From Groundlessness to Creativity: The Merits of Astonishment for Wittgenstein

  • Maria Balaska


The chapter departs from Wittgenstein’s idea that “the running-up-against paradox is Ethics” to explore the ethical merits of an experience of astonishment. I argue that by the difficulty with meaning that these experiences present, they bring out the question “How am I involved in meaning?” I discuss the ethical value of an individuated personal involvement in meaning through the role that the first-person pronoun “my” plays in Wittgenstein’s early work and I investigate what the Tractatus calls mere “rumbling and roaring” as a paradigmatic case when such an involvement with meaning fails. I make use of an example from Eugène Ionesco to illustrate further the ethical character of this failure.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Balaska
    • 1
  1. 1.University of HertfordshireHertfordshireUK

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