Authors
Miguel Angel Quintana Paz
Instituto Superior de Sociología, Economía Y Política - Madrid
Abstract
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
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Zettel.Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein - 1967 - Berkeley and Los Angeles: Blackwell.

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