The usual method of moving outside of language in order to connect language with the world is to perform a deictic or ostensive definition
, explaining the meaning of a word by pointing at something.
Words whose referents are things in the real world can be taught by ostensive definition
, simply by pointing to their referents.
The artifact that contains the ostensive definition
exists, but without on-going performance, it becomes meaningless.
Never mind that no one's making a killing selling email software or that it seems almost like an ostensive definition
of a commodity application.
His rendering of the private language argument, for example--according to which the reason there is no distinction between correct and incorrect uses of the private linguist's sign "S" is not merely that the private linguist cannot check that his use of "S" accords with the meaning he originally conferred upon it, but that he failed by means of his inner ostensive definition
to confer a meaning on it in the first place--is to be found in various other writers.
As with so much of Wittgenstein's work, there are widely diverse interpretations of why exactly the private diarist's attempted ostensive definition
In naming an individual, we can have the individual right in front of us and name it by ostensive definition
. In naming a natural kind, we cannot have the kind right in front of us.
As Schuman notes in her chapter on The Castle, a major aim of the Investigations is to expose the problems with ostensive definition
. On Wittgenstein's account, the idea that words "name objects" (1) constitutes a deeply impoverished picture of how language works.
All nominal definitions, if pushed back far enough, must lead ultimately to terms having only ostensive definitions
, and in the case of an empirical science the empirical terms must depend upon terms of which the ostensive definition
is given in perception.
The emotive meaning applied by arts educators to the term is important because this unfavorable connotation of its meaning, as argued by Wittgenstein in his later work Philosophical Investigations, has come about through its use, its ostensive definition
. (14) Arts educators have made attempts to demonstrate the meaning of utility by coupling it with extra-artistic and practical endeavors.
One can operationalize in this way: "A rich American is someone who shows a bank surplus, after taxes and after paying off all debts in 2012, of one million US dollars or more." An ostensive definition
points people directly to an object of reference.