From "Dubbing and Redubbing":
Clearly, however, only a certain number of examples [used to introduce Newtonian mechanics to students] may be altered piecemeal in this way. If too many require adjustment, then it is no longer individual laws or generalizations that are at stake, but the very vocabulary in which they are stated. A threat to that vocabulary is, however, a threat also to the theory or laws essential to its acquisition and use. Could Newtonian mechanics withstand revision of the second law, of the third law, of Hooke's law, or the law of gravity? Could it withstand the revision of any two of these, of three, or of all four? These are not questions that individually have yes or no answers. Rather, like Wittgenstein's "Could one play chess without the queen?", they suggest the strains placed on a lexicon confronted by questions that its designer, whether God or cognitive evolution, did not anticipate its being required to answer. What should one have said when confronted by an egg-laying creature that suckles its young? Is it a mammal or is it not? These are the circumstances in which, as Austin put it, "We don't know what to say. Words literally fail us." Such circumstances, if they endure for long, call forth a locally different lexicon, one that permits an answer, but to a slightly altered question: "Yes, the creature is a mammal" (but to be a mammal is not what it was before). The new lexicon opens new possibilities, ones that could not have been stipulated by the use of the old.And a footnote about that Wittgenstein quote, in case it didn't seem familiar:
Twenty-five years ago the quotation was a standard part of what I now discover was a merely oral tradition. Though clearly "Wittgensteinian," it is not to be found in any of Wittgenstein's published writings. I preserve it here because of its recurrent role in my own philosophical development and becuase I've found no published substitute that so clearly prohibits the reponse that the question might be answerable if only there were more information.This amuses me in particular because of Haugeland's fondness for chess examples. He seems pretty firmly committed to answering Witt with a "No!" -- which makes it interesting that Kuhn [correctly] thinks that there not being an answer is the whole point, given that Haugeland is one of Kuhn's executors.
edit: I have begun to twitter