Wittgenstein and the possibility of discourse

New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by D. Z. Phillips (1998)
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Four years after the publication of Wittgenstein's Investigations, Rush Rhees began writing critical reflections on the masterpiece he had helped to edit. In this edited collection of his previously unpublished writings, Rhees argues, contra Wittgenstein, that although language lacks the unity of a calculus it is not simply a family of language games. The unity of language is found in its dialogical character. It is in this context that we say something, and grow in understanding: notions not captured in Wittgenstein's emphasis on language games, following rules, and using language. Rhees develops Wittgenstein's notion that to imagine a language is to image a form of life, without suggesting that we are all engaged in an all-inclusive conversation. The result is not only a major contribution to Wittgenstein scholarship, but an original discussion of central philosophical questions concerning the possibility of discourse



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