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Philosophical Grammar Home Philosophical Grammar. Philosophical Grammar. Read more. German Grammar Grammar series. Philosophical Texts Oxford Philosophical Texts. Philosophical Interpretations. Philosophical Texts. Philosophical arguments. Philosophical Investigations. Philosophical Naturalism. Philosophical Fragments. Oxford Learner's Grammar: Grammar Finder. Beyond the bounds of language lies nonsense—propositions which cannot picture anything —and Wittgenstein bans traditional metaphysics to that area. The traditional readings of the Tractatus accepted, with varying degrees of discomfort, the existence of that which is unsayable, that which cannot be put into words, the nonsensical.

More recent readings tend to take nonsense more seriously as exactly that—nonsense. The Tractatus , on this stance, does not point at ineffable truths of, e. An accompanying discussion must then also deal with how this can be recognized, what this can possibly mean, and how it should be used, if at all. This discussion is closely related to what has come to be called the ethical reading of the Tractatus. And it is precisely this second part that is the important point. Obviously, such seemingly contradictory tensions within and about a text—written by its author—give rise to interpretative conundrums.

There is another issue often debated by interpreters of Wittgenstein, which arises out of the questions above. This has to do with the continuity between the thought of the early and later Wittgenstein. And again, the more recent interpretations challenge this standard, emphasizing that the fundamental therapeutic motivation clearly found in the later Wittgenstein should also be attributed to the early.

The idea that philosophy is not a doctrine, and hence should not be approached dogmatically, is one of the most important insights of the Tractatus. Wittgenstein used this term to designate any conception which allows for a gap between question and answer, such that the answer to the question could be found at a later date. The complex edifice of the Tractatus is built on the assumption that the task of logical analysis was to discover the elementary propositions, whose form was not yet known. What marks the transition from early to later Wittgenstein can be summed up as the total rejection of dogmatism, i.

It is in the Philosophical Investigations that the working out of the transitions comes to culmination. Other writings of the same period, though, manifest the same anti-dogmatic stance, as it is applied, e. Philosophical Investigations was published posthumously in It was edited by G. Anscombe and Rush Rhees and translated by Anscombe. It comprised two parts.

Part I, consisting of numbered paragraphs, was ready for printing in , but rescinded from the publisher by Wittgenstein. Part II was added on by the editors, trustees of his Nachlass. In a new edited translation, by P.

Russell, 'grammar', and 'the same sense'

In the Preface to PI , Wittgenstein states that his new thoughts would be better understood by contrast with and against the background of his old thoughts, those in the Tractatus ; and indeed, most of Part I of PI is essentially critical. Its new insights can be understood as primarily exposing fallacies in the traditional way of thinking about language, truth, thought, intentionality, and, perhaps mainly, philosophy.

In this sense, it is conceived of as a therapeutic work, viewing philosophy itself as therapy. Rather, it pointed to new perspectives which, undoubtedly, are not disconnected from the earlier critique in addressing specific philosophical issues. This picture of language cannot be relied on as a basis for metaphysical, epistemic or linguistic speculation. Despite its plausibility, this reduction of language to representation cannot do justice to the whole of human language; and even if it is to be considered a picture of only the representative function of human language, it is, as such, a poor picture.

Furthermore, this picture of language is at the base of the whole of traditional philosophy, but, for Wittgenstein, it is to be shunned in favor of a new way of looking at both language and philosophy. The Philosophical Investigations proceeds to offer the new way of looking at language, which will yield the view of philosophy as therapy. Traditional theories of meaning in the history of philosophy were intent on pointing to something exterior to the proposition which endows it with sense.

Catalog Record: The philosophical grammar; being a view of | HathiTrust Digital Library

Ascertainment of the use of a word, of a proposition , however, is not given to any sort of constructive theory building, as in the Tractatus. An analogy with tools sheds light on the nature of words. In giving the meaning of a word, any explanatory generalization should be replaced by a description of use.

1. Biographical Sketch

The traditional idea that a proposition houses a content and has a restricted number of Fregean forces such as assertion, question and command , gives way to an emphasis on the diversity of uses. Throughout the Philosophical Investigations , Wittgenstein returns, again and again, to the concept of language-games to make clear his lines of thought concerning language. Primitive language-games are scrutinized for the insights they afford on this or that characteristic of language.

Language-games are, first, a part of a broader context termed by Wittgenstein a form of life see below. Secondly, the concept of language-games points at the rule-governed character of language. This does not entail strict and definite systems of rules for each and every language-game, but points to the conventional nature of this sort of human activity. There is no reason to look, as we have done traditionally—and dogmatically—for one, essential core in which the meaning of a word is located and which is, therefore, common to all uses of that word.

Family resemblance also serves to exhibit the lack of boundaries and the distance from exactness that characterize different uses of the same concept. Such boundaries and exactness are the definitive traits of form—be it Platonic form, Aristotelian form, or the general form of a proposition adumbrated in the Tractatus. It is from such forms that applications of concepts can be deduced, but this is precisely what Wittgenstein now eschews in favor of appeal to similarity of a kind with family resemblance.

One of the issues most associated with the later Wittgenstein is that of rule-following. Rising out of the considerations above, it becomes another central point of discussion in the question of what it is that can apply to all the uses of a word. The same dogmatic stance as before has it that a rule is an abstract entity—transcending all of its particular applications; knowing the rule involves grasping that abstract entity and thereby knowing how to use it.

Wittgenstein proceeds mainly in PI —, but also elsewhere to dismantle the cluster of attendant questions: How do we learn rules? How do we follow them? Wherefrom the standards which decide if a rule is followed correctly? Are they in the mind, along with a mental representation of the rule? Do we appeal to intuition in their application? Are they socially and publicly taught and enforced? In typical Wittgensteinian fashion, the answers are not pursued positively; rather, the very formulation of the questions as legitimate questions with coherent content is put to the test.

For indeed, it is both the Platonistic and mentalistic pictures which underlie asking questions of this type, and Wittgenstein is intent on freeing us from these assumptions.

"Logic is the study of everything subject to rules"

Such liberation involves elimination of the need to posit any sort of external or internal authority beyond the actual applications of the rule. The answer was: if everything can be made out to accord with the rule, then it can also be made out to conflict with it. And so there would be neither accord nor conflict here. One of the influential readings of the problem of following a rule introduced by Fogelin and Kripke has been the interpretation, according to which Wittgenstein is here voicing a skeptical paradox and offering a skeptical solution.

That is to say, there are no facts that determine what counts as following a rule, no real grounds for saying that someone is indeed following a rule, and Wittgenstein accepts this skeptical challenge by suggesting other conditions that might warrant our asserting that someone is following a rule. This reading has been challenged, in turn, by several interpretations such as Baker and Hacker , McGinn, and Cavell , while others have provided additional, fresh perspectives e.

Whether it be a veritable argument or not and Wittgenstein never labeled it as such , these sections point out that for an utterance to be meaningful it must be possible in principle to subject it to public standards and criteria of correctness. This notion replaces the stricter and purer logic, which played such an essential role in the Tractatus in providing a scaffolding for language and the world.


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Contrary to empirical statements, rules of grammar describe how we use words in order to both justify and criticize our particular utterances. But as opposed to grammar-book rules, they are not idealized as an external system to be conformed to. Moreover, they are not appealed to explicitly in any formulation, but are used in cases of philosophical perplexity to clarify where language misleads us into false illusions. Used by Wittgenstein sparingly—five times in the Investigations —this concept has given rise to interpretative quandaries and subsequent contradictory readings.

Forms of life can be understood as changing and contingent, dependent on culture, context, history, etc; this appeal to forms of life grounds a relativistic reading of Wittgenstein. This might be seen as a universalistic turn, recognizing that the use of language is made possible by the human form of life. In his later writings Wittgenstein holds, as he did in the Tractatus , that philosophers do not—or should not—supply a theory, neither do they provide explanations.

The anti-theoretical stance is reminiscent of the early Wittgenstein, but there are manifest differences. Although the Tractatus precludes philosophical theories, it does construct a systematic edifice which results in the general form of the proposition, all the while relying on strict formal logic; the Investigations points out the therapeutic non-dogmatic nature of philosophy, verily instructing philosophers in the ways of therapy.

Working with reminders and series of examples, different problems are solved. Trying to advance such general theses is a temptation which lures philosophers; but the real task of philosophy is both to make us aware of the temptation and to show us how to overcome it. The style of the Investigations is strikingly different from that of the Tractatus. As a matter of fact, Wittgenstein was acutely aware of the contrast between the two stages of his thought, suggesting publication of both texts together in order to make the contrast obvious and clear.

Still, it is precisely via the subject of the nature of philosophy that the fundamental continuity between these two stages, rather than the discrepancy between them, is to be found. In both cases philosophy serves, first, as critique of language. Two implications of this diagnosis, easily traced back in the Tractatus , are to be recognized. One is the inherent dialogical character of philosophy, which is a responsive activity: difficulties and torments are encountered which are then to be dissipated by philosophical therapy.

This has been taken to revert back to the ladder metaphor and the injunction to silence in the Tractatus. These writings include, in addition to the second part of the first edition of the Philosophical Investigations , texts edited and collected in volumes such as Remarks on Colour , Remarks on the Philosophy of Psychology , Zettel , On Certainty , and parts of The Foundations of Mathematics. Besides dealing with mathematics and psychology, this is the stage at which Wittgenstein most seriously pursued questions traditionally recognized as epistemological.

On Certainty tackles skeptical doubts and foundational solutions but is, in typical Wittgensteinian fashion, a work of therapy which discounts presuppositions common to both. The general tenor of all the writings of this last period can thence be viewed as, on the one hand, a move away from the critical some would say destructive positions of the Investigations to a more positive perspective on the same problems that had been facing him since his early writings; on the other hand, this move does not constitute a break from the later period but is more properly viewed as its continuation, in a new light.

Biographical Sketch 2. The Early Wittgenstein 2. The Later Wittgenstein 3. Biographical Sketch Wittgenstein was born on April 26, in Vienna, Austria, to a wealthy industrial family, well-situated in intellectual and cultural Viennese circles. The world is everything that is the case.

The world is all that is the case.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

What is the case, the fact, is the existence of atomic facts. What is the case—a fact—is the existence of states of affairs. Dust Jacket in good condition. Please note the Image in this listing is a stock photo and may not match the covers of the actual item,grams, ISBN Seller Inventory Condition: Poor. This book has clothback covers. In poor condition, suitable as a reading copy. Book Description Blackwell, Oxford, No Jacket. Black cloth with gilt lettering.


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  7. Part I: The Proposition and its Sense. Owner's name on FEP. Copious amounts of underling in red and black. Hard Cover. Dust Jacket Condition: Good. First Thus. From an academic library with the usual stamps etc. This item is heavy and will attract postal surcharges. Seller Inventory A Book Description Basil Blackwell, Condition: Near Fine. Light scratching to dust jacket, also very slight sunning to jacket spine. Jacket is price-clipped. Book Description Blackwell Publishers.

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