On Wittgenstein's notion of meaning-blindness: Its subjective, objective and aesthetic aspects

Philosophical Investigations 33 (3):201-219 (2010)
Das Aussprechen eines Wortes ist gleichsam ein Anschlagen einer Taste auf dem Vorstellungsklavier. (Uttering a word is like striking a note on the keyboard of the imagination.) (PU §6)Polonius: What do you read, my lord?Hamlet: Words, words, words!(Hamlet, act 2, scene 2)Wittgenstein in his later years thought about experiences of meaning and aspect change. Do such experiences matter? Or would a meaning- or aspect-blind person not lose much? Moreover, is this a matter of aesthetics or epistemology? To get a better perspective on these matters, I will introduce distinctions between certain subjective and objective aspects, namely feelings of our inner psychological states versus fine-tuned objective experiences of the outer world. It seems to me that in his discussion of meaning-blindness, Wittgenstein unhappily floats between these two extremes, the subjective and the objective. I will also introduce some notions from Kant's aesthetics, to get a better understanding of the interplay between feeling and meaning. This will shed some new light on Wittgenstein's enquiry into meaning- and aspect-blindness
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9205.2009.01382.x
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