»Uttering a word is like striking a note on the keyboard of the imagination.« (Ludwig Wittgenstein, PI 4)
»[…] ask yourself whether our language is complete; – whether it was so before the symbolism of chemistry and the notation of the infinitesimal calculus were incorporated in it; for these are, so to speak, suburbs of our language. (And how many houses or streets does it take before a town begins to be a town?) Our language can be seen as an ancient city: a maze of little streets and squares, of old and new houses, and of houses with additions from various periods; and this surrounded by a multitude of new boroughs with straight regular streets and uniform houses.« (Ludwig Wittgenstein, PI 16)
When Wittgenstein is challenged (not without frustration) to specify the essence of language, his response is disarming: »And this is true. – Instead of producing something common to all that we call language, I am saying that these phenomena have no one thing in common which makes us use the same word for all, – but that they are related to one another in many different ways. And it is because of this relationship, or these relationships, that we call them all ‘language’«(PI 65).
Might we see in the articulation of Nothingness the essence of any symbolism?