Natural Hazard · Dec 22
does anyone talk about the way that language games get superimposed on each other? or how one language game will have “and try to make it look like the game being played is this other game” embedded in them?
i’m thinking about how in most crowds “winning an argument” is a different game from the science language game, but it is still partially constrained by trying to look like the science language game
So like, people who are performing rhetoric and duking it out over abstract concepts, but mask it in some implicit claim to Investigating The True Nature Of Reality? What’s the science language game?
Lyotard says it pithier than i do. more or less the good/useful parts of science that are still broad enough to be formalizable.
the Scientific language game is simply a set of constraints on admissible statements (basically: what are you “allowed” to put in a journal article?), that defines the institution of “Science”. the idea of a game being “duplicitous” is entirely separate.
this was Lyotard’s point: institutions are always defined by language games, that are typically played in a pretty straightforward way. disqualifying moves get you disqualified. but the stakes are the rules themselves.
and arguing about Science isn’t actually playing the “science language game”, because “Science” as game is played by researchers, not laypeople. what you are doing is playing a “truth” game on the surface but a “dominance” game underneath.
yeah. or maybe, a thing they’ll borrow is the idea of “providing evidence” but it becomes “do you have a paper for that?” used in a selective way
My thought: this is just a feature of language. There’s always a surface-level game that is more pro-social, more cooperative (e.g. the science game)—and another than is inherently selfish. And the language ends up building that in, cc: @whomademecrispy
i wanna rephrase “feature of langauge” as “a way language will predictably end up in the presence of certain interpersonal dynamics, that are hella prevalent/near universal”
i think we agree on how the mixing of games comes about. and i think the mix acts of muddying common knowledge, making it harder to coordinate against enemies in the “selfish” game. and i wanna see some indepths exploration of this mixing, and how it achieves that
I wanna see that too which means we should probably write it. I actually wrote a paper with the thesis that Shakespeare’s sonnets are better than his contemporaries because he’s better at embedding new games with intriguing dynamics. I think this is a pretty big/general idea so it’s probably most useful to analyze a few case studies of the mixing. Science is a good one, because the background idea is evidence, but new things came to mean evidence over time. Romance is another one, and changes rapidly and noticeably as generations assert their identities.
Another fun possibility for a case study would be status jockeying, which is always in play, but is expressed through various different kinds if competitions depending on factors that are often very local since people care more about people they see physically. Has COVID changed this? Find out on the next episode of “information dynamics and the philospher’s bone”