Journal of the History of Philosophy 47 (2):pp. 322-323 (2009)

Beth Savickey
University of Winnipeg
In Ludwig Wittgenstein—A Cultural Point of View, William James DeAngelis examines Oswald Spengler's influence on Wittgenstein and Wittgenstein's views on the inexpressibility of religion in language. He connects the two subjects through Spengler's views on cultural decline. DeAngelis faces numerous challenges in his research, not least of which is the relative absence of references to Spengler in Wittgenstein's writings. Although Wittgenstein includes Spengler among those whose thinking he seizes upon with enthusiasm for his work of clarification, he never cites him directly, and it would be difficult to find an author whose style is more dramatically opposed to his own. With the exception of a few parenthetical references in Culture and Value, Wittgenstein equates Spengler's views with distortion and a dogmatism that is to be avoided. DeAngelis avoids these difficulties by only occasionally concerning himself with "the directly expressed content of Wittgenstein's later philosophy" . He views the Investigations as a latent philosophy of culture with a "Spenglerian valence" , and asserts that Wittgenstein's cultural purposes are all
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DOI 10.1353/hph.0.0116
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