(Sektion 139: Philosophische Untersuchungen von Ludwig Wittgenstein).
139. When someone says, for example, the word "cube" to me, I know what it means. But can the whole use of the word come to me* when I understand it in this way?
Well, but on the other hand isn't the reference of the word also determined by this use? And can't these determinants conflict with each other? Can what we grasp in a flash accord with the a use, fit it, or not fit it? And how can that which becomes present to us in an instant, that which comes to us in an instant, fit a use?
What, then, really comes to us when we understand a word?--Is it not something like a picture (ein Bild)? Can't it be a picture?
Well, suppose that a picture does come before us when we hear the word "cube". Perhaps it is the drawing of a cube. In what way can this picture fit, or not fit, a usage of the word "cube"?--Perhaps you will say: "that is simply;--if that picture comes before me and I point at, for example, a triangular prism and say it is a cube, then this use will not fit the picture."--But does it not fit? I have consciously chosen this example because it is quite easy to imagine a method of projection according to which the picture does not fit after all.
The picture of the cube suggests a certain use to us, but I could also use it otherwise.**
* - The German here is: Aber kann mir denn die ganze Verwendung des Wortes vorschweben, wenn ich so verstehe?, which might also be translated involving the locution come before my mind.
** - In German: Das Bild des Würfels legte uns allerdings eine gewisse Verwendung nahe, aber ich konnte es auch anders verwenden (literally: but I can it also otherwise use).