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Wittgenstein on Forms of Life and the Nature of Experience


Edited By Antonio Marques and Nuno Venturinha

To what extent is the form of our life fixed, i.e. is there a form of life or forms of life? How does this bear on the nature of experience? These are two Wittgensteinian questions in need of clarification. Wittgenstein on Forms of Life and the Nature of Experience sheds light on a much exploited but rarely analysed topic in Wittgenstein scholarship while addressing central themes of contemporary philosophy. Bringing together essays from some of the leading scholars in the field, the book concentrates on Wittgenstein’s concept of Lebensform(en), and more specifically its evolution in the author’s thought until his death in 1951.


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Foreword 7


7Foreword The majority of the essays published in this book were contribu- tions to the conference entitled “Wittgenstein on Forms of Life and the Nature of Experience” which took place on 22 and 23 May 2009 at the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences, New Univer- sity of Lisbon. The conference was organized by the Institute of Philosophy of Language which devotes an important part of its activity to Wittgenstein’s work. This book is part of the project “Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations: Re-Evaluating a Pro- ject”, hosted by the Institute and funded by the Portuguese Foun- dation for Science and Technology. The choice of the topic corresponded to the perception held by many researchers, philosophers and people working in other areas that much more discussion on this issue is needed both in the framework of the strict hermeneutic of Wittgenstein’s work and in relation to other disciplinary approaches. The metaphors relating to the concept of form of life are of- ten expressed through images belonging to the domains of depth, the given, the bedrock, the river-bed and so on. In fact it is easy to find a clear status on which to base the concept since we are always seeing it as being all the activities that human beings share as something “given” and that they must “accept” (see PPF § 345). It is also well known that in Wittgenstein the concepts of “form of life” and “language game” must be seen as intrinsically linked and if it is correct to say...

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