“Tove” thought experiment from The Blue Book

Wittgenstein constructs a thought experiment involving the fictional concept “tove” in The Blue Book. The following are my notes from that particular section.

Thought Experiment 1:

Purpose: Explain “tove” by pointing to a pencil and saying “this is tove.”


“This is tove” may be substituted with “this is called ‘tove’. That they may be substituted indicates the deficiency of the view that an ostensive definition predicates something of the defined.


The ostensive definition of “tove” can be interpreted to mean many things: (1st column=’interpretation’; 2nd column=’category of understanding’

This is a pencil Physical object
This is round shape
This is one Numeric identity
This is hard phenomenology

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