Beginning Without the Saying/Showing Distinction

Luke McNulty

Abstract



Wittgenstein is uncertain of how to picture the preconditions of all language. He
vacillates between a realism that construes these facts as logically prior to
language, and an idealism that construes them as internal to it. I argue that he
is reluctant to endorse either picture because each seems to presuppose the
troubled notion of a shown but ineffable reality. After arguing that the root of
this apparent dilemma is a tension between methodological quietism and the view
that grammar is arbitrary, I offer two suggestions on how the dilemma might be
dissolved.

Keywords


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; idealism; arbitrariness of grammar; concept; language; saying vs showing

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