(2011) Wittgenstein's Methods

James Conant

Abstract


Lecture in Bergen 2011, Sep. 22. It is customary to distinguish between an early Wittgenstein and a later Wittgenstein and to mark the fundamental turning point in his philosophy as occuring during his return to Cambridge in 1929 or shortly thereafter. The argument of this paper is that at least as significant a turning point in his thinking as any which occurred in Cambridge in 1929 takes place in Skoldjen, Norway in 1937. The change which occurs in this period is one which Wittgenstein's conception of philosophy as a whole undergoes. It has to do, above all, with the extent to which he comes to think it is possible for the discovery of a single novel form of philosophical method to transform the discipline of philosophy once and for all from an immature to a mature form of inquiry. It is this idea which he gives up on in 1937. Its abandonment has far reaching consequence for his understanding of what philosophy is and how it make progress.

Keywords


philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; 20th century philosophy; piecemeal; Wende; Goldfarb Warren; McGinn Marie

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