Miguel Angel Quintana Paz
Instituto Superior de Sociología, Economía Y Política - Madrid
Today, the notion of identity is usually linked with ethical-political discussions like multiculturalism, gender or sexual diversity, recognition of plurality, etc. Nevertheless, the flourishing of this vision that interprets “identity” mainly in its plural form (as “identities”) contrasts sharply with the sense that “identity” has had during most of the history of philosophy (in which identity was understood in connection with “unity” or “selfsameness”, not with “diversity” or “otherness”). In order to explain the passage from one notion of identity to the other (a passage mainly made in the last third of the 20th century), we will focus on the reflections made by Ludwig Wittgenstein towards the middle of that century. Our contention is that these reflections open the way to a more plural understanding of human identity, against the many interpreters of Wittgenstein that defend the opposite: that he offered a strong notion of common human identity in his writings, a notion based on the idea of “human nature”. In order to sustain our thesis, we will have to give an interpretation of some key terms of Wittgenstein’s philosophy (like “forms of life” or “natural history”) from a pluralistic point of view; this is the only way of understanding to what extent he is a predecessor of contemporary discussions about plural identities.
Keywords Ludwig Wittgenstein  Pluralism  Identity  Norms  David Hume  Naturalism  Natural History  Form of Life
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
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 Josef Johann Wittgenstein - 1967 - Berkeley and Los Angeles: Blackwell.

View all 68 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Tractarian Form as the Precursor to Forms of Life.Chon Tejedor - 2015 - Nordic Wittgenstein Review 4:83-109.
On Hume's Theory of Personal Identity.Tse-mei Wu - 2008 - Philosophy and Culture 35 (3):151-166.
Wittgenstein on Language and Nature.Michal Sladecek - 2012 - Filozofija I Društvo 23 (1):86-101.
Wittgenstein on Persons and Human Beings.Jenny Teichman - 1973 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures 7:133-148.
La Noción de Identidad En Los "Tópicos".Mario Mignucci - 2002 - Anuario Filosófico 35 (73):313-340.
Wittgenstein on Persons and Human Beings: Jenny Teichman.Jenny Teichman - 1973 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 7:133-148.
Composition as a Kind of Identity.Phillip Bricker - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (3):264-294.
Can Wittgenstein Be Considered a Naturalist?Angel M. Faerna & Aurelia Di Berardino - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 53:55-62.
Identity Trouble: Disidentification and the Problem of Difference.Josè Medina - 2003 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 29 (6):655-680.


Added to PP index

Total views
166 ( #66,272 of 2,462,531 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
29 ( #29,107 of 2,462,531 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes