The dark side of the model

  • Sergeiy Sandler Independent scholar
Keywords: Theoretical models, methodology of linguistic inquiry, Ludwig Wittgenstein.


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.

Author Biography

Sergeiy Sandler, Independent scholar
Specializes in: Philosophy of language, theories of meaning, cognitive and interactional linguistics, dialogue analysis, the work of Mikhail Bakhtin.
How to Cite
Sandler, S. (2015). The dark side of the model. Language Under Discussion, 1(1), 30–33.