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What Does It Look Like?

Wittgenstein’s Philosophy in the Light of His Conception of Language Description: Part I

Sebastiaan A. Verschuren

This book is the first part of a comprehensive study of Wittgenstein’s conception of language description. Describing language was no pastime occupation for the philosopher. It was hard work and it meant struggle. It made for a philosophy that required Wittgenstein’s full attention and half his life. His approach had always been working on himself, on how he saw things. The central claim of this book is that nothing will come of our exegetical efforts to see what Wittgenstein's later philosophy amounts to if his work on describing language is not given the place and concern it deserves. The book shows what his philosophy might begin to look like in the light of critical questions around his interest to see the end of the day with descriptions, and these things only.

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Introduction .............................................................................................................9 1. Not a common way of looking ...................................................................17 1.1 In the end ........................................................................................................17 1.2 A closer look at the contrast .........................................................................24 1.3 Three philosophical playgrounds .................................................................47 1.4 By way of some further orientation .............................................................54 1.5 In the beginning .............................................................................................65 2. “Die Problematik der Philosophie ist die Problematik des Witzes” .........................................................................................................69 2.1 The most important questions are covered up ...........................................69 2.2 The Witz of the language-game ....................................................................80 2.3 Intermezzo: Wittgenstein – the psychologist .............................................95 2.4 The system .................................................................................................... 108 2.5 Two types of prejudices .............................................................................. 122 3. Wittgenstein’s Copernican Revolution, Part I ................................ 135 3.1 By way of a prologue ................................................................................... 135 3.2 Crystalline purity ........................................................................................ 139 3.3 About a That and its How ........................................................................... 147 3.4 Another That and How ............................................................................162 3.5 PI §108 .......................................................................................................... 167 3.6 PI §§130–131 ............................................................................................... 179 84. Wittgenstein’s Copernican Revolution, Part II .............................. 183 4.1 Parallel cases ................................................................................................ 183 4.2 Whose possibility? ..................................................................................... 188 4.3 Light and understanding ............................................................................ 204 4.4 From without ............................................................................................... 223 4.5 Analogies ...................................................................................................... 233 5. What do our neighbours look like?...................................................... 245 5.1 Why play the game the way we do? .......................................................... 245 5.2 Polar opposites and contradiction ............................................................ 270 5.3 What a strange method! ............................................................................. 287 6. A big gap in Wittgenstein’s thinking ................................................... 295 6.1 Surprise and a first grip .............................................................................. 296 6.2 A closer look at the Step ............................................................................. 306 6.3 Rules and Moore-type propositions ......................................................... 318 6.4 On Certainty §501 ....................................................................................... 324 6.5 Another exploitation of the Step ............................................................... 334 References ............................................................................................................. 339

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