other. Ideas don't literally become things; nor does conceiving a thing turn it into a mental entity. [2/244:6]


Yet I also want to say an idea or experience and the aspect of a thing it picks out are sufficiently alike for us to be capable of mistaking one for the other, and for thinkers to have become confused about the distinction between them. [-]


This problem of the relationship between ideas and things is bound up with the way ideas and experiences attach themselves to, merge and sometimes become confounded with things - so we take them for the thing itself. (See eg 1.21.1-5.) [2/244:9]


A word or an idea always seems to have a piece of the world stuck to it and a thing a concept attached to it. [2/264:1]


The distinction language introduces between ideas and things allows a thing to be treated independently of the idea used to invoke it and an idea of what it invokes. The abstraction of one from the other (in context) facilitates the manipulation of reality and the achievement of sense. [2/248:9]


In the normal course of thought, a concept may be detached from its functional application to the domain of things (from invoking and manipulating the order of things in the world) and withdrawn into the realm of thought, where it ceases to be directly related to material entities and events but can still be used to represent them. [2/272:11]


Language and thought are identified with what they express, yet remain distinguishable from it. Hence it seems the mind and its artefact might be withdrawn from the world without consequences, leaving familiar things and everyday objects standing untouched. (See eg 1.17.10-14.) [2/248:9]


Which returns us to this strange relationship between minds and things, whereby the means of presenting entities to our understandings (the concepts or experiences) seem to become aspects of the thing thought or experienced. [2/257:15]


And to the difficulty I have (on the one hand) in drawing a line between an idea or experience and its physical counterpart; and on the other in getting them together at all. [-]


On a commonsense level donít we know mind and the world (mind and matter) are connected, and that the relationship works? Arenít we just trying to find a way of explaining the relationship, of saying how it works when mind and the physical world are different and neither is part of the other? [2/211:4]


Do we know this? Our sense that the mind and world exist and are connected is acquired from language and thought. What is there to show these reflect anything beyond themselves? What could there be? The only evidence is provided by ideas; and the capacity of ideas to supply this evidence is what is in doubt. [2/249:9]


Isn't there something wrong here? The conceptual evidence of a relationship between mind and the world is obtained from the ideas and experiences we have of things. These arenít in doubt. The doubt relates to something not exhibited in our ideas or experiences, the relationships between them - or anywhere else. [2/340:4]


On a practical level ideas and experiences enable us to achieve a degree of control over the determining relationships between entities exhibiting autonomous tendencies, tendencies which may conflict with and resist our ideas and experiences. Shouldn't we focus on giving an account of this relationship, rather than one for which there is no evidence? [-]


Thought in itself can't impose a structure on reality. Things can only be structured through the autonomous entities represented by our ideas and experiences; and they only have efficacy insofar as they are an aspect of things and enable us to manipulate them through the one piece of the world to which the central nervous system has direct access. [2/319:4]


The view that mental events can't be the cause of events in the physical world doesn't conflict with the common sense view that mind can, at least to a degree, control things, since this control of events entails the use of physical entities and the relations between these entities, through the medium of the experiences and ideas which constitute their mental aspect. That doesn't resolve the problem of how mental entities are related to the things and events thus employed; but this is to assume (contrary to the common sense view endorsed here) that there is such a problem; that mind is not inseparably bound to physical reality as a whole through those very mental aspects of it that constitute a mind, freeing itself only by the manipulation of these elements. [2/365:8]


The root of this misconception is the impression things and events are beyond ideas and experiences in an absolute sense. The evidence suggests otherwise - that their autonomy is conceived and experienced in the context of a relationship to the mind (not necessarily co-presence) which is itself reciprocally determined by the encounter in forming and applying its notions. Contrary to the impression of a divide between mind and the physical world, it is impossible to disengage thoughts and experiences from physical entities, other than by manipulation or conceptual abstraction, because each is an aspect of the other. [2/265:1]


What constrains thought and experience emerges in the pattern of relations revealed between things. This pattern is beyond the mind in the sense that the relationships between things arenít solely determined by their relationship to the mind. (See 4.15/4.16.) [2/269:7]


My activities are conceived and executed on the basis of what I perceive and sense of the relations between my own body and the other bodies around it, and the relationships between these bodies. Neither my perception of my own body or of the sensory data it supplies are presented in isolation. I control my physical movements in the context of the information provided by my mind and senses about things I don't control - except insofar as I am able to re-arrange the contexts and environments in which they occur. My body is part of the world in which the intelligible goals of the mind are pursued - the part I may be able to use to change it... [2/265:3; 2/296:4]


How would I know my body wasn't doing what I thought it was doing? Wouldn't I have to conceive it wasn't doing as I thought? Then I shall have managed to get no further than forming the idea it isn't! (How far did you expect to get?) [2/256:3]


It looks as though you can go on to the thing in itself, but you can't and that seems to invite the response; 'So we are dealing with no more than an idea or experience?' - as though the mind might have produced what was experienced or conceived from nowhere, like a rabbit conjured from a hat. [2/271:10]


Yet I continue to have this impulse to insist I have only an idea of the physical aspect; as though an alternative to the mind's comprehension of physical entities were available to me; and I can't seem to rid my mind of the notion that just beyond my idea of physical things is another presence - the thing in itself (a hand behind the hand I see). [2/249:3]


Our picture of reality is dogged by the mirage of a physical world hovering just beyond the one experienced....[-]


I always seem to be in two minds about this; I continue to think of ideas and experiences as manifestations of something else - something quite unlike them. Yet I also seem to hold the view that the things presented by ideas and experiences are just as I see them. I think the blackbird on the grass in front of me isn't the least like my experience of it (it has a life outside my mind!). And yet this is the blackbird I'm experiencing, right before me; what else is a blackbird, but this? (See 4.8.1-4.10.7.) [2/257:6]


I confuse my perceptions with the things which are supposed to be beyond them because a thing seems to stand within and beyond the bounds of the perception that invokes it. [2/265:7]


Ref. 4.20.5: ĎIdeas donít literally become thingsí. No more do experiences become forms of language (See 4.18.16). But we have the impression this is exactly what does happen; things appear to migrate into the realm of mind, and thought into the realm of things. The source of this deceptive impression is the shift of aspect, whereby thought takes on the aspect of the things expressed, and things assume the aspect of the ideas and perceptions used to invoke them. The apparent duality of mind and matter, and the seemingly unbridgeable chasm between them, are incidental consequences of abortive attempts to analyse the process (embodying an undetectable shift) underlying the passage of physical objects into minds, and thoughts into the material world. [2/378:1]


Reality as it is conceived or experienced remains inherently ambiguous insofar as it can be seen as an aspect of the mind or the world. It has no determinate location until we ourselves assign it one by interpretation. Ambiguity is essential to its function of seeming to be an aspect of both - and more mysteriously still, seeming to move between the two. The origins of idealism and realism lie in this dichotomy. [2/378:2]


It is also the source of the dualist problem; the exclusion of the physical domain occurs on the basis that it is beyond the mind and its conceptions. But (like the blackbird) it is beyond the mind relative to it. Nothing stands between the thought and the thing except a shift of aspect. [2/264:12]


The relation of mind to world is the one perceived; there is no other. [2/255:10]


Ideas and experiences signify this relationship. The elusive connections sought are present in what we know. [2/211:6]


It isn't the link that's missing, but an insight into why it is inaccessible in the form sought. The obstacle to sense emerges when in trying to determine how distinct entities can be related or related ones distinguished I overlook the mind's determining role in what I attempt. Thought stands in its own way here. (See 2.21.1-4 and 2.25.1-11.) [2/211:7]


The same obstacle to sense frustrates attempts to see a relation between distinct, or a distinction between related entities; it isn't possible to draw a line and cross it at the same time. This constrains our ability to deal with forms of life which (without the feature being apparent to a thinker) are composed of concepts or experiences constituting (via a shift of aspect) both their limit and a relationship to what lies beyond it. The effect of this constraint on our attempts to understand how thought and language works is inescapable. (See 2.19 to 2.25.) [2/211:9]


Patterns of thinking on the mind/world relationship have been consistently shaped by the problem of understanding how it can be made to work without succumbing to contradictions inherent in the terms to be reconciled. These difficulties have arisen in the context of our normal habits of mind and behaviour. [-]


Ordinary language is unaffected by the difficulties which baulk philosophical rationalism. The user of ordinary language has no problem transcending and conserving the boundary between idea and thing, mind and the world. Indeed, it has only been possible to discern a problem by analysing patterns of usage in ordinary language and thought which exhibit this paradoxical relationship to a world beyond the mind. [2/233:1]


The view that knowledge makes no difference to what is there already (realism) and the notion that it is itself what is there (idealism) are ways of trying to resolve the problem. Dualism is an expression of the problem. [2/251:4-5]


Idealism, realism and dualism exclude the possibility of mind transforming an autonomous world through knowledge. [2/251:5]


That makes no sense of the way thought relates to the world and its events - or of our need to comprehend and organize them. The causal process, for example, shifts between the realm of mind and that of events, seeming to be present in both analytical discourse and the sequence of events analysed. Locating it in one or the other undermines its function. [2/299:4]


Similarly with ordinary activities. 'Measuring' (See 4.5.3) establishes a continuity between the mental and physical activity of measuring, carrying the dimension from mind to material. The result (in the context of an intelligible purpose) is an aspect of the material world exhibiting evidence of the mental activity invested in it. Analysing this process disrupts the continuity mediated by the shift of aspect, inducing the illusion that the significance it generates is either in the mind or in the thing itself. [2/314:2]


When considering physicalist explanations of the world we seem to easily lose sight of the conceptual nature of the activity which introduces the physicalist's terms. The mind of the observer isn't absent from the way the world is seen; but the concepts employed by a person thinking about and describing the world become attached to and identified with what is being explained by a shift of aspect, while the mind which brought about this transformation, and still forms an aspect of it through the medium of the concepts it introduces, drops out of sight. [2/240:3]


The view that the mind can be exhaustively understood as a product of physical processes is compromised by the consideration that these physical processes are themselves the expression of conceptual activity entailing the mind. The fact that they are the issue of an evolutionary process which began long before mind-bearing creatures (however defined) appeared is beside the point - since here the mind is being displaced by an account of this process produced by the mind itself. [2/362:3]


If it seems to us things might be reached in some way other than through the ideas and experiences we have of them, that is an illusion generated by the dissociation of the world from our ideas and experiences of it.... [2/204:6]


Our perplexity stems from the additions of the mind which we cannot subtract because they are an aspect of what is seen; but which seem to be subtractable because we can distinguish one from the other. [2/116]


To talk about the relationship between mind and body as the problem of resolving how the mental entity can adhere to or integrate with matter proceeds from the assumption that each of these exists independently of the other in the form we seek to unite them; whereas their existence in this form is the product of the relationship we were intent on explaining. What needed explanation here was how we came to think there was a problem.... [2/238:12]