In 1931, in the remarks collected as Culture and Value, Wittgenstein writes: ‘A thinker is very much like a draughtsman whose aim it is to represent all the interrelations between things.’ At a glance it is clear that this analogy might contribute significantly to a full description of the autobiographical thinker as well. And this conjunction of relations between things and the work of the draughtsman immediately and strongly suggests that the grasping of relations is in a sense visual, or (...) that networks or constellations of relations are the kinds of things (to continue the ocular metaphor) brought into focus by seeing in the right way. (shrink)
This monumental collection of new and recent essays from an international team of eminent scholars represents the best contemporary critical thinking relating to both literary and philosophical studies of literature. Helpfully groups essays into the field's main sub-categories, among them ‘Relations Between Philosophy and Literature’, ‘Emotional Engagement and the Experience of Reading’, ‘Literature and the Moral Life’, and ‘Literary Language’ Offers a combination of analytical precision and literary richness Represents an unparalleled work of reference for students and specialists alike, ideal (...) for course use. (shrink)
A timely and philosophically significant contribution to modern aesthetics featuring some of the best contemporary work in philosophical studies of literature, moral beliefs, and thinking in art Reflects the importance of a moral life of engagement with works of art Forms part of the prestigious New Directions in Aesthetics series, which confronts the most intriguing problems in aesthetics and the philosophy of art today.
The voluminous writings of Ludwig Wittgenstein contain some of the most profound reflections of recent times on the nature of the human subject and self-understanding - the human condition, philosophically speaking. Describing Ourselves mines those extensive writings for a conception of the self that stands in striking contrast to its predecessors as well as its more recent alternatives. More specifically, the book offers a detailed discussion of Wittgenstein's later writings on language and mind as they hold special significance for the (...) understanding and clarification of the distinctive character of self-descriptive or autobiographical language. Garry L. Hagberg undertakes a ground-breaking philosophical investigation of selected autobiographical writings - among the best examples we have of human selves exploring themselves - as they cast new and special light on the critique of mind-body dualism and its undercurrents in particular and on the nature of autobiographical consciousness more generally. The chapters take up in turn the topics of self-consciousness, what Wittgenstein calls 'the inner picture', mental privacy and the picture of metaphysical seclusion, the very idea of our observation of the contents of consciousness, first-person expressive speech, reflexive or self-directed thought and competing pictures of introspection, the nuances of retrospective self-understanding, person-perception and the corollary issues of self-perception (itself an interestingly dangerous phrase), self-defining memory, and the therapeutic conception of philosophical progress as it applies to all of these issues. The cast of characters interwoven throughout this rich discussion include, in addition to Wittgenstein centrally, Augustine, Goethe, Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, Iris Murdoch, Donald Davidson, and Stanley Cavell, among others. Throughout, conceptual clarifications concerning mind and language are put to work in the investigation of issues relating to self-description and in novel philosophical readings of autobiographical texts. (shrink)
: This paper argues that Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground makes a fundamental point that runs directly counter to the received popular image of the work; i.e. the understanding that Notes describes a consciousness reflecting on itself, hermetically sealed within its own Cartesian interior. In truth, a closer reading shows that the mind depicted therein is profoundly relational and situated in a particularized context, and that this discursive mind characterizes what Wittgenstein says about mental privacy in the context of the private (...) language argument. The upshot is that language is not secondary, not an afterthought, and thus not posterior to pure subjectivity of the kind that many who celebrate "inferiority" take as a given human experience. (shrink)
Does non-representational art itself constitute a refutation of any theory of art based upon mimesis or imitation? Our intuitions regarding this question seem to support an affirmative answer: it appears impossible to account for abstract and non-representational art in terms of imitation, because, to put the problem simply, if nothing is copied in a work of art then there can be nothing essentially imitative about it. The very notion of abstract imitative art seems self-contradictory.