Rather than attend to traditional philosphical discourse, these philosophers pay detailed attention everyday, ordinary language. John Austin and the later work of Ludwig Wittgenstein are two of the best known. They typically posit a “family resemblance” of meanings for any one word, and thus tend to be anti-essentialists. Wittgenstein moved language from its traditional philosophic role in representation to “language games.” Like the pragmatists, he sees useful application as meaningful, and many philosophical problems (eg “what is time”) as merely "language gone on holiday."
3:38 Ordinary language inquiry example: Tom and Ray Magliozzi (with Bob from Santa Rosa)
Bob: I’ve got a 1997 Geo Metro
Tom: Oh yeah!
Bob: I changed the clutch myself about a year and a half ago. And it was great. But I seemed to notice maybe starting in this last winter that I had trouble shifting from 1st to 2nd, sometimes 2nd to 3rd.
First I thought it was my technique, but no, definitely, especially if you rev it up, “rrrrrrrram!” it won’t come out of 1st for a second or so.
Tom: So that’s when you are racing those mustang cobras up and down the freeway?
But is it easier to get into… if you stop at a light and step on the clutch it will go right into first?
Bob: yeah I get about 2 inches between the floor and the clutch before I get any friction pointed. The clutch works beautifully.
Tom: Yeah ‘cuz the problem isn’t the clutch. If you had to take a wild guess where would you think the problem is located?
Bob: Well, you know in the transmission
Ray: “GOOD SHOT!!”
Bob: One other thing, when I did this I know you can get gear oil all over yourself. So I drained it out and replaced the gear oil with Mobile 1 synthetic oil. Maybe that did it?
Tom: Maybe although generally those kinds of slipperier oils are good for transmissions. It seems to me like you are beating the synchronizer when you are trying to shift. And the gear speeds aren’t matched up. I would put the old stuff back in it.
Harry Collins: tacit scientific knowledge is "knowledge or abilities that can be passed between scientists by personal contact but cannot be, or have not been, set out or passed on in formulae, diagrams, or verbal descriptions and instructions for action"
Collins, H.M. "The TEA Set: Tacit Knowledge and Scientific Networks", Science Studies, 4, pp. 165-86 (1974).