Wittgenstein was opening up a way of looking at language that was
radically different from the way logicians and linguists had been
thinking about it. (02)
RC> Is there a good reference you would recommend for describing
> the details of common linguistic games? Anything automated that
> would identify games based on corpora? (03)
There has been a lot written, but there's no consensus, and
no systematic software. It's still an area where finding
good paradigms is still an open-ended research problem. (04)
One point that I believe is significant is that Ludwig W. wrote
his first book (which presented his views based on earlier
reading and discussions with Frege and Russell). After he
published that, he decided to go teach elementary school
in an Austrian mountain village. (05)
He didn't say much about the several years he spent teaching, but
some of his later examples seem to be influenced by that time. (06)
On a somewhat related point, I recently came across the
following story about how school children react to the
"game" of solving arithmetic problems. (07)
----- Original Message -----
From: Elart von Collani
To: hans kuijper...
Sent: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 4:07 PM
Subject: Re: UNCERTAINTY (09)
Dear Hans, (010)
the questions remind me of an experiment that was performed only
recently in an elementary school in Germany.
The third year children had to answer the following questions: (011)
1. A skipper is carrying 17 sheep and eleven goats on his boat. How old
is the skipper?" (012)
2. A 27 years old shepherd has 25 sheep and 10 goats. How old is the
3. The class consists of 13 boys and 15 girls. How old is the teacher? (014)
All the children calculated seriously a result by adding and subtracting
the given numbers, even for the second question that contains the
explicit answer. The boy Sebastian was subsequently asked about his
solutions. The following dialogue is reported: (015)
Sebastian: I know it. A 27 years old shepherd, then it is necessary to
add the 25. And the 10 goats, they do not run away.
Teacher: They do not run away?
Sebastian: No, that's what I have written!
Teacher: Because the goats don't run away?
Teacher to Dennis: What is your opinion?
Dennis: They run away! He does not look after them! (016)
Similar results were obtained in other studies. The authors conclude
that the children consider mathematics as a kind of game with artificial
rules that have no relation what so ever with reality. In an subsequent
study the following dialogue was reported: (017)
Teacher: You have 10 pencils and 20 coloured pencils. How old are you?
Julia: 30 years old!
Teacher: But I guess you know very well that you are not 30 years old?
Julia: Yes, but I am not to blame for that. You gave the wrong numbers! (018)
Warm regards from a cold but sunny Wuerzburg, yours Elart (019)
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