Synthese 102 (3):413 - 452 (1995)

Edward Minar
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
What do we learn about language from reading Wittgenstein'sPhilosophical Investigations? This question gains urgency from Wittgenstein's alleged animus against philosophical theorizing and his indirectness. Section 1 argues that Wittgenstein's goal is to prevent philosophical questioning about the foundations of language from the beginning. This conception of his aim is not in tension with Wittgenstein's use of the notion of community; community interpretations of his views betray a misguided commitment to the coherence of the idea that language might need grounding. Wittgenstein's goal is not to enjoin us not to step outside of language-games, but to show that we have insufficiently clear grasp of the terms we try to use to express the limits of intelligibility. Section 2 suggests that appreciating Wittgenstein's moral concerning the relation between language and philosophizing about it involves allowing him to teach us how to read his book. What makes readingPhilosophical Investigations possible is openness to learning how not to forget our lives in language.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF01064123
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 59,687
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Zettel.Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1967 - Blackwell.

View all 23 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Meta-Philosophy, Once Again.Kai Nielsen - 2012 - Philo 15 (1):55-96.
The Concept of Testimony.Nicola Mößner - 2011 - In Christoph Jäger & Winfried Löffler (eds.), Epistemology: Contexts, Values, Disagreement, Papers of the 34. International Wittgenstein Symposium. Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society. pp. 207-209.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
103 ( #100,353 of 2,432,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #170,471 of 2,432,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes