Family Resemblance

Good ol’ Ludwig’s family resemblance concept represented:



3 Responses to “Family Resemblance”

  1. michelle says:

    where does the blue circle fit in? really though, this is very interesting. in this view, are two idea complexes completely unrelated?

  2. Cheryl E. Fitzgerald says:

    I’m unclear as to what is being pictured here.

    The circles are attributes, okay. But are they concepts of those attributes? Or the attributes themselves? And how are these attributes individuated?

    Is the boundary drawn meant to signify the boundary of a “family” of attributes that resemble each other? (But, again, the attributes themselves or our concepts of them?)

    I’m unclear as to what an “idea” is here. And the “idea complex”. Ideas of what, exactly? And why are they groupings of attributes? (The *idea* that an idea is a grouping of attributes suggests that the circles representing attributes here *must* be our concepts of them, since I’m not sure how an idea could be a grouping of the attributes themselves. Unless an idea is a mind-independent abstractum of the world??) I guess what I am wondering is whether this kind if grouping of attributes is supposed to be a concept of something–say, the concept ‘man’–and all of those attributes are concepts of those attributes that comprise the concept ‘man’. Or, is it a grouping of the actual instances of some attribute, say ‘man’, so it’s a grouping of actual men, and somehow that composes our idea of ‘man’?? I don’t know, I’m trying to make sense of this, but I’m lost. But then, perhaps my whole conceptual framework about concepts is altogether unfriendly to the family resemblance sort of picture. 😉

    What’s the significance of the red and the green?

    Is the concept of family resemblance susceptible to its own kind of analysis? What would that even look like or mean?

    I’m delighted you’re enjoy Witters! Makes me wish I had time to dive into reading him. I’m jealous.

  3. Jelte says:

    > It’s a class whose members are linked through Wittgenstein’s ‘family resemblance’ relation!

    > Yes, the circles represent conceptualized attributes, cf. ‘primitives’! [Whether attributes exist independently of concepts is an important question whose exposition would be unhelpful here][nominalism vs. realism!]

    > It may be necessary to grant Individuation prior to speaking of family resemblance relations – for something to be related to something else requires an individuated attr./char./qual. to leverage on! [At present, I am tempted to say that attributes within family resemblance complexes are individuated by “there being a word for them”. Delineation poses an even harder problem, and is less obviously necessary for this scheme to work. The diagram makes it look like it is, but that’s just for the sake of simplicity – one could make use of fuzzy sets, for instance]
    [Whether concepts really behave as delineable individuable entities, and whether attributes really behave as delineable individuable entities, are most important questions whose exposition would be unhelpful here … even if I was up to the task][which I am not][yet?]

    > In the diagram, an idea is a concept formed through law-like relation of attributes!

    > The idea complex is an idea formed through family resemblance – all members share at least one attribute in common with at least one other member!

    > The Red and Green are significant in that I envisage using them at a later stage.

    Methinks I should add ‘state’ to the A.C.Q. list, what sayest thou?

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