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The Generalized Anti-Zombie Principle

Wittgenstein's post-Tractatus work concentrated on the role played by language in the kind of talk we sometimes call "philosophical discussions." In this later portion of Wittgenstein's work, his central activity consisted of pointing out, by means of numerous distinct examples, that one cannot stretch the use of words and phrases into new, synthetic realms, without incurring a significant risk of ending up talking nonsense.

The trap against which Wittgenstein warns us is something like writing "Where has a wireless mouse's tail gone? Possibly it is still somehow attached, but invisible."

In this case it is obvious that the word "mouse" can be used in a number of different contexts, and that these various contexts are not actually linked together in any but the trivial fact of both containing the word, "mouse."

In the case of words such as "conscious," "aware," "thought" and the like, the lack of connection between contexts is less apparent. Likewise, the danger of conflating and distorting those contexts is significantly greater for such (actually quite narrow) words.