The new Wittgenstein: A critique

European Journal of Philosophy 9 (3):375–404 (2001)
Abstract
An essay challenging Cora Diamond's influential approach to reading Wittgenstein's Tractatus. According to Diamond, the Tractatus contains no substantive philosophical theses, but is purely an exercise in the debunking of nonsense. I argue that a convincing case for this claim has not yet been made--either by Diamond herself, or by the numerous defenders of this so-called "resolute" reading. Having critically examined the arguments that have been offered in favor of the resolute reading, I go on to marshal textual evidence--using both published and unpublished sources--supporting the view that Wittgenstein advanced, and indeed took himself to have advanced, a host of substantive philosophical theses even in the (so-called) "body" of the Tractatus. I argue that resolute readers of the Tractatus have not begun to offer a satisfactory explanation of these problematic texts; and I argue that the "frame/body" distinction alleged by resolute readers does not stand up to critical scrutiny.
Keywords nonsense  Wittgenstein  resolute reading  Tractatus  Cora Diamond  James Conant
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