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Exemplification and Expression in Late Wittgenstein

Last year I wrote an essay using Wittgenstein's On Certainty to develop a Wittgenstein who might provide an alternative to the therapeutic values Stanley Cavell finds in the Philosophical Investigations.[1] I had no idea at the time that many philosophers had been elaborating a third Wittgenstein who, from 1946 to the end of his life, was at work developing what Daniele Moyal-Sharrock calls "the grammaticalization of experience."[2] [5] Having discovered these claims, I want to engage them because I think the ideas developed by this third Wittgenstein can be very helpful for literary criticism. For one thing, I find the turn from the second, more therapeutically inclined Wittgenstein a significant therapeutic possibility for my profession. But I am much more excited by the positive values informing this turn because this "grammaticalization of experience" proves immensely useful for thinking about exemplification and expression, two motifs rarely addressed by criticism with the scope and intricacy Wittgenstein offers.

To make my case I will have to assert something that most commentators on the third Wittgenstein reject-that this third Wittgenstein breaks from the author of part 1 of Philosophical Investigations because he sees a new way to apply the model for logical analysis that had been fundamental to his Tractatus.[3] Wittgenstein was clearly no longer interested in repeating his account of how language can establish truthful propositions. But he does seem quite eager to extend what Matthew Ostrom calls "the logical transcendentalism" of the Tractatus[4] so that he might establish a comprehensive sense of how philosophical grammar also provides a "ground" for the achieving of meaningful statements.

This transcendental position--both early and late--depends in large part on wielding the distinction between display and depiction.[5] In the Tractatus Wittgenstein had seen logic as a space defining the boundaries of the world; within logic lies what can be said; outside it or on its boundaries lie the subject and all determinations of value. And because logic displays the truth conditions for what can be said, logic itself cannot be described. It too lies outside the world. That is, the propositions of logic cannot themselves satisfy truth conditions because they are the preconditions or frameworks for the very idea of truth. Moreover because logic must be objective and mechanical, it cannot account for or even characterize values, so the domain of value must also lie beyond its ken, and hence beyond the world characterized by propositions.

In On Certainty it is the foundational role of grammar that is displayed rather than asserted (cf. OC 501). The situation is now different because grammar is not one definable system but an interlocking field of systems. Therefore one can only illustrate the foundational role of grammar by analyzing representative instances of how it works. There is no characterizing the network as a whole. But the multiplicity of frameworks provides something that was not available to the Tractatus. When the emphasis is on objective truth conditions, there is simply no place for the subject. Subjects must be silent-not by any means absent, but present only in their coloring of the facts with values that cannot be described in truth functional terms. However when one is talking about grammar as a foundation for meanings, value is not something separate from the world but embedded in the very practices it enables. There remains an existential dimension because individuals can transfigure values, but those transfigurations occur against a backdrop of practices and not simply of the facts of the world.

This "grammaticalization of experience" necessarily challenges the emphasis of modern philosophy on epistemic questions stressing how one knows what one claims.[6] Grammaticalization becomes a matter of how agents can be oriented toward particular actions, only some of which emphasize the subject-object relations characteristic of knowledge claims. Because "Language did not emerge from some kind of ratiocination" (OC 475), Wittgenstein insists there is no reason to believe a language-game should "rest on some form of knowledge" (OC 477). Display matters then because there emerges a great deal that cannot be said, in a Tractarian model of saying, and yet must be recognized in concrete terms if we are to appreciate how grammar governs our practices. And display matters now because it is a practice in its own right. Giving examples is the basic way we test our understanding of what is appropriate within a practice. To learn a grammar is in most cases to learn by example rather than rule.

We can display how grammar provides various means of representation only by establishing perspicuous representations of the frameworks making possible certain kinds of actions. Examples orient us to the powers inherent in our ways of making sense. Hence as early as the first part of Philosophical Investigations, Wittgenstein insisted on a sharp contrast between a language game that concentrates on descriptions of color and a language game that focuses not on something represented but on "a means of representation" (PI 50). Color can be invoked in a description. But also many of our assertions about color refer instead to aspects of color charts, hence to what specific colors are denoted by. And the more Wittgenstein attended to the "grounding" grammatical features that underlie cultural competence, the more fully he recognized that an emphasis on doing rather than knowing requires also an emphasis on what the conditions are that guide these doings. Displaying grammatical relations entails showing that many sentences occupy "a shifting border between logic and the empirical, so that their meaning changes back and forth and they count now as expressions of norms, now as expressions of experience." (Remarks on Color Pt. 1, 32). Conversely, philosophical error occurs primarily when we confuse example with depiction. A theory of language as use is strongest when it also contains perspicuous examples of our continual temptations to misuse. And in that respect G.E. Moore provides Wittgenstein with his version of Flaubert's Saint Anthony. Moore insists that "here is one hand" provides a paradigmatic depiction that can be taken as secure knowledge. But Wittgenstein sees that sentence functioning typically as a display of a capacity for performing certain actions. Only if there is doubt that this is a hand would the sentence provide a knowledge claim.

Obviously the "grammaticalization of experience" makes enormous differences in how we approach philosophical problems. It is probably less obvious, but almost equally important, that the roles of exemplification emphasized in this enterprise also modify substantially how we might approach a variety of literary issues. Grammaticalization affords a means of talking about how perspicuous particulars can have representative value for our understanding of experience even though they do not represent or imitate any particular event. Because grammaticalization finesses epistemic disciplines there need be no invidious contrast with what is "merely" imagined. Positively speaking, we can envision works of art as displaying at least three forms of perspicuous exemplification. Exemplification in art can make concrete and intense realizations of the cultural forces at work in establishing criteria for meaning and for significance; it can provide models for expressive activity that honor how subjects display their individual concerns and investments without requiring that one speculate on chains of "inner experiences"; and it can offer exemplary attitudes inviting provisional identifications so that an audience can imagine exploring possible selves (and possible others that these selves encounter).

I am not even going to illustrate my first claim-that Wittgenstein's critique of epistemic values makes especially important the ways that the arts come to exemplify various possibilities for developing meanings within cultural practices (both practices devoted to the arts and practices that elicit commentary in the mode of works of art). The arts elaborate examples articulating norms of what is entailed in social practices as they simultaneously display how it might be possible to change those entailments. Jane Austen is one powerful example of both of those uses of example. And the arts offer exemplary attitudes and orientations of attention that display models for making sense of experience that parallel the work done when we show how grammar structures possibilities for meaningfulness. One must admit that in the arts the focus is on psychological means of gaining access to the world rather than pragmatic means of coming to appreciate what our practices might afford. Yet even characteristic typologies like "Oedipus complex" or "Hamlet-like delay indicate" the close parallel between what a color chart provides and what literary experience might do to sort and relate types experience.

Unfortunately attempting to demonstrate such claims on any general level would either be a fruitless exercise in preaching to the converted or a hopeless attempt to secure by abstract means the language of appreciation that has to be developed in practices of reading and discussing particular works. Yet I hope I can do something useful by shifting to two more subtle features of display that Wittgenstein explores for their grammatical intricacies. First I will examine how Wittgenstein links the psychological realm of expressive behavior to the grammatical possibilities of exemplification. This process goes a long way toward showing how subjects can manifest intensely personal states without needing any rhetoric of inner lives. And that goes a long way toward helping read the personality in impersonal modernist art. Then I will take up the question of what kind of example Wittgenstein offers by his overall use of Moore's somewhat blind empiricism. This seems a case where a philosophical text not only uses examples but want to be read as an example of investments and attitudes that themselves cannot be represented in epistemic terms. Therefore we need a distinction between the function involved in being an "example of" some general properties and becoming an "example as" which becomes in itself the bearer of desireable imaginative properties. And we need to be able to characterize the kind of speech act that can not only use examples but become an example by offering to others its organization of energies and attitudes.

I begin with some fundamental distinctions offered by Nelson Goodman that lack Wittgenstein's subtlety but establish a more systematic sense of why examples do not picture the world but refer us back to our frameworks for making sense of that world.[7] Goodman treats exemplification as one of three tightly connected basic modes of symbolic functioning that each selects from and organizes its universe, therefore becoming "itself in turn informed and transformed":

Representation and description relate a symbol to things it applies to. Exemplification relates a symbol to a label that denotes it, and hence indirectly to the things (including the symbol itself) in the range of that label. Expression relates the symbol to the label that metaphorically denotes it, and hence indirectly not only to the given metaphorical but also to the literal range of that label.[8]

This is difficult material to process. But it helps that Goodman's primary examples are works of art, since it is crucial in that domain to keep distinct what a picture describes or represents and what kind of a picture or act of picturing the work demonstrates. And the history of art provides clear examples of how taste shifts among the three modes of symbolization. Denotation is stressed when art is prized for what it represents or describes; exemplification when what matters is the display of formal or decorative properties for which the work provides a label; and expression when art is valued for evoking psychological states (93) by the metaphoric extension of those formal properties. A shade of red in a painting might describe what the artist sees, or exemplify a possible shade of red capable of achieving certain contrasts with other colors, or express anger or vengeance as the artist tilts the metaphoric aspects of what the label is denoted by. (Notice here that "denoted by" is a tricky concept because the properties possessed by the label get very difficult to fix, especially when metaphorical possession of properties comes in to play.) And we can also arrange these functions synchronically. A painting like Munch's The Scream can describe an anguished vision, can exemplify distorted shapes and intense color for their direct power, and can have these shapes and colors metaphorically exemplify and therefore express a mode of anguish.

Wittgenstein manages to elaborate the link between exemplification and expressivity by a turn to issues of intentionality that are anathema to Goodman. For Wittgenstein the issue of expression is complicated because he recognizes throughout his career that the self cannot be "described" without turning the subject into an object. Therefore if we are to preserve what Richard Moran calls "an asymmetry between first and third person positions," we have to characterize the first person stance in terms that do not involve description and representation. We have to elaborate something like Goodman's distinction between what references to self might denote and how they might call attention to what they are denoted by. (I think this shift in focus also justifies attending to manner rather than matter when we deal with what purports to be an expression of subjectivity.)

Consider two exemplary Wittgensteinian interpretations of expressive exemplification. The first statement occurs in a discussion of description. The passage defines description in a language reminiscent of the Tractatus as "a representation of a distribution in space." Then Wittgenstein invents this way of dramatizing what cannot be included within such distributions but can be displayed: "If I let my gaze wander round a room and suddenly it lights on an object of striking red colour, and I say 'Red!'-that is not a description" (PI, p. 187). The exclamation "Red!" is not a description because attention is not focused on the object. Rather the statement exemplifies what Wittgenstein calls "the dawning of an aspect," and so calls attention to a state the subject experiences in relation to how the object appears. "Red!" still functions as a label for that appearance. Yet it is not denoted only by the color it evokes. It is denoted also by the exclamation which that appearance elicits. So the force of the label now leads us to two aspects of the scene which we have to attribute to the capacity to establish denotations-the background by which we determine colors and the backgrounds by which we determine attitudes. More precisely, we have to characterize the exclamation in terms of this person who might utter this exclamation to account for how the situation dawns on the activity of observing.

I am not sure whether Goodman would say that the exclamation brings into play a metaphoric register for interpreting the properties the label possesses. Yet this attribution seems appropriate to me because the exclamatory force cannot derive just from the properties the label literally possesses. Rather, as Geoffrey Hellman puts it, the exemplified red "has been transferred from a domain of literal application to a different domain."[9]

In this case "Red" toggles between literal exemplification as an invoked label and something resembling metaphoric exemplification. The expression characterizes the person because here the property red is subsumed under properties involving surprise and wonder. That the scene evokes a label red entails no specific affective response. And a response to the simple properties denoted by the label is blocked or transformed. This red has something about it to elicit the observer's distinctive response. Moreover as exclamation, "Red!" suggests that there are shades of the color that have hitherto not been noticed or not used in this conjunction with other color tones.

Exemplification now bears the force of an expression. But then we should be able to say what the exclamation serves as expression of or expression for. Minimally Wittgenstein wants to make the point that what is being expressed cannot be described. What is being expressed can only be exhibited--largely because it establishes in public something that is not observable except through the speaker's utterance. Expression does not invite description of the person but exemplifies an aspect of the person. In this case the exclamation becomes a means of making the speaker's state a distinctive feature of the scene that cannot be explained simply by the scene. This label possesses the property of testifying to the speaker's willingness to make an affective investment in what he or she sees. The subject still occupies the boundary marking the limit of the world of fact, as in the Tractatus. But now it need not be silent because the grammar of our language includes these expressive possibilities.

More important, the agent need not fear its self-reference will displace the phenomenon eliciting the self-reference. Here the agent's exclamation does not depend on any narrative that would risk turning the subject back into an object again of the forces that the narrative recounts. In fact the exclamation "Red!" renders the subject as simply the recipient of the dawning of an aspect. The subject of perception is primarily acted upon. But it is quite a different case for the subject of the exclamation, which seems to me a second-order bringing of the will to bear on what is perceived. Once the exclamation point contextualizes how the label is being used, this way of using the label invites further accounts that may clarify why this particular agent is so moved by this red. Now the assertion of the color provides a label for a specific state of the subject. And this state is not simply observed; it is asserted, as if the subject were affirming this capacity for recognition as fundamental to its sense of agency. As Wittgenstein put it in a quite different context,

The criteria for the truth of the confession that I thought such-and-such are not the criteria for a true description of a process. And the importance of the true confession does not reside in its being a correct and certain report of a process. It resides rather in the special consequences which can be drawn from a confession whose truth is guaranteed by the special criteria of truthfulness. (PI, p. 222)[10]

Perhaps the role of confession here is simply to thicken the terms by which that exclamation is denoted.

I am painfully aware that I am imposing a heavy conceptual burden on Wittgenstein's example of an exclamation. My only defense is that taking up this burden will clarify and deepen another enigmatic passage that I think is even more suggestive about the strange grammar of first person expression as a mode of exemplification directed toward what the subject offers as its own investments. The passage is so supple in its abstract concreteness that it could be the work of a modern poet, and in fact it elaborates themes that bring these poets quite close to Wittgensteinian concerns: "'This looks so; this tastes so, this feels so.' 'This' and 'so' must be differently explained'" (PI p. 186).

Here "This" refers to an object and thus calls for some version of testing the adequacy of the description offered. But adding "feels so" contrasts a domain of description with another grammatical domain. "Feels so" does not refer to the object but calls attention to the subject's reactions. In Goodman's terms, it shifts from denoting the object to what can be denoted by predications about the subject. "Feels so" invites our taking the experience as a concrete example that makes manifest how the subject processes the object. Only the subject can flesh out this "so" because that task calls not for description but for specifying how some aspect of the situation engages the agent or dawns on the agent (like a new sense of "red"). If one were still to insist on treating the object eliciting "feels so" in epistemic terms, the expression would call attention only to the object that the subject feels. The expression would lose the equivalences or identifications between subject and object that "so" grammatically puts on stage.

How do we honor these equivalences? And what powers can the subject exhibit in elaborating these equivalences? The first step is to realize that "feels so" insists on a specific moment of subjective experience. Indeed that is why we have to talk about exemplification rather than description. The crucial issue is what is displayed in the agent's expression of the feelings involved so that they can be claimed as aspects of its involvement in the scene. Second, we have to honor the fact that this specificity involves equivalences between two domains-what is involved in the dawning of the object and what is involved in the states projected by the subject in order to render the apprehension of that dawning. The best way to honor such equivalence is to apply Wittgenstein's account of "seeing as," since "asness" is the richest counterpart to "so." We can see "so" as the moment of self-consciousness where the speaker recognizes that its apprehension modifies the object. Then "as" provides the grammatical resources for characterizing the equivalences that shape and sustain the feelings aroused.

We need a contrast between "seeing that" and "seeing as" in order to show how the speaker's responsiveness does not consist in a mental picture that can then be checked for its truth value. "Seeing as" preserves the capacity to treat the properties informing the experience as a combination of the material and the metaphoric. Therefore we can honor the fact that the speaker cannot describe his or her responsiveness because the responsiveness is to an affective situation, not to an object per se. And, more important, the responsiveness is a process that does not take the kind of shape which can be pictured: it will not stand still for an idea of it to be formed so as to displace what it purports to fix. Yet, even though the speaker cannot describe that responsiveness, he or she can display it. Then the speaker can engage this display-not by describing it but by contextualizing it. The speaker bring to bear a kind of confession filling out the expression of interest. But the confession will not be very helpful if it seeks a picture of the inner life activated by the event eliciting the feelings. Rather confession proves useful if it can offer information about the priorities and interests and desired applications that further denote the sensibility informing the construction of that particular example.

In other words, the confession brings to bear the capacity of the speaker to see something "as" qualities that matter for the individual. The speaker does not have to have an idea of these qualities. Rather the specific force of the qualities emerges in the process of feeling. While "so" does not offer specific metaphoric properties, it elicits them because it seems the reference of "so" has to be denoted by what the subject might bring to it. "So" establishes the opening to a world that can only be completed by the subject as he or she fleshes out what provokes the exclamation. "As" in turn provides the perfect grammatical complement to how "so" deviates from the world of description. For "as" specifies by concrete examples the equivalences that flesh out "so" while avoiding the kinds of generalization that would transform the subject's experience into an object in its own right. Grammatically the "as" relations bring into play temporal and modal equivalences between what is happening and what the agent invests in that happening. And psychologically these equivalences make possible rich subjective states that we need not turn into pictures or stories--that is, into the kinds of narratives that provide an imaginary substance for the self by in fact depriving it of its powers to abide in these concrete expressions.

Now I need poetry to display the intricate resources of this grammar. I have to show how authors can establish identifications that do not depend on concepts of the self, and I have to expand my scenario by illustrating what is at stake for readers in attuning to the expressive activity. Early in his career Wallace Stevens wrote "Nomad Exquisite" a playful rendering of the relation between "so" and "as" in order to exhibit how a sensibility might revel in equivalences that bring the personal to bear in experience without needing an idea of personal identity:

As the immense dew of Florida
Brings forth
The big-finned palm
And green vine angering for life,

As the immense dew of Florida
Brings forth hymn and hymn
From the beholder,
Beholding all these green sides,

And blessed mornings,
Meet for the eye of the young alligator,
And lightning colors
So, in me, come flinging
Forms, flames, and the flakes of flame.[11]

The basic force here is the grammatical power of "as" and "so" to set in motion a chain of equivalents that draws world together without relying on the abstracting power of ideas. The first means of drawing worlds together is temporal: the poem wants to catch the precise feel of aligning with the Florida sunrise. Then we realize that this temporal equivalence is reinforced by an intricate set of modal equivalences. The sunrise elicits the grammar of "so" because it brings the psyche alive to a series of qualitative parallels-identifying with the motion of the palm, seeing the breeze as producing hymns, awakening to a sense of sight that allows comparisons of the self with the young alligator, and finally feeling general powers of self in giving the form of flakes of flame to the sun's light.

I especially like how "the eyes of the young alligator" deploy the grammar of "as" to merge concrete observation with possibilities of identifying with at least what and how that creature sees. Then the closing lines boldly state the transition from what the eye sees to metaphors emphasizing the intensity of what is seen. Finally there is another level of metaphor established by the formal qualities of what is displayed. For the single sentence absorbs the literal exemplified properties into a self-organizing attitude, as if the "so" had the power to gather all these potential identifications in one completed feeling. The period that closes the sentence opens the domain of identification so that the imagined speaker might provide future narratives characterizing the investments displayed.

It is not a great leap then to the effort in Stevens' late poems to understand what might be involved in the possibility that "is and as are one" (CPP, 406). But now he is sufficiently confident to blend abstraction and sensuous properties into more comprehensive celebrations of the chain of examples that elicit provisional identifications:

The poem is the cry of its occasion,
Part of the res itself and not about it.
The poet speaks the poem as it is

Not as it was: part of the reverberation
Of a windy night as it is, when the marble statues
Are like newpapers blown by the wind. He speaks

By sight and insight as they are. (CPP 404)

Becoming and being now seem inseparable. Analogously, the poem offers the simile of the newspapers blown by the wind to make clear that being "a part" is also fusing literal and metaphoric properties into an act expressing "sight and insight as they are." Aspects of mental life are no less dependent on temporal and modal adjustments than perceptions are.

A final brief segment from Stevens makes visible the basic reward for making the adjustment to treating expression as a condition always in process and always adapting to shifting circumstances:

We are two that use these roses as we are
In seeing them. This is what makes them seem
So far beyond the rhetorician's touch. (371)

In the heyday of deconstruction it seemed important to stress the ironic potential of this "seem." But in the light of the argument I am making, seem" becomes a very confident assertion. Because "as" brings becoming and being together, it also has the power to elaborate equivalences between seeming and being. And when examples can do that, there is no place in the process of reverberation for rhetoric to wield its heavy and dangerous hand. Examples are not assertions, and that is why they can suffice as means of sustaining identifications.

Reference to these poems adds another kind of example to our story. We have dealt with how examples make visible our capacities for representation. Labels clarify what we can depict, so they indicate the powers of grammar to develop the significance of those observations. Then we spent considerable time on specific expressive and evaluative uses of example that specify a kind of agency that is lost when we make it the stuff of narrative. Now I want to address another aspect of exemplification that occurs when texts project a stance defined by the power to integrate specific examples into comprehensive synthetic structures. These structures do not provide arguments but offer stances or attitudes or modes of attention that establish the stakes for our arguments and that model their possible consequences.

Take Stevens' "Nomad Exquisite" as our example. The poem as a synthetic act cannot be denoted only by what denotes the sum of its labels. Rather the poem is denoted by what can interpret how the entire work becomes a label in its own right because of what it does with the properties it exhibits. More generally, we might say that while lyric poetry can employ examples of various properties defining the relation of its parts to the world beyond the text, these labels do not capture the poem as a distinctive act. To capture this distinctive act we have to distinguish between serving as an example of something and being an example as this particular conjunction of properties.

By Goodman's terminology every example "of" is also an example "as" since it must possess the property it refers to. But in most cases the example occurs within a larger argumentative or rhetorical framework with its own independent functions. The agent using the example refers to a parallel in properties; then makes his or her own use of the parallel. We ask someone to pick out what matches the red label, then we suggest uses for what is picked out. But when we move toward treating the utterance as stressing "example as," the properties possessed by the label and what is denoted by the label grow much more complex and interconnected. We ask someone to see how the exemplifying itself articulates what it is denoted by. In such situations, tracking what the label articulates is best realized if we treat the symbol as constituting what Goodman calls a "one-place predicate."[12]

I labor to make this distinction because it strikes me as a good quasi-technical way of clarifying how some philosophical texts invite comparison with literary works in their ways of resisting being defined by purely epistemic models of use. One might say for example that the more one appreciates what Wittgenstein does in his staging of Moore, the more those aspects of On Certainty approach the status of a one-place predicate. Moreover this attribution of status suggests that becoming a "one-place predicate" does not banish the work to a formal aesthetic domain but only establishes a different way of working within the public world. In On Certainty Witttgenstein is not content to describe Mooore's arguments and then respond to them. He wants his audience to interpret the desires that shape these arguments, and that probably blind Moore to what is limited in his whole approach to argument. In other words, Moore is given the status of something like a literary character because he becomes a figure defining a stance that not only fails to establish a refutation of the sceptic but elicits the very skepticism he is committed to refuting.

Consider this passage: "When one hears Moore say 'I know that's a tree" one suddenly understands those who think that that has by no means been settled' (481). Here Wittgenstein points out that at issue is more than a matter of particular arguments. Why is the "I know" so important a frame for the statement that "that is a tree"? Moore seems to seek two modes of certainty-that the tree exists and that the "I" has a stable existence because it can anchor itself in the certainty that the tree exists. But if the "I" is actually invoking knowledge where there is no knowledge, we have to ask why it is doing that. What does the I have to gain by asserting its own certainty in situations where the assertion is problematic? (And what does Wittgenstein have to gain by insisting on this issue?) Each claim becomes the more vulnerable because its counterpart so visibly wobbles. Eventually the I's assertions of knowledge seem to be excessive, to attempt to provide reinforcement for its own lack of certainty about what could possibly anchor it in resistance to the sceptic's unsettling gaze. Therefore the entire effort to refute the sceptic serves as an invitation for the sceptic to examine closely the pyschodynamics of our uses of "I know." When "I know" is added in a way that actually deprives the picture of its typical uses, we have a clear sign that something has gone wrong in the assertion of certainty. In deconstructive terms, the "I" needs a supplement that can postulate for the world a stability it sees itself as lacking. So the sceptic seems warranted in suspicions that the anxious "I" will be so eager to defend the possibility of certainty that it might take labels for certainty as evidence of what they assert.

Wittgenstein's citations of Moore and of Moore's characteristic ways of arguing stand as examples of Moore's philosophy and they are denoted by what Moore has come to stand for in philosophic culture. The connection between these examples and the world presuppose an already public understanding of Moore's positions. But the ironic case of Moore's helping to produce the skepticism he resists presents a different Moore. This Moore has his identity primarily because of how Wittgenstein reconstructs him. It still matters that Wittgenstein be accurate in summarizing Moore's positions. The philosopher is not free in the ways Stevens is to invent how agent and world can mutually construct one another. It matters that thinking like Moore's takes place, and it matters that this thinking has the self-defeating effect of encouraging skepticism. Ultimately it may not matter much in the long run that it is Moore who thinks this way. The text becomes an expressive act displaying Wittgenstein's own investments in assessing what Moore exemplifies. And we see how the writing of philosophy is continually threatened by, and continually exalted by, the possibility that it can be read for what it is denoted by rather than for what it denotes.[13] That possibility requires only that we take the text as itself providing the denotation for the picture of Moore that it establishes.

We have arrived at one measure that can distinguish texts devoted to exposition and description and texts devoted to expressing and establishing attitudes. The former texts can make use of examples; the latter texts function as examples that concentrate an author's interests in rendering the subject matter in a particular way. But this is not just a matter of distinguishing kinds of texts. I think the differences are important enough to suggest a different kind of speech act devoted to foregrounding the texts status as exemplification through and through. If texts are to resist being subsumed under epistemic practices, there ought be a way to define the authorial intentions underlying this resistance. So I want in closing to propose that there is a distinctive speech act, which I call 'the demonstrative," devoted to the conjunctions between exemplification and expression that we have been exploring.

The "demonstrative" must be considered in the context of Austin's case for performative expressions. Both speech acts involve doing something within the language uttered so that it has effects beyond illocutionary assertions. But Austin saw the performative as covering only those speech acts which accomplish something through language by invoking social ritual. He rightly banished from his account all fictional expressions and all discourse that expresses individual intentions and states. Austin does not countenance any metaphoric exemplification. Therefore many philosophers and literary critics have claimed that Austin's analysis is severely limited because he banishes precisely the domain of individual performance from his performative. But by doing that he also managed to secure the case for how social action can take place in language. And in doing that he made clear the signifying capacity of many features of language that are not suited for the making and testing of descriptions. Postulating a "demonstrative" speech act allows us to address other features of performance and expression while stabilizing Austin's account by accepting its self-imposed limitations.

I choose "demonstrative" because of a felicitousconjunction of semantic properties. Expressive people tend to be demonstrative, so the term picks up an affective element or orientation toward the expression of affects. And "demonstrative" leads us to indexical pronouns that often play deictic roles. This dimension of self-reference in turn seems crucial to the power of exemplification-hence Goodman's concern for expressive properties.

Elemental demonstrative speech acts are of two kinds, each with parallels to actions that do not involve language. And the two kinds obviously extend into each other. The first is actual demonstration of something-ranging from the display of how to use a word to the accompaniment of how to accomplish a task like riding a bike, where the example is much more effective than a description of the principles involved. Here the paradigm sentence is "Do it like this." The second brings in the expressive component. Demonstrative speech acts consist in specifying an attitude by offering a linguistic embodiment of it. I think shouting or exclaiming or speaking through tears are decent examples. But the best example came from my Dean Janet Broughton who suggested the case of asking a teenager how he or she feels and getting the response "Blurghh" or some similar construction. With demonstratives the underlying concern might be "Please care for how I am doing this."

Works of art and rhetorical performances use these elemental demonstratives. But to characterize the overall speech act involved in such work one has to shift to the notion of "metaphoric demonstratives." (The proliferation of "metaphoric" as modifier should be acceptable here because the entire notion of a single speech act for an extended work is itself a metaphoric construct.) Metaphoric demonstratives emphasize two aspects of exemplification. First, they display an attitude that the work can try to contextualize, qualify, justify, and test by elaborating how it possesses (or fails to possess) various capacities for interpreting the situation presented. Here the metaphoric register consists in the work's interest in overwriting the details presented so that they will carry an intended interpretation. Second, metaphoric demonstratives call attention to how the performing presence is at every moment taking responsibility for constructing an imaginary world (usually as a possible real world) that has its primary appeal directly because of this constructive activity. Here performance is necessarily self-reflexive. But that does not necessarily entail irony or endless self-referentiality. Rather the self-reflexiveness can be focused simply on the effort to share with the audience an explicitness about the possible values in the constructive activity shaping how the work unfolds. This self-referentiality is no different in kind from the self-referentiality that allows the exclamation "Red!" to serve also as a taking of responsibility for one's enthusiasms.

I have written two essays elaborating how we might apply the notion of demonstrative speech act to literary works.[14] So I say here only that this concept matters because in most accounts of literary art there is insufficient attention to the ways authors insist on their presence in the form of a constant purposiveness at work in making the choices that shape what kind of world the fiction establishes. This lack of attention is not surprising when philosophers talk about writing because that discipline almost always chooses representational fiction or drama, where one can easily concentrate on the world presented rather than the author presenting. But literary studies is also reluctant to stake anything on authorial agency. Critics now are typically content with attributing meaning to the effect of social text or to the critic's own hypothetical construct. They can then draw quite interesting connections among texts. However they surrender much of the imaginative potential inherent in responding to the drama of how the work creates and thickens what it displays. These literal and figurative elements present a unique configuration of forces continually being shaped by an authorial will.

Finally criticism attentive to this demonstrative dimension can ultimately test the powers of example to make alternative worlds available and so to effect large scale change even though the examples bypass the route of description and argument. As late Wittgenstein often reminded us, the concreteness of example affords the best means of bringing people to "look at the world in a different way" (OC 92). Examples address not just our attitudes but also our understanding of how the attitudes fit into larger practices and frameworks. And demonstratives can be especially effective in modifying how people look at the world because they directly offer examples emphasizing how needs and desires lead us to develop stances toward the world. Thereby they articulate how change might be both possible and necessary. In fact the demonstrative even offers a direct claim on our capacities for appreciation and respect, so that it is fundamental to keeping human achievement central in any world we might work to compose. Examples help us sort the methods of representation that make any world possible. Demonstratives help us appreciate the worlds in which we might live.


Endnotes

 



[1] More specifically, Cavell makes four basic claims about how Philosophical Investigations calls upon that very subjectivity that Tractatus banishes to the boundaries of sense. It introduces the need to internalize the sceptic without submitting to the sceptic's epistemic commitments; it calls for the agent's accepting finitude (Cities of Words, 4) rather than adapting the sceptic's disappointment over the failures of certainty; it dramatizes the pragmatic and ethical significance of "acknowledgement" and "attunement" as means of pursuing trust in developing criteria for meaning; and it promises the perfectionist possibility of philosophy's leading "the soul, imprisoned and distorted by confusionand darkness, into the freedom of day (CW, 4).

[2] Danielle Moyal-Sharrock , "Introduction: The Idea of a Third Wittgenstein," in Moyal Sharrock, ed., The Third Wittgenstein: The Post-Investigations Works. Hampshire: Ashgate Publishing, 2004, p. 5. Her essay in this volume "On Certainty and the Grammaticalization of Experience" (43-62) makes a strong case for Wittgenstein's shift from a concern for the grammar expressed by rules to the expressions of grammar "in our ways of acting." And she also makes a strong case for having 'the therapeutic nature of Wittgenstein's moved off centre-state in Wittgenstein studies" (5). In this regard I cannot stress too much Wittgenstein's statement asserting that a physical game is just as certain as the arithmetical: "My remark is a logical, not psychological one" (OC 447). Psychological remarks address states of mind; logical remarks address the structures within cultural frameworks providing possibilities for a society's actions being intelligible to its various agents.

[3] Avrum Stroll, "Wittgenstein's Foundational Metaphors, " in Moyal Sharrock, ed., pp. 13-24 offers an intelligent version of the argument that in On Certainty Wittgenstein rejects the contrast between what can be seen and what can shown. But I think one can best accommodate Stroll's observations about Wittgenstein's renewed concern for foundations by showing that Wittgenstein applies the saying-showing distinction in a new way. I find support for my position in Daniel D. Hutto's helpful essay "Two Wittgenstein's Too Many: Wittgenstein's Foundationalism,: in Moyal-Sharrock, ed. 25-41.

[4] Matthew Ostrow, Wittgenstein's Tractatus: A Dialectical Interpretation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002).

[5] I am using the following texts of Wittgenstein, all of which will be abbreviated in my text: Tractatus Logico Philosophicus, translated by D.F. Pears and B.F McGuiness [London: Routledge and Kega Paul, 1961]; Philosophical Investigations, translated by G.E.M. Anscombe [London: Basil Blackwell, 1958]; On Certainty, translated by Denis Paul and G.E.M. Anscombe [New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1969]; Remarks on Colour, translated by Linda L. McAlister and Margaret Schattle (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977. Here I want to show why I consider the term "transcendental" a useful means of capturing similarities between the Tractatus and Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. Both reject any empirical or empiricist foundation for logic. If, as Wittgenstein puts it, logic is not a tool for inquiry but a precondition for the possibility of systematic inquiry into how it how "the world" can be "determined by the facts and their being all the facts" (1.11), then this all" is not within the purview of empiricism. But that "all" does require the literalizing of the idea of logical space, since only a transcendental assertion that "there is a priori knowledge of the possibility of logical form" (6.33) will allow the claim that there is a space that ultimately determines what the world can be. And that space then can have determinate force: form affords the possibility of the structure of relations that constitute states of affairs (2.03-2.04). The term "transcendental" is also warranted because, as in Kant, there emerges a series of strict antitheses-here between what can be said and where we must remain silent, between what expresses itself in language and what must expressed by means of language (4.121), between depiction and display, between the mechanical and the hermeneutic (5.551), between fact and value, between inside or outside (what is bounded and what lies on the boundary), between world and "my world," and between natural science and philosophy (c.f. 4.112).

[6] I am not sure I need to define how I am using "epistemic." But the stakes are substantial enough to err on the side of caution. "Epistemic practices" are those that depend first on establishing how one can be said to know something, and then develop methods of inquiry elaborating the vision of the grounds of knowledge into a discipline. Exemplification promises another mode of anchoring practices that examine manner rather than matter, modes of signification rather than the stability of what is signified. John Koethe, in "Wittgenstein and Epistemology," in Moyal-Sharrock, ed., 93-105, makes an interesting radical case that from the start Wittgenstein was concerned with semantics and not with "epistemological significance."

[7] Here I share Richard Wollheim's concern that Goodman's nominalism unnecessarily limits what Goodman's example of example can offer. See his essay, ""Nelson Goodman's Languages of Art, reprinted in Catherine Z. Elgin, ed. The Philosophy of Nelson Goodman: Nelson Goodman's Philosophy of Art. New York: Garland Publishing, 1997): 19) [18-42]. In a second essay in that volume, "Are the Criteria of Identity That Hold for a Work of Art in the Different Arts Aesthetically Relevant?,"[73-92] he supports this claim with a powerful argument that "disagreement between us begins only when notational requirements are taken as providing not just necessary but also sufficient conditions for identity. From Wollheim's perspective "sufficient conditions for identification occur only when some reference to the history of production is added" (91). Without that supplement, Goodman's account seems too generous in offering posssibilties for exemplication because possession of properties is the only criterion (88-92) . Therefore there must be this additional feature that will actually signify that the property is relevant for the situation---hence the need to add conditions of production as contexts for works of art (30-31). However I will argue that this need for context is best met when we can project an authorial purposiveness.

I might also point out that there is a similar difference on example between Goodman and Wittgenstein. Because Wittgenstein embeds the working of symbols within a grammar of practices, he can offer a directionality to exemplification that is not possible in Goodman. By showing how the symbol can vary between expressions of experience and expressions of norms, Wittgenstein suggests that the analysis is incomplete until one can determine how the practice involved best defines what are the exemplary qualities. I conclude from this that we need speculation about intentions to process examples in use-whether the intentions come from authors or audiences or even from the expectations built into practices.

[8] Languages of Art, [Indianapolis: Bobbs Merrill, 1968] p. 92.

[9] Geoffrey Hellman, "Symbol System and Artistic Styles" in Elgin, ed., 297.

[10] One of Wittgenstein's major contributions to modern thought is his demonstrating what objective accounts of experience cannot handle because of how first person states pervade phenomena, yet are so intimately connected with the phenomena that we cannot trust first person stories about a purported inner life. Ironically those stories, and much of Cavellian melodrama about owning the self, turn out to be another form of objectifying the subject and so of denying it the expressivity it can possess in the concrete situation.

Cavell seems aware of Wittgenstein's effort here to separate confession as process from confession as a narrative of what the person thought about his or her experiences. He distinguishes between enacting the self and describing the self. But as long as one's ambition is to "own" the self, even as just a condition of the activity the self performs, there will be serious temptations to treat the self as expressible in narrative. Talk of ownership risks giving the self an interest in turning its experiences into something that can be described, and hence in treating subjectivity as somehow available in the narratives one tells about oneself. It comes as no surprise then that in Cavell's perfectionist stage he turns to a language of self-knowledge. In contrast I rely on Wittgenstein's turn from therapeutic psychology to grammar as a logic. For him one simply displays various relations of the self to its experiences, various ways of manifesting "so" by a series of equivalences. One does not own the self; one makes present its abilities to complement what elicits desires and interests by showing how the experience elicits investments by the agent. "True confession" contextualizes why wonder might matter on this occasion. It does not substitute some aspect of ownership for what can be exhibited of the state of wonder the agent undergoes.

[11] Stevens CPP, 77.

[12] I am obviously interpreting Goodman's concept of one-place predicate to accord with my own argument. Goodman sets the stage by pointing out that terms like "picture" or "represents" "have the appearance" of sponsoring "mannerly two-place predicates," on the model of name and referent. But "'picture of Pickwick' and 'represents a unicorn' are better considered one piece predicates or class terms, like 'desk" and 'table'" rather than "a divisable series of assertions." Dickens does not offer a picture of Pickwick; Dickens offers a Pickwick-representing picture. We cannot reach inside" the picture "and quantify over parts" of it (21-22). Or we could say that rather than being asked to see what the picture of Pickwick refers to, the readers of Dickens's novel are asked to treat the picture as referring to all the traits that the picture exemplifies. Examples "of" become "examples as" when the conjunction of details they display offer an observer a more dynamic connection to the world than what would be established by quantifying over the discrete properties shared by symbol and what it is denoted by.

[13] The ending of Ian McEwan's Atonement offers a striking account of the pleasures and the pains of dealing with historical matters under conditions that establish one-place predicates.

[14] Altieri, "Tractatus Logico-Poeticus," Critical Inquiry, 33 (2007): 527-42 and "Why Style Still Matters," forthcoming in Richard Eldridge, ed., Oxford Companion to the Study of Philosophy and Literature.