Philosophical Clarification, its Possibility and Point

Philosophia 37 (4):629–652 (2009)
It is possible to pursue philosophy with a clarificatory end in mind. Doing philosophy in this mode neither reduces to simply engaging in therapy or theorizing. This paper defends the possibility of this distinctive kind of philosophical activity and gives an account of its product—non-theoretical insights—in an attempt to show that there exists a third, ‘live’ option for understanding what philosophy has to offer. It responds to criticisms leveled at elucidatory philosophy by defenders of extreme therapeutic readings and clearly demonstrates that in rejecting the latter one cannot assume Wittgenstein’s approach to philosophy was theoretically based by default.
Keywords Wittgenstein  Philosophical clarification  Philosophical elucidation  Therapeutic readings  Resolute readings  Philosophical theorizing
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-009-9196-2
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