The dark side of the model

Sergeiy Sandler


In his paper “Small Model Languages as Tools for Reflection”, Paul Rastall proposes using deliberately oversimplified and artificial model languages, making no grand claims for absolute truth, as heuristic and didactic tools in linguistic inquiry. While I find this approach both useful and commendable, I argue (echoing similar warnings in Wittgenstein’s late work) that such models can not only expand our horizons in thinking about language, but also limit them.


Theoretical models, methodology of linguistic inquiry, Ludwig Wittgenstein.

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