Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Drawing and Diagram

Jay is on to something very important in his comment to my previous post.

The visual field diagram is, I take it, intended to show, among other things, that "the visual field has no limits". At least not the kind of limits we think of when we draw a "bird's eye" conceptual view of it.

So I think you'd want to show a hand, just like the analagous picture shows an eye. And you'd want to show a "bird's eye" view of a limited "field". How could you do the latter? Does the hand hold something, say a piece of clay or silly-putty? Is it wearing or about to put on a glove?

Wittgenstein, I would argue, does not give us a "diagram" of the visual field but a "drawing". A drawing is a guide to how to see something but a diagram is a guide to how to do something. The drawing is a picture of how to visualize the visual field ("here's how it looks"); the diagram is a picture of how to manipulate the manual field ("here's how it's done").

A drawing is a picture of how the world looks; a diagram is a picture of how history works. Both can be put in a book: blacks lines on white paper that are like a human body.

So we need a pair of hands and a chunk of matter ("a bear's paw emotional grasp") like a piece of clay, yes. The visual field is not visualized/able, the manual field is not manipulated/able.

The pangrammatical transposition of the drawing of the visual field as it can't possibly be beheld is a diagram of the manual field as it can't possibly be held. A hand (naked, like the eye) fondling the core (not the limit) of the done, the deed (not the seen, the vision).

Thanks, Jay.

1 comment:

Jay said...

My pleasure, Thomas - I'm delighted that you found it a useful suggestion. Thank you for keeping this going.