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The New Wittgenstein: Some Critical Remarks

Kanterian, Edward (2001) The New Wittgenstein: Some Critical Remarks. In: Haller, R. and Puhl, K., eds. Wittgenstein and the future of philosophy : a reassessment after 50 years : proceedings of the 24th International Wittgenstein-Symposium. Schriftenreihe der Wittgenstein-Gesellschaft . Öbv & hpt, Vienna, Austria, pp. 376-384. ISBN 978-3-209-04065-7. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:65154)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided.


The recently published collection of essays The New Wittgenstein advances a novel and provocative interpretation of Wittgenstein's work. The aim of my paper is a critical discussion of the Tractatus strand of this interpretation, with the main focus being put on Cora Diamond's article 'Ethics, Imagination and the Method of Wittgenstein's Tractatus'. A very brief summary runs as follows3: the Tractatus is not, as the traditional view claims, a collection of philosophical claims about the metaphysical essence of world and language. Wittgenstein knew very well that philosophy is an illusion and that its statements are pure, not illuminating nonsense (as the traditional view claims), since they are based on the chimerical conviction that we can view the world from an 'external point of view'. But a sophisticated therapy can free us from this illusion and the Tractatus offers an example for it. The book has a twofold structure: it is divided in the frame and the body. The frame consists of the preface and the concluding remarks (6.53-7) and the body is the rest, the text in-between. The frame defines the whole aim and meaning of the body as plain nonsense. In order to realize this the reader has to go through the book, experience the illusionary character of its philosophical statements and thus understand the utter nonsensicality of the Tractatus propositions, which are mere illustrations of philosophical nonsense. In other words: Wittgenstein is playing a twisted game with us. He pretends to be a traditional metaphysician, but by 'framing' his propositions he actually demonstrates that one cannot be one. We are freed from philosophy if we experience its nonsensicality, if we play the same game by pretending to read nonsense as sense, i.e. by realising that it actually is nonsense.

Item Type: Book section
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Depositing User: Edward Kanterian
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2017 16:53 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:24 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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