Wittgenstein, Carnap and the new american Wittgensteinians

Philosophical Quarterly 53 (210):01–23 (2003)
James Conant, a proponent of the ‘New American Wittgenstein’, has argued that the standard inter- pretation of Wittgenstein is wholly mistaken in respect of Wittgenstein’s critique of metaphysics and the attendant conception of nonsense. The standard interpretation, Conant holds, misascribes to Wittgenstein Carnapian views on the illegitimacy of metaphysical utterances, on logical syntax and grammar, and on the nature of nonsense. Against this account, I argue that (i) Carnap is misrepresented; (ii) the so-called standard interpretation (in so far as I have contributed to it) is misrepresented; (iii) Wittgenstein’s views, early and late, are misrepresented. I clarify Wittgen- stein’s conception of logical syntax and of the nonsense that results from transgressing it.
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DOI 10.1111/1467-9213.00292
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