Wittgenstein and the Mystical: Philosophy as an Ascetic Practice [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 50 (1):188-188 (1996)

Kevin Wm. Wildes
Loyola University, New Orleans
In the postscript to Wittgenstein and the Mystical, Sontag notes that while most philosophers attend to Wittgenstein's technical work in logic and the philosophy of language, there is little attention given to his "life situation." Yet, Sontag argues throughout this fine book, understanding many of Wittgenstein's philosophical insights depends on understanding how the wider concerns of his life influenced and related to his philosophical concerns. While Wittgenstein was concerned with the clarity of philosophical language, he recognized that beyond the confines of such language was what Sontag calls "the mystical" and much of what makes human life meaningful. Put another way, Wittgenstein's logical and linguistic concerns were but a part of his larger concerns about human life and the logical and linguistic interests are better understood when seen as part of this wider context.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
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