The Interlocutor Equivocation

Ben Walker

Abstract



The way in which one understands the role of the interlocutorial voice has a
number of acute consequences upon how one more generally conceives of
Wittgenstein’s later method. Its cadence and style are often interpreted in
demonstrative terms, with the interlocutor representative of the potential,
actual or nascent tendencies that lead people into philosophically problematic
territory. This paper offers a reading where the interlocutor is understood as
the expression of the author’s own disquiets; a record of his work upon (and
interrogation of) himself. In such a reading the way in which the word
“interlocutor” is sometimes used in modern therapeutic literature becomes
markedly problematic. Specifically, to describe the philosopher whom one is
engaged with in dialogue as one’s “interlocutor” becomes a troubling act, one in
which an equivocation takes place between a literary technique used to give
voice to one’s own impulses and expectations, and one’s actual partner in
dialogue.

Keywords


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; late Wittgenstein; therapy; style; interlocutor; textual analysis; therapeutic reading; tendency; method

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