In Wittgenstein and the Study of Politics, Michael Temelini outlines an innovative new approach to understanding the political implications of Wittgenstein’s philosophy. Most political philosophers who have approached Wittgenstein have done so through the idea of therapeutic skepticism, implying politics that privilege conservatism or non-interference. Temelini interprets Wittgenstein differently, emphasizing his view that we come to understand the meanings of words and actions through a dialogue of comparison with other cases. Examining the work of Charles Taylor, Quentin Skinner, and James Tully, Temelini highlights the ways in which all three, despite their differences, share a common debt to that dialogical approach. A cogent explanation of how Wittgenstein’s epistemology and ontology can shed light on political issues and offer a solution to political challenges, Wittgenstein and the Study of Politics highlights the importance of Wittgensteinian thinking in contemporary political science, political theory, and political philosophy.
In Wittgenstein and the Study of Politics, Michael Temelini outlines an innovative new approach to understanding the political implications of Wittgenstein's philosophy. Most political philosophers who have approached Wittgenstein have done so through the idea of therapeutic skepticism, implying politics that privilege conservatism or non-interference. Temelini interprets Wittgenstein differently, emphasizing his view that we come to understand the meanings of words and actions through a dialogue of comparison with other cases. Examining the work of Charles Taylor, Quentin Skinner, and James Tully, Temelini highlights the ways in which all three, despite their differences, share a common debt to that dialogical approach. A cogent explanation of how Wittgenstein's epistemology and ontology can shed light on political issues and offer a solution to political challenges, Wittgenstein and the Study of Politics highlights the importance of Wittgensteinian thinking in contemporary political science, political theory, and political philosophy.
Ludwig Wittgenstein was arguably the most important philosopher of the twentieth century. Although his writings have influenced a range of philosophical and cultural movements, this effect was not felt strongly in political theory. Indeed, the most comprehensive study of Wittgenstein and political theory was published over thirty five years ago. Wittgenstein and Political Theory sets out to reconnect Wittgenstein with a range of problems and trends within contemporary political theory. The central argument of the book is that Wittgenstein offers scholars doing the difficult work of theorizing political life today an orientation and array of useful conceptual and critical tools. In particular, Wittgenstein's remarks on perception are brought to bear on theory's historical and etymological roots in clear seeing. The effect of these remarks is to free the theorist to explore the city of language and shed fresh light on political concepts such as liberty, dignity, dissent, and ideology. This book is designed to be read by graduate students and advanced undergraduates who are interested in both Wittgenstein's philosophy and strategies for achieving political vision in this age where politics has been replaced by bureaucracy as the predominant form of public order, and now takes the form of dissent. Key Features Presents a clear, accessible exposition of Wittgenstein's philosophy, including his remarks on perception Carefully describes the terrain of contemporary political theory Introduces a tradition of political theory that counters the epic tradition Presents Wittgenstein as a political theorist
When social scientists and social theorists turn to the work of philosophers for intellectual and practical authority, they typically assume that truth, reality, and meaning are to be found outside rather than within our conventional discursive practices. John G. Gunnell argues for conventional realism as a theory of social phenomena and an approach to the study of politics. Drawing on Wittgenstein’s critique of “mentalism” and traditional realism, Gunnell argues that everything we designate as “real” is rendered conventionally, which entails a rejection of the widely accepted distinction between what is natural and what is conventional. The terms “reality” and “world” have no meaning outside the contexts of specific claims and assumptions about what exists and how it behaves. And rather than a mysterious source and repository of prelinguistic meaning, the “mind” is simply our linguistic capacities. Taking readers through contemporary forms of mentalism and realism in both philosophy and American political science and theory, Gunnell also analyzes the philosophical challenges to these positions mounted by Wittgenstein and those who can be construed as his successors.
"Wittgenstein is widely regarded as one of the greatest philosophers since Kant, and his work, private life and historical events intertwine in a fascinating, complex web. Edward Kanterian explores these intersections and provides a careful account of Wittgenstein's notoriously abstract philosophical works, from Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921) to the posthumously published Philosophical Investigations (1953), making them comprehensible to general readers as well as offering new interpretations. Yet the philosopher's passions were not solely confined to theoretical musings, and this book explores Wittgenstein's immersion in art, architecture and music as well as his social position as a member of the sophisticated Viennese upper class at the beginning of the twentieth century." "His personal and professional relationships also offer insights into his thought, as he was friends with some of the the most fascinating intellectual figures of the time, among them Gottlob Frege, John Maynard Keynes, George Edward Moore, Bertrand Russell and Adolf Loos." --Book Jacket.
Dedicated to educators who are not philosophy specialists, this book offers an overview of the connections between Wittgenstein’s later philosophy and his own training and practice as an educator. Arguing for the centrality of education to Wittgenstein’s life and works, the authors resist any reduction of Wittgenstein’s philosophy to remarks on pedagogy while addressing the current controversy surrounding the role of training in the enculturation process. Significant events in his education and life are examined as the background for successful interpretation, without lending biographical details explanatory force. The book discusses the importance of Wittgenstein’s training and dismissal as an elementary teacher (1920-26) in light of his later, frequent use (1930s-40s) of many ‘scenes of instruction’ in his Cambridge lectures and notebooks. These depictions culminated in his now famous Philosophical Investigations -- a counter to his earlier philosophy in the Tractatus. Wittgenstein came to distinguish between empirical inquiries into how education, language or mathematics might ideally work, from grammatical studies of how we learn on the rough ground to normatively go-on as others do – often without explicit rules and with considerable degrees of ambiguity, for instance, in implementing new guidelines during a curriculum reform or in evaluating teachers. The book argues that Wittgenstein’s reflections on education -- spanning from mathematics training to the acquisition of language and cultivation of aesthetic appreciation -- are of central significance to both the man and his pedagogical style of philosophy.
This is an introduction for students of politics and society to the later philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein, and some topics in "ordinary-language" philosophy. It argues that Wittgenstein's later philosophy offers a revolutionary new conception of language, and hence a new and deeper understanding of ourselves and the world of human institutions and action. Language is seen as activity, and words as signals, rather than labels for classes of objects. The implications for the social sciences and for political action are wide-ranging and surprising. Questions of justice, for example, are seen to be neither just patterns of human behavior the social scientists can observe, nor the subjective expression of personal preference or passion, but the locus of rational judgement in accord with standards, different from the standards of science or mathematics but just as objective and resting on the same human foundations. The book ranges beyond topics usually treated in discussions of Wittgenstein to more difficult and important concerns such as "grammar" and "forms of life". After an initial explication relating Wittgenstein's ideas to those of several interpreters and critics, the author proceeds to applications of his thought to certain selected problems central to social science and political theory. These include the nature of explanation, the relationship between action and causation, validity in judgement, and the relationship between concepts and reality in the human world. The author also applies Wittgenstein's ideas to such specialized questions as what is "political" and the nature of power. The theme of human justice in relation to social problems, political action, and judgement pervades the book, appearing and reappearing at many points in the discussion.
In Wittgenstein and the Social Sciences, Robert Vinten takes a fresh look at the relationship between Wittgenstein’s philosophy and the social sciences. He argues that although social sciences are quite different to the natural sciences, they are nonetheless properly called ‘sciences’. The book looks in detail at whether Wittgenstein can be claimed by conservatives, liberals, or socialists as their own. Wittgenstein’s philosophical remarks and remarks about politics and culture are taken into account in deciding where to locate Wittgenstein in relation to various ideologies. In the final part of the book, Vinten considers how Wittgenstein’s philosophy can be of use in resolving or dissolving problems in the social sciences. Along the way, he critically assesses work from Perry Anderson, Terry Eagleton, Richard Rorty, and Chantal Mouffe in the light of Wittgenstein’s philosophical oeuvre. The book makes a compelling examination of how Wittgenstein’s work remains as relevant as ever to thinking about our cultural and political situation.
This book, bringing together contributions by forty-five authors from fourteen countries, represents mostly new material from both emerging and seasoned scholars in the field of philosophy of education. Topics range widely both within and across the four parts of the book: Wittgenstein’s biography and style as an educator and philosopher, illustrating the pedagogical dimensions of his early and late philosophy; Wittgenstein’s thought and methods in relation to other philosophers such as Cavell, Dewey, Foucault, Hegel and the Buddha; contrasting investigations of training in relation to initiation into forms of life, emotions, mathematics and the arts (dance, poetry, film, and drama), including questions from theory of mind (nativism vs. initiation into social practices), neuroscience, primate studies, constructivism and relativity; and the role of Wittgenstein’s philosophy in religious studies and moral philosophy, as well as their profound impact on his own life. This collection explores Wittgenstein not so much as a philosopher who provides a method for teaching or analyzing educational concepts but rather as one who approaches philosophical questions from a pedagogical point of view. Wittgenstein’s philosophy is essentially pedagogical: he provides pictures, drawings, analogies, similes, jokes, equations, dialogues with himself, questions and wrong answers, experiments and so on, as a means of shifting our thinking, or of helping us escape the pictures that hold us captive.
This volume is a reappraisal of the work of Peter Guy Winch (1926 -1997), one of the most important philosophers of the 20th Century. Winch faded into relative obscurity compared to his contemporaries due to a mistaken belief that there are no systematic connections between the different aspects of his work. This volume corrects that presupposition and reintroduces Winch's work to a new generation of scholars. By showing how ethical, political and social issues are interrelated in Winch's work, and by making clear the connections between these issues and themes in metaphysics and the philosophy of mind, the volume demonstrates both the breadth and the unity of Winch's approach. It discusses topics such as ethics, political philosophy, social science, the philosophy of action, the philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and the philosophy of language. Despite this apparent variety of topics, the contributors to the volume share Winch's conviction that the different areas of philosophy are interdependent. As a result, the volume as a whole shows unity in diversity and provides an example of a manner of philosophising in which different approaches and sub-disciplines are placed in dialogue with each other. Peter Guy Winch is most famous for his early work on the philosophy of the social sciences. His On the Idea of a Social Science and its Relation to Philosophy (ISS) generated controversy within both philosophical and social scientific circles. In that work and subsequent publications Winch argued against the presupposition that social relations could be understood using the conceptual tools of the natural sciences. Winch would later describe ISS as a 'young man's book' and would come to regret the reputation it garnered him - a mixture of roughly equal degrees fame and infamy. Alongside his work on the philosophy of social sciences, Winch was an interpreter and exegete of Wittgenstein. He also published a ground-breaking study of the philosophy of Simone Weil, entitled Simone Weil: The Just Balance. Winch also published numerous essays on issues in ethics, political philosophy and the philosophy of religion, and at his death was working on a book manuscript on the problem of political authority.