David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 87 (2):311 - 329 (1991)
In this paper, a Wittgensteinian account of the human sciences is constructed around the notions of the surface of human life and of surface phenomena as expressions. I begin by explaining Wittgenstein's idea that the goal of interpretive social science is to make actions and practices seem natural. I then explicate his notions of the surface of life and of surface phenomena as expressions by reviewing his analysis of mental state language. Finally, I critically examine three ideas: (a) that the goal of interpretive inquiry is realized through a descriptive, context-constructing method that enables investigators to grasp the instincts, mental states, and experiences (Geist) expressed in surface phenomena; (b) that uncovering rules plays a minor role in this enterprise; and (c) that surface phenomena not only can be made natural but also have causes and are subject to causal explanation.
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References found in this work BETA
Ludwig Wittgenstein (1969/1991). On Certainty (Ed. Anscombe and von Wright). Harper Torchbooks.
Ludwig Wittgenstein (1967). Zettel. Oxford, Blackwell.
Ludwig Wittgenstein (1980). Culture and Value. University of Chicago Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Theodore R. Schatzki (1993). Wittgenstein + Heidegger on the Stream of Life. Inquiry 36 (3):307 – 328.
Raymond Caldwell (2012). Reclaiming Agency, Recovering Change? An Exploration of the Practice Theory of Theodore Schatzki. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 42 (3):283-303.
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