Wittgenstein and Pain

In talking about pain, Wittgenstein is arguing against ‘the private language argument[1]’. He begins the Philosophical Investigations[2] with a discussion of language and continues with a discussion of meaning and understanding. In these arguments, he proposes that understanding and meaning are not mental states of consciousness. He supports this argument by saying that when one loses consciousness (i.e. sleep is one such example) one does not lose the meaning of say ‘red’; whereas in pain one does lose such sensation when one is not conscious.[3] What follows is a discussion of some of his arguments about pain as mentioned in the Investigations.

When he says that only human beings I am assuming that he also means animals[4] as well. On the surface what is common among all these beings is pain-behavior and usage in language. We mean that it is part of our language or our grammatical usage to say that beings (including animals) feel pain. When we say that a door does feel pain, we know that we are saying nonsense. The same would be true if we say that color green feels pain.

            Although Wittgenstein says he is not a behaviorist, he does come so very close to being one. He is making the argument from a grammatical point of view; Language-game as he calls it. To me the use of language, i.e. grammar, is in the case of pain tied to pain-behavior”. When you are describing a behavior -pain in this case- in language it would be quite an intellectual jump to divorce it from behavior altogether. Humans react to pain because by definition it is an undesirable feeling. We spend our lives avoiding pain from others and ourselves. We also protect our offspring from any pain that could possibly touch them. “Do not do that because it hurts! Fire burns!, etc. ”[5]

There are of course minor pains, which elicit very little or no response “read: outward behavior”. This ability to withstand pain differs from one individual to another. We say that such a person has developed a high threshold for pain. A pianist could hammer for hours at a piano with his arms in a twisted position; meanwhile another could do the same and would be reeling from pain in less time.

A person is not exhibiting public signs of pain (read: pain behavior) is itself a behavior. It could mean many things, such as, that a person has a higher pain threshold, or that something is occupying his attention that is stronger than the pain; or that the person has lost sense in part of the body that is the source of pain,[6] or it could be that in certain social settings it is not proper to show any outward signs of pain[7].

Medically speaking pain is a message, or a response, which tells us that something, is wrong in that part of the body and we should do something about it.  It is a safety mechanism, a survival and a preservation device in humans as well as in animals. I believe that Wittgenstein would say that if there was no pain behavior (public by his definition) then there is no pain and that is what I am countering with these examples.

I am also aware that people could at different times and in different cultures “pain behave” differently. I am of the opinion that if you feel pain there is pain, what pain is, I do not know and pain is not just behavior, there is something triggering[8] this behavior. The behavior is learned and the trigger is not. We might not be able to find something or an object that we could find somewhere in the body that is called pain that we could put our finger on it. This ‘not’ something and ‘not’ nothing is what pain is when we say when you feel pain and there is nothing but behavior that we could put our finger on or make an account for.


In §282 he mentions the doll’s feeling pain, that is part of childrens game. Here the children are playing and imagining that these dolls are real people with feelings. Even when that child comes to you and says: daddy, fluffy hurt his Arm could you make it better… we act playfully with our child perhaps to reinforce the correct language-usage and make fluffy feel much better.”

For children that are playing with dolls and toys they are making believe that these toys are real people. They already know the ‘grammatical’ rules for pain behavior and they are merely applying them in ‘real-life’ –this case the play acting with the dolls– scenarios. Eventually the child learns to do away with the toys and interact with real playmates.

Paragraphs §249 and §250 are connected to the above. In §249 a child and a dog in §250 are both learning behavior. Lying, I believe for the child, comes later in life[9]; perhaps when he is in need of attention he will fake pain as in the case of sibling rivalry. For instance a child could get hurt and he will cry and run to mommy to make the pain go away. His brother upon seeing this will also tell his mother he too has a hurt.  He will cry not out of physical pain but out of the need for being cared for or more attention, perhaps out of emotional pain or out of sheer jealousy.


Wittgensteins use of inanimate objects such as teapots and dolls in some sense help his argument if you understand pain as grammatical language-game”.  Here grammar would be our guide. We know that to say that a teapot feels pain when heated is grammatically incorrect; whereas if we say that Mary feels pain and Mary is a person –and not a teapot or doll- that would be correct.

Wittgenstein wants to show us that it is part of the language-game of the society, i.e. the rules of the collective society that inanimate objects do not feel pain. It is these rules that determine how the pain is ascribed to certain objects whereas it is not applied to others.[10]

In this case, no pain ever needs to exist. We simply learn the rules of the language game. If the rules are used correctly, we can achieve the same effect as if real pain existed. We can also learn that pain is not an attribute of inanimate objects just the same way that pain is not an attribute of color or shape of an object.

Kripke’s reading of Wittgenstein is that such a statement, ‘pain’ in our case, need not supply us with any meaning, or the fact that there is pain. We only need to follow the rules and do not need to state any facts at all about the world.[11]

Simply we can learn grammatical usage as in the following illustrations: On that fateful night the moon that filled the night sky was a bleeding blood-red orb, throbbing with pain, pain as deep as that of my bleeding fist.” The previous sentence can only make sense in a poetical sense whereas in a literal sense it becomes ludicrous.  Compare the previous statement with the following: I heard the crack of his jaw as I quickly withdraw my fist which was throbbing with pain, pain that was reminiscent of my youthful boxing days.” Since there is no simple way for us to test for the existence of pain –as a physical object, a something in Wittgenstein’s terminology– in everyday experiences, except by pain-behavior.[12] Hence, the argument that if there is no pain behavior there is no pain.

From language –grammatical rules or language games in Wittgenstein’s terms– we learn that for specific objects –or concepts- we should not apply the language-game rules for pain. When looking at staged act we can never be sure that the actor is not feeling pain.[13]


Where it hurts his “Pain-behavior argument is [now back to the inanimate object and pain] is the fact that he is not a behaviorist per say[14]. Even in §304 when he says, It is not something, but not a nothing either![15] I think here what he is trying to say is in a literal sense of nothing and the physical thing of something that can be pointed to. However, we use the something to mean a wide variety of things. When I use the word pain, I mean something that can be felt and perhaps, someday, measured as well[16]. Therefore, in that sense it is something perhaps not more than that. What does that mean? In a sense I agree with him that it is not a nothing i.e. a thing the physicality of it (i.e. a physical object), is problematic at least in language. 

Pain is at times is not easily located to a physical location. Sometimes my arm would hurt and I would not be able to locate the exact location of the pain. Here the pain is elusive, at one moment it is at the joint at another moment it is in the muscle while at another it is in both and then altogether disappears as I reach the doctor.[17]

Could pain possibly be a multi-property thing as sometimes appearing as nothing and at other times as something?[18] Something similar to light, where light sometimes measured as wave or as a particle. Is it something that can be shown experienced and not be said described?[19] a la Tractatus!

Wittgenstein’s idea of not being sure of feeling pain and his exactness in defining the concept of pain as not something and not a nothing! Would lead someone to scream out what is it then? It can not be an in between thing. It has to either exist as something or not exist as nothing.[20] Perhaps it is best not to use these terms when describing pain, but how else does one speak of pain. Relying on mere pain-behavior does not solve the problem nor does the grammatical language-game, which is not without its own pitfalls.


I fail to see it as a gross misunderstanding or a grammatical sin to be unsure of pain. Senses are at times so overwhelmed that we are confused and we do not know where to draw the line between joy and pain. I could be in the worst pain of my life and when I hear joyous news that is dear to my heart… at that exact moment all the pain is gone! If I am asked at that exact moment do I feel any pain? I can not truthfully and honestly say that I do. Perhaps an accurate state of mind at that moment would be that I am unsure of my feeling of pain.

When Wittgenstein says imagine someone is lying about pain, that is all fine and good, but that person is not committing a grammatical error. Sometimes you go to a doctor complaining of pain in your side and he does a physical exam.  He states that it is nothing because he does not see any physical outward signs of that pain. However you are still in pain and the doctor does not believe you nor can he find your pain. All the pain behavior in the world here does not help advance your case any better.

The connection between pain behavior and the grammar are difficult to break apart. To me pain is a public experience. Because once you describe and share it with others, it no longer becomes a private experience. Others have felt similar pain and sympathize with you and can help you if need be.[21]

To the average normal healthy human being or animal pain is real and can be distinctly felt, whether it is internally (psychologically) or physically is irrelevant. They all feel pain and it could be at different levels and of varying degrees. This pain we can talk about, remember, and we do experience it in everyday life. The sentence no one feels my pain becomes an expression of the degree of pain felt or the surrounding circumstances.[22] The statement is meant as an appeal to others to sympathize with him. He knows very well that we can feel pain just as he does.

A similar case in wartime, in which a widow would say ‘no one feels my pain.’ That is true except for another widow who has lost her husband as well. The difference between the two widows would be the degree of pain. One could have an extended family supporting structure so that she would not feel it as a terrible loss, whereas the other one has had her whole life is destroyed by the loss of her husband. Both would have lost a loved one that is dear to them.


Color is another such experience that we can draw on for similarity to pain. Color is something that can be measured and seen. If we all saw different colors –and consequently could not differentiate one from the other-,[23] our world would be in chaos. That is why colorblind people have difficulty functioning in society that heavily depends on color. The mere fact that we all could agree on colors is enough to get a long in the real world. Whether we see different colors or not, is irrelevant unless it made a physical difference.[24] 

The color green or red does signify a very solid experience that can be publicly shared with others. Just because I point at it and say nothing, of course no one would understand me. We do not have an agreement (read common language) on how to point to a color, shape, or number without additional verbal clues.[25]

We learn these experiences, namely color distinction, early on in life; otherwise, we would not be able to function. So much in our life depends on this distinction and it is not just those live in modern industrial society. Nature has many messages that it delivers in colors. Animals learn that bright colors are a sign of danger hence most brightly colored reptiles are poisonous.

To a printer[26], who has a refined sense of color, he can tell the difference between 20 different shades of green[27]. To ask to him print this page in green ink is nonsense to him. You have to specify the Pantone number[28] otherwise you will get some unexpected results.


It seems that Wittgenstein believes it is worse to say that ‘no one besides me feels pain’ than to say that ‘everything feels pain.’ The reason is that to say that ‘no one besides me feels pain’ is a serious grammatical error not to mention a moral and human error as well.  Here I also would be committing myself to the existence of pain as private sensation and therefore as pain being an object of mental state of consciousness.

When I say that everything feels pain I simply do not understand the language game rule for ascribing pain.[29] Here I do not know what the rule is for ascribing pain to objects. I do not know which objects should have the term ‘pain’ assigned to them. In the case of our language, inanimate objects do not get such an ascription. Here I am not committing myself to the existence of a private language or a mental object called pain.


Further believing that others do not feel pain –as a consequence of the statement ‘no one besides me feels pain’ - has ethical implications. If I claim that ‘no one besides me feels pain’, it is only a small step away from saying that no one else feels pain. Such a person would lash out against society because he believes that he is the only human in a world full of non-humans (or automata).[30] Further divorcing pain from pain-behavior could lead one to inability to distinguish the suffering from joy of others. If that is so, one could cause others pain without acknowledging their cries of pain.[31]

Such a person would have a difficulty communicating with others, when someone is describing pain to him he would understand joy. When someone is explaining joy to him he would understand pain. He would not be able to sympathize with his friend’s misery. In literature, such a person would be described as a monster, whereas a friend or a lover is someone who is in tune with these feelings.

He would understand pain-behavior all wrong. He would be analogous to a colorblind person. Living with, or having him, as friend would be like a fire and water relationship.[32] Whenever you are in misery (and pain) he is in joy and whenever you are in joy he is in misery (and pain). 

In history, we have examples of many tragic events in which members of the same race caused others harm just because they considered them sub-human and without feelings. Such an argument could be used by criminals to say that I can not cause anyone any pain, they are not capable of feeling any pain”. Then a judge would be tempted to say: okay then living the rest of your life behind bars should cause you no pain either!

If we see someone kicking a stone no one will arrest him for causing it pain, even if it screamed and howled as if it were in pain. The same would be if he kicked a ‘sensitive automata’[33]. However if we see him kicking a dog we had better do something and generally we do.

If people see someone kick an animal, they would complain loudly,[34] and if we see someone hurting another human being we do not want to get involved. We want to save animals and furs from pain. Meanwhile we do not see it as our duty to alleviate the suffering of our fellow human being because it is politics and we do not want to meddle in the internal affairs of foreign countries. When it comes to our economic welfare, we seem to have no problem with meddling in the internal affairs of others. Perhaps pain has quite a political and economic dimension that Wittgenstein had not discussed in these passages. Is this just a mere language-game or is it a valid move in such a society?

Descartes’ followers considered all animals to be without consciousness as mere organic automata. I believe that Wittgenstein would not consider that what they have made to be a grammatical error, but that they were playing a different language game. This of course has negative moral implications. To them the mistreatment and abuse of animals is of no consequence. Wittgenstein would only say that such a society is not playing our language game. Such a move, abuse of animals, is a valid move in there system.

In Wittgenstein ethical system one could extend the above to racist tribes in which they would consider any outsider to be of sub-human, a servant, a person without a soul. Even though such a person could look exactly like them. People have argued throughout history that the ‘other’ is either without a ‘soul’, was a ‘devil’, possessed by the ‘devil’ and therefore open game. My fear is that Wittgenstein would look at them and say that they were using a different grammar or language game.

Imagine a society, which could use the following pain-behavior argument. Our pain behavior is to laugh when we are in pain and to cry when we are in joy. They could take a person, torture him, and say that they are bringing him joy and happiness. Wittgenstein would say that they have a different pain-behavior then we do and their error is a grammatical one. Such scenarios are not very comforting nor are they heart warming.

[1] The private Language Argument is mentioned in Philosophical Investigations paragraphs §243 - §315.

[2] Wittgenstein, Ludwig, Philosophical Investigations (Blackwell: Oxford, 1997). All references are to paragraph numbers, unless otherwise stated.

[3] For this explanation I am indebted to the work of Collin McGinn in Wittgenstein on Meaning (Basil Blackwell: oxford, 1989), pp. 3, 94-109. He quotes Wittgenstein as saying: “I want to talk about a ‘state of consciousness’, and to use this expression to refer to the seeing of certain picture, the hearing of a tone, a sensation of pain or of taste, etc. I want to say that believing, understanding, knowing, intending, and others are not states of consciousness.” (RPP vol. II, 45)

[4] Or living being i.e. mammals (dogs, cats and Apes), birds, crustaceans (lobster) and insects (ants). Though he does say that if a lion could talk we could not understand him. However we can tell when a lion is in pain or not. We know, from biological research on the behavior of animals, at least mammals such as lions, hyenas, and apes that they have some sort of means of communication. How much of a language is it depends on our definition of language. The range of animal communication is quite complex. These animals have social organization and perform many cooperative functions that would be impossible without some means of communication. It could be a complex mix of sounds, behavior, sense signs (marking of territory) mating, etc. that make up the ‘language’ of animals. Even in popular literature animals do have a language as in Burroghs’ Tarzan, Kippling’s Jungle Book, not to mention Aesop’s Fables or the Biblical Solomon who could talk to animals.

[5] Although sometimes we go through great pains to achieve a desirable end and we consider it as the price we have to pay for the desirable end. We suffer pain for loved ones. We go through pains of rigorous physical training to become better athletes, etc.

[6] The examples that illustrated above are of the one who has a diminished (less than normal –if that can ever be defined.) sense of pain and the other example is one that can not sense pain at all. An example of this is someone who is bleeding heavily from his leg and we see him just sitting there whistling away a melody. We know there is something wrong here. It could be that something is preventing him from feeling the pain of the bleeding organ. Or it could be that he is under sedation and cannot feel pain. I remember when I had a root canal done. The doctor gave so much anesthesia that I could not feel anything  in my lip. It turns out that when I was eating I was also chewing some of the skin from the side of the mouth and the lip. At the time I could feel no pain, but when the anesthesia wore off, O’ boy! What a surprise. I also understand that gangrene is the process of cells dying off. So a person with gangrene can not feel anything in that part because it is dead. The third example is of third degree burns in which according to definition the entire skin is burned off along with nerves so a person with such burns does not feel any pain. However the reality of the physical condition is much worse than it feels. Not to belabor the point further, part of the comedy routine and why some find ‘The Three Stooges’ so funny is their reaction to pain; read pain-behavior. I am aware that it is tasteless and at times a base comedy that is patently racist on more than one occasion. Another comedy show that plays on behavior and custom is the British show ‘Mr. Bean.’

[7] Here I am thinking of rituals (such as passion plays, self flagellation of certain religious sects, body piercing, walking on fire, sleeping on a bed of nails, etc. ) and I know that it is questionable whether they feel pain or not. Also acting is in this. There was a story recently of an Italian actor who died while playing Jesus on the cross. The noose that was tied to him was too tight to allow him to breathe and he just wanted to let the play go on, soon it was discovered that he had actually died from strangulation. Here he was hiding his pain.

[8] I am using trigger for lack of a better term. I get back to this nothing and something notion in §IV of this paper. The trigger could be something physical, i.e. you injure yourself and you feel pain. Doctors are under the assumption that pain is physically triggered. Psychiatrists are of other opinions, such as mental or emotional triggers. Trigger is what starts pain.

[9] What is necessary for a child to learn how to lie is ability to simulate the pain behavior of real pain while realizing that this would get him the ends that he seeks. He would have to be knowledgeable in pain behavior and the rules for understanding what reaction it might produce in others. A child knows to complain to the parent who would react better to his emotions. If he knows that his father is callous and would not believe him he would turn to his mother and vice versa if the opposite were true.

[10] It could be that in certain societies teapots feel pain whereas in others cats do not. This according to Wittgenstein is dependant on the rules that the society agrees upon. This could have social and political implications that are ruinous. I will take this up near the end of this paper.

[11] McGinn, p. 61.

[12] There is no red bulb that is turned on (or a bullhorn blown) every time someone is in pain, other than external damage to the skin that is visible. But even that visible redness or bleeding is a sign of a higher level of pain. You can pinch someone and he could be in pain without any visible marks. I know when I pinch my wife it would be visible immediately because she has sensitive skin. When she does pinch me she would have to rely on me to say, “it hurts!” without seeing any physical evidence of pain.

[13] An example of this is movies that depict horror, we, the audience have no reason not to believe that the actor is not in pain. The actors all use the correct language-game rules and any accompanied behavior. Unless we are told that a documentary contains either real footage or fictional re-creation, we could never tell the difference on our own. I know that we are in a Movie Theater or watching Television, however we can not distinguish the real from the re-enactment. Part of the success of the Movie ‘the Blair witch project’ is that the fear that the actors were going through was real fear and not one in which it was an act. That was at least the argument that was given by the movie critics. I tend to believe that the success was in a major part of the myth that surrounded the movie and word of mouth that made it a success. Movies present interesting problems for philosophers that are more complicated than staged acts. I tend to agree that for staged acts, such as Shakespearean works, that require the audience not only a suspension of disbelief but of use of one’s imagination. Whereas in movies the reverse could be, true. I recall when watching the movie, the Matrix, that you really could not believe that anything was real. I remember my surprise when I read about the special effects that some of the staged stunts had to be done in real life. The female lead actress complained how much of a physical challenge the role was for her. Upon seeing the movie everything seems so fluid and in a ‘computer’ that would have one believe that everything was done by a computer. I.e. nothing is real. I have also read that News casts are experimenting with a new form of advertising that would be inserted in real-time as footage from a live event was being broadcast. This was done I believe also by CBS sports where in broadcasting certain sports events advertising could be inserted on billboards in the studio which replace what is in the field. The point here is the blurring of reality in the media.

[14] Collin McGinn argues in his book, ‘Wittgenstein on Meaning’: “…Wittgenstein is [not] some kind of classical reductionist behaviourist; I mean only that he is prepared to tie the ascription of psychological concepts to behaviour, independently of any inner states.” (p.34, n. 35)

[15] Here he does not want to commit to using something or nothing. He says, to the effect, that if you use the word something to describe pain you could just as well as use nothing. In using something, you would commit your self to the existence of an object and therefore you would bring on the objection of the skeptics who would say, well what is it, then. “The conclusion was only that a nothing would serve just as well as a something about which nothing could be said.” ([§304.] The emphasis here on the terms is mine.) I agree that Wittgenstein does not want us to use these terms to apply to pain. This is due to the philosophical thinking that has beclouded our understanding of the real world. Further if we do say that it is an internal object how can we be sure that someone else has it without a test.

[16] Here I am exercising the Quinian pejorative that we need to look deeper. Some sort of measuring device that read brain activity as related to pain, or the change in nerve impulses that generate the feeling of pain. Or if it is a memory of pain (here not real pain but imaginary pain) to locate where in the brain such an activity is taken place and therefore somehow measured at the source. Memory is an altogether other topic. Consider the following: A man is sitting in the frozen tundra who is in pain due to the freezing winds against his uncovered face. He begins to reminisce about a tropical Island. He says: “ahh I can taste that piña colada right now and I can feel the warmth of the tropical sun on my skin right now.” Can he feel any pain at the moment of his reminisce?

[17] Here I am not talking about the phantom limb pain! But just ‘normal’ pain, sore muscles, arthritis, etc..

[18] I think here he is trying to get away from the association that pain is some sort of a mental state type of object but a true public physical sensation that can be talked about and shared with others (not the physical pain but the experience of it.) The reason for this -as was pointed out in class- is to get away from committing himself to claiming that pain is an object and fall prey to the Skeptics. Pain could be explained as a physical (just as we have other sensations such as smell, sight, touch, etc.) symptom, as result of injury or sickness, and that experience can only be publicly verified by “pain-behavior”; therefore getting away from having a private language altogether. 

[19] All he is committing to is what is there in behavior and words as is used in language. This is used to head off any skeptics that would argue against the existence of such a thing as pain.  The kind of skepticism that Kripke mentions in his book in chapter 2 can not be answered once you commit yourself to the existence of pain as an object. I think that Wittgenstein pulled the rug from under the skeptics with such an argument. In this line of argument, I am afraid that Wittgenstein has left pain out altogether.

[20] I think that Wittgenstein would have some difficulty with this concept in light of modern evidence of sensation and perception studies. We know that physical sensation triggers the nerves, which in turn send a signal (electrical charge whereas the synapses are firing an electrochemical thing) to the brain for processing. What the brain does with it and how it processes I do not understand and I would have to look it up. So there is something there! Even for activities that involve our motor abilities, such as bike riding, we might not be conscious of doing it at that exact moment but I cannot help thinking that there is some thinking involved. This is however not the same thing as other bodily functions such as breathing, eating, moving my arm to my mouth. However, such ‘motor functions’ such as riding a bike, driving a stick shift car, and reading out loud have to have something behind it.  These functions require learning and training, however once trained we pay much less attention (consciousness) to them when engaged in the act.

[21] Wittgenstein does seem to say that this does not require that we believe that that person has pain and this is where it gets into the area of ethics and the implications are not comforting.

[22] It is a given that some experiences only some of us can feel. I.e. women have tended when angry to cry that you do not know how childbirth feels, Also others claim “you do not know how it feels to be of such and such a color, religion, or sex.” “You don’t know what it is like to live in abject poverty, to not have anything to eat.” One does not need to experience extreme pain to know what it is like. Just as I do not need to live in Siberia to know how cold it is. Just by knowing what ‘cold’ is I can extrapolate and imagine the degree of the coldness that Siberia is. These could be feelings that very few of us can ever experience. However, they are not beyond the range of human experience. Writers have in literature written about experiences that most of us will never feel but we can come close to understand. Otherwise we are making a statement about the capacity of human learning which is not true. For example Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote (in his The Gulag Archipelago and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich) of conditions in the prison camps of USSR; Fredrick Douglas has written about the conditions of slavery in 1800’s; and Upton Sinclair’s “the Jungle” the ‘fictional’ account of meat processing plants and working conditions at the turn of the century in the age of industrialization. All these we will never experience –thankfully- but we can understand them. Here I am merely arguing against the notion that ‘no one can feel my pain’ and specifically ‘know my pain.’

[23] It is my understanding that the inverted spectrum argument is used to explain a possible scenario for taking place and that we can never tell because the world would be the same. The only way we could tell is if it would cause chaos in the world. If it did not then the inverted spectrum concept would not matter that much from a practical point of view. As long as there is agreement among the communicants, it is irrelevant in this scenario.  One could imagine a world in which the evil genius of Descartes would make all the left handed people see the colors in an inverted spectrum.  Then, one day he would turn the lights out and we would wake up in chaos.

[24] The same concept could be applied to shapes, we could postulate that there are people who see a square shape as a circle and vice versa but through language they have learned to assimilate. It would not make any real difference as long as that experience continues for the rest of their lives and does not flip-flop. Even if does flip-flop due to an accident they could relearn that allover again. People with serious injury or even victims of strokes, lose their motor abilities and have to learn to walk all over again.

[25] One could imagine a society of painters that once they point to an object they could mean its color.

[26] The same applies to a purfumer if you ask him for a smell of flowers or a flavor chemist if you ask him for a fruity taste (or even orange taste!).  A common theme is that these people have highly refined senses. What is specific to us in grammar is quite general to them.

[27] I do not know the exact number of shades but they are numerous.

[28] An agreed upon standard of color identification for printers developed by the Pantone corporation. See Pantone Color Institute.

[29] Wittgenstein focuses on natural notion of the correct application of a sign. I.e. the correct grammatical usage of the words, in this case ‘pain’.

[30] Also he believes that everyone is callous and uncaring. There are a lot of angry people out there due to the current economic conditions and in turn could use such line of argument to support their position. The ever increasing gap between the rich and the poor; the demonstrations against the WTO meetings in Seattle and again in Washington, D.C. at the meeting of the world bank and IMF; these are not mere fringe groups but a real grievance that we can not just brush away by saying that they are a bunch of neo-hippies. 

[31] Such a person is what we term a sadist, named after that infamous “Marquis DeSade”. You pointed out that Wittgenstein did not discuss this case. How would -or could for that matter- society punish such a person; assuming that the sadist is also a masochist?  Sedate him to the point where he can no longer feel any pain? Force him listen to “Barry Manilow” and “John Tesh” and watch “The Brady Bunch”.

[32] Or a one side of a rabbit-porcupine relationship, the rabbit would be on the receiving end of the pain.

[33] A robot that is equipped with sensors that would electrically detect any physical abuse done to the robot. Then the robot could be programmed to react to the sensors by emitting pre-programmed “crying” sound and would mimic pain behavior. 

[34] The Humane society has done it job of keeping us aware of such abuses. Some would argue that they go too far. On the movie set of the “The Shawshank Redemption”; an employee of the Humane society would not let them use a live cockroach in the filming of the movie! Alternatively hunting of seal fur was done with ‘baseball’ bats because it is more economical than using less painful methods, bullets. Even though the animals would scream and howl in pain; that gruesome scene did not consciously bother any of those that did it for a living! What is truly fearful is a backlash where people could just swing the other way toward inhumane treatment of animals. The issue of the high rate of pet animal population in the U. S. is of some concern and a potential source of adverse social implications.