This volume initiates an inquiry into the relationship between Ludwig Wittgenstein’s “analytic stance” towards philosophy and the inherently apophatic nature of his epistemology, a subject that has been repeatedly hinted at, but hitherto never thoroughly researched through this particular hermeneutical lens. In using the term “apophaticism,” the book is not merely referring to the theological “via negativa” or to tendencies towards mysticism, but rather to a comprehensive epistemological stance that “refuses to identify truth with its formulation and to identify the understanding of the signifier with the knowledge of its signified reality,” to use Christos Yannaras’ definition. The question of whether Ludwig Wittgenstein’s work can be approached as a particularly efflorescent case of the implementation of an implicitly (and at times explicitly) apophatic epistemology is herewith addressed. As such, this volume contends that such an approach would not merely provide elucidations on apophatic epistemologies, but rather shed potentially valuable hermeneutical light on Wittgenstein’s work, functioning as an epistemological thread running through it. Consequently, the focal points here consist of questions concerning knowledge and its disclosure, ineffability, non-discursivity, the function of language, the limits of one’s language as the limits of one’s world, and the language of religion, among others. In addition, the volume’s contribution to shedding more light on the apophatic aspects of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s philosophy is enhanced by its inclusion of a broad spectrum of different approaches, with contributors ranging from Wittgenstein scholars to Patristics scholars—and beyond.
The book focuses on how Wittgenstein and Gadamer treat language in their accounts of language as game and their major writings on the subject - Philosophical Investigations and Truth and Method, respectively. Chris Lawn goes on to offer a critique of Wittgenstein's account of linguistic rules, drawing upon Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics, particularly his emphasis upon tradition, temporality, historicality and novelty. The text demonstrates how paying attention to such elements - excluded by Wittgenstein's conception of rules - in fact strengthens Wittgenstein's position from a hermeneutical perspective. Finally, Wittgenstein and Gadamer investigates the possibility of connection between Wittgenstein's focus upon lexical particularity and Gadamer's greater concern for the universal and the general. A groundbreaking work of post-analytic philosophy, Wittgenstein and Gadamer brings the work of two major modern philosophers in to dialogue. It is required reading for anyone studying or researching the work of either philosopher, or the philosophy of language more generally.
Peter Hacker is one of the most notable interpreters of Wittgenstein's work, a powerful and sophisticated exponent of Wittgensteinian ideas, and a distinguished historian of the analytic tradition. Thirteen leading philosophers and Wittgenstein scholars offer specially written essays in honour of Hacker. Their contributions deal with a variety of themes associated with Wittgenstein. Some deal with issues of Wittgenstein scholarship and interpretation, including areas that have attracted an increasing amount of attention, such as ethics and religion. Others deal with central topics from the history of analytic philosophy. Finally there are essays that explore and assess Wittgensteinian ideas, in some cases as developed by Hacker, in the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind, or in related areas such as the philosophy of action and the philosophy of neuroscience.
In Wittgenstein on Logic as the Method of Philosophy, Oskari Kuusela examines Wittgenstein's early and late philosophies of logic, situating their philosophical significance in early and middle analytic philosophy with particular reference to Frege, Russell, Carnap, and Strawson. He argues that not only the early but also the later Wittgenstein sought to further develop the logical-philosophical approaches of his contemporaries. Throughout his career Wittgenstein's aim was to resolve problems with and address the limitations of Frege's and Russell's accounts of logic and their logical methodologies so as to achieve the philosophical progress that originally motivated the logical-philosophical approach. By re-examining the roots and development of analytic philosophy, Kuusela seeks to open up covered up paths for the further development of analytic philosophy. Offering a novel interpretation of the philosopher, he explains how Wittgenstein extends logical methodology beyond calculus-based logical methods and how his novel account of the status of logic enables one to do justice to the complexity and richness of language use and thought while retaining rigour and ideals of logic such as simplicity and exactness. In addition, this volume outlines the new kind of non-empiricist naturalism developed in Wittgenstein's later work and explaining how his account of logic can be used to dissolve the long-standing methodological dispute between the ideal and ordinary language schools of analytic philosophy. It is of interest to scholars, researchers, and advance students of philosophy interested in engaging with a number of scholarly debates.
Avrum Stroll investigates the "family resemblances" between that impressive breed of thinkers known as analytic philosophers. In so doing, he grapples with the point and purpose of doing philosophy: What is philosophy? What are its tasks? What kind of information, illumination, and understanding is it supposed to provide if it is not one of the natural sciences?
Peter Hacker is one of the most notable interpreters of Wittgenstein's work, a powerful and sophisticated exponent of Wittgensteinian ideas, and a distinguished historian of the analytic tradition. Thirteen leading philosophers and Wittgenstein scholars offer specially written essays in honour of Hacker. Their contributions deal with a variety of themes associated with Wittgenstein. Some deal with issues of Wittgenstein scholarship and interpretation, including areas that haveattracted an increasing amount of attention, such as ethics and religion. Others deal with central topics from the history of analytic philosophy. Finally there are essays that explore and assess Wittgensteinian ideas, in some cases as developed by Hacker, in the philosophy of language and the philosophyof mind, or in related areas such as the philosophy of action and the philosophy of neuroscience.
This book aims to explain the decline of the later Wittgensteinian tradition in analytic philosophy during the second half of the twentieth century. Throughout the 1950s, Oxford was the center of analytic philosophy and Wittgenstein – the later Wittgenstein – the most influential contemporary thinker within that philosophical tradition. Wittgenstein's methods and ideas were widely accepted, with everything seeming to point to the Wittgensteinian paradigm having a similar impact on the philosophical scenes of all English speaking countries. However, this was not to be the case. By the 1980s, albeit still important, Wittgenstein was considered as a somewhat marginal thinker. What occurred within the history of analytic philosophy to produce such a decline? This book expertly traces the early reception of Wittgenstein in the United States, the shift in the humanities to a tradition rooted in the natural sciences, and the economic crisis of the mid-1970s, to reveal the factors that contributed to the eventual hostility towards the later Wittgensteinian tradition.
In this book Michael Potter offers a fresh and compelling portrait of the birth of modern analytic philosophy, viewed through the lens of a detailed study of the work of the four philosophers who contributed most to shaping it: Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Frank Ramsey. It covers the remarkable period of discovery that began with the publication of Frege's Begriffsschrift in 1879 and ended with Ramsey's death in 1930. Potter—one of the most influential scholars of this period in philosophy—presents a deep but accessible account of the break with absolute idealism and neo-Kantianism, and the emergence of approaches that exploited the newly discovered methods in logic. Like his subjects, Potter focusses principally on philosophical logic, philosophy of mathematics, and metaphysics, but he also discusses epistemology, meta-ethics, and the philosophy of language. The book is an essential starting point for any student attempting to understand the work of Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, and Ramsey, as well as their interactions and their larger intellectual milieux. It will also be of interest to anyone who wants to cast light on current philosophical problems through a better understanding of their origins.
A Companion to Analytic Philosophy is a comprehensive guide to many significant analytic philosophers and concepts of the last hundred years. Provides a comprehensive guide to many of the most significant analytic philosophers of the last one hundred years. Offers clear and extensive analysis of profound concepts such as truth, goodness, knowledge, and beauty. Written by some of the most distinguished philosophers alive, some of whom have entries in the book devoted to them.
This unique collection looks at analytic philosophy in its historical context. Prominent philosophers discuss key figures, including Russell and Wittgenstein, methods and results in analytic philosophy to present its story. This volume assesses the challenge posed by changing cultural and philosophical trends and movements.
Wittgenstein: Connections and Controversies consists of thirteen thematically linked essays on different aspects of the philosophy of Wittgenstein, by one of the leading commentators on his work. After an opening overview of Wittgenstein's philosophy the following essays fall into two classes: those that investigate connections between the philosophy of Wittgenstein and other philosophers and philosophical trends, and those which enter into some of the controversies that, over the last two decades, have raged over the interpretation of one aspect or another of Wittgenstein's writings. The connections that are explored include the relationship between Wittgenstein's philosophy and the humanistic and hermeneutic traditions in European philosophy, Wittgenstein's response to Frazer's Golden Bough and the interpretation of ritual actions, his attitude towards and criticisms of Frege (both in the Tractatus and in the later philosophy), the relationship between his ideas and those of members of the Vienna Circle on the matter of ostensive definition, and a comparison of Carnap's conception of the elimination of metaphysics and of Strawson's rehabilitation of metaphysics with Wittgenstein's later criticisms of metaphysics. The controversies into which Hacker enters include the Diamond-Conant interpretation of the Tractatus (which is shown to be inconsistent with the text of the Tractatus and with Wittgenstein's explanations of and comments on his book), Winch's interpretation of the Tractatus conception of names, Kripke's interpretation of Wittgenstein's discussion of following a rule (which is demonstrated to be remote from Wittgenstein's intentions), and Malcolm's defence of the idea that Wittgenstein claimed that mastery of a language logically requires that the language be shared with other speakers. These far-ranging essays, several of them previously unpublished or difficult to find, shed much light upon different aspects of Wittgenstein's thought, and upon the controversies which it has stimulated.