In ordinary experience, we base knowledge on more or less subjective sensory perception, whereas scientific knowledge is based on objective data. In this paper we try to analyze the changes that have taken place in ordinary language so that it could become an effective tool for reasoning in the exact sciences. We will start, in the first part of the paper, from the assumption of realism and epistemic accessibility of reality (i.e. the assumption that there is a reality independent of us to which we have epistemic access). In the second part of the paper, we will try to describe the changes that have made possible the stabilization of the epistemic contact with reality. We will show that the notion of the pictorial form, introduced by Wittgenstein in the Tractatus, is capable of describing the stabilization of the epistemic contact. In the third part, we will describe the instrumental extension of the epistemic contact so that we can reach phenomena, objects and relations that are inaccessible to sense perception. We will use Wittgensteinʼs notion of a language game to analyze such instrumental extensions. Finally, in the fourth part, we offer an account of idealization, which results in quantitative data that form the basis of the scientific description of reality. Although several of these transformations (with the possible exception of the interpretation of idealization) have already been described in the literature, we see the contribution of our paper not so much in the individual details as in integrating them into a theory that makes it possible to link our everyday understanding of reality (also referred to as the life-world or the manifest image) with its scientific representation.
Epistemic contact, Pictorial form, Language game, Idealization