Philosophical Investigations

Ludwig Wittgenstein, Mar 15, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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If you've never read Philosophical Investigations you owe it to yourself to do so. This is not an easy book; it doesn't have a neat narrative and structure (though Wittgenstein's students tried to create one when assembling the notes from which it is comprised). Take your time with it, read only a few pages a day. Pause to think of the implications of passages like this one: "The more narrowly we examine actual language, the sharper becomes the conflict between it and our requirement... Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language." (paras 107, 109) Or this: "A main source of our failure to understand is that we do not command a clear view of the use of our words.—Our grammar is lacking in this sort of perspicuity. A perspicuous representation produces just that understanding which consists in 'seeing connexions'." (para 122)

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