(2013). Heidegger, Wittgenstein and St Paul on the Last Judgement: On the Roots and Significance of ‘The Theoretical Attitude’. British Journal for the History of Philosophy: Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 143-164. doi: 10.1080/09608788.2012.686980.
In This Paper, I Identify a Problem, which the project that I will refer to as the ‘Being and Time Project’ (or ‘BTP’ for short) aimed to solve; this is the project within which Heidegger reinterpreted his early thought—and which he unsuccessfully attempted to bring to fruition—in, roughly speaking, the years 1925–28. The problem in question presents several faces: viewed from one angle, it concerns the unity of the concept of “Being in general,” from another, the integrity of the notion (...) of “Dasein,” and from another, the possibility of the perspective from which the philosopher does her work. The solution that the BTP would have offered turns on the claim that time is “the possible horizon for any understanding .. (shrink)
Christina Lafont has argued that the early Heidegger's reflections on truth and understanding are incompatible with ‘the supposition of a single objective world’. This paper presents her argument, reviews some responses that the existing Heidegger literature suggests (focusing, in particular, on work by John Haugeland), and offers what I argue is a superior response. Building on a deeper exploration of just what the above ‘supposition’ demands (an exploration informed by the work of Bernard Williams and Adrian Moore), I argue that (...) a crucial assumption that Lafont and Haugeland both accept must be rejected, namely, that different ‘understandings of Being’ can be viewed as offering ‘rival perspectives’ on a common subject-matter. I develop this case by drawing on an alternative account of what a Heideggerian ‘understanding of Being’ might be like. (shrink)
The paper presents an interpretation of the thinking behind the early Wittgenstein's "general form of the proposition." It argues that a central role is played by the assumption that all domains of discourse are governed by the same laws of logic. The interpretation is presented partly through a comparison with ideas presented recently by Michael Potter and Peter Sullivan; the paper argues that the above assumption explains more of the key characteristics of the "general form of the proposition" than Potter (...) and Sullivan suppose, including, in particular, its claim that the bases from which all other propositions are derived must be elementary propositions. (shrink)
The Enchantment of Words is a study of Wittgenstein's early masterpiece, the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Recent years have seen a great revival of interest in the Tractatus. McManus's study of the work offers novel readings of all its major themes and sheds light on issues in metaphysics, ethics and the philosophies of mind, language, and logic.
Wittgenstein's relationship to skepticism has always been complex. It has even been argued in recent years that Wittgenstein can be best understood as an inheritor of scepticism. Wittgenstein and Scepticism is the first collection to explore this relationship and review our understanding of scepticism. Boasting a stellar collection of contributors, the essays in this volume address the nature of skepticism and Wittgenstein's approach in the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of language and epistemology. Wittgenstein and Scepticism is a fascinating exploration (...) of one of the most important philosophers. (shrink)
This paper attempts to explain the abiding appeal of the suspicion that Wittgenstein is a conservative thinker. Among Wittgensteinians, there is a growing orthodoxy which takes the notion of 'Wittgenstein's conservatism' to be 'nutty' (Diamond 1991 p34). One justification for this opinion is that the charge of conservatism has typically been defended on the basis of highly implausible interpretations of Wittgenstein. However, the critical core of the conservatism charge has been mislocated by Wittgenstein's supporters and by most of his critics. (...) No conservative theses are defended in his work. But in challenging the conceptual tools so often used in justifying criticism of our practices, Wittgenstein appears to abandon us to a conservatism BY DEFAULT. To understand this charge, we must broaden the context within which Wittgenstein's work is normally discussed. Odd as it may sound, what Wittgenstein ACTUALLY SAYS may only be one (and perhaps not the most important) consideration that we must bear in mind in assessing whether he is a conservative thinker. (shrink)