Wittgenstein and nonsense: Psychologism, kantianism, and the habitus

This paper is a critical examination of Wittgenstein's view of the limits of intelligibility. In it I criticize standard analytic readings of Wittgenstein as an advocate of transcendental or behaviourist theses in epistemology; and I propose an alternative interpretation of Wittgenstein's view as a social contextualism that transcends the false dichotomy between Kantianism and psychologism. I argue that this social contextualism is strikingly similar to the social account of epistemic practices developed by Pierre Bourdieu. Through a comparison between Wittgenstein's and Bourdieu's view and an analysis of the notion of habitus , I try to show how social contextualism can account for the distinction between sense and nonsense without falling into transcendental constructivism or social behaviourism.
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DOI 10.1080/0967255032000108020
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