Liberation from Solitude: Wittgenstein on Human Finitude and Possibility

Chapter

Abstract

In Wittgenstein: A Feminist Interpretation, Tanesini (Wittgenstein: a feminist interpretation. Polity Press, Cambridge, 2004) convincingly argues that Wittgenstein be read as a critic of modern philosophy . He is, in particular, she maintains, rejecting the “modern quest for autonomy and independence”. Tanesini argues that these philosophical tropes of modern political and moral thought, their promises of self-determination, self-reliance and self-understanding , are responsible for generating in persons “loneliness and a separation from other human beings”. Tanesini believes that what the moderns “perceive as liberating”, Wittgenstein takes as being a “prison”. In this paper, I am interested in Tanesini’s reading of Wittgenstein and its implications for education . It is not unusual to treat Wittgenstein as defending the project of the moderns, aligning with the tradition that has him extending the work of Carnap and Russell. I defend the view that fundamental to Wittgenstein’s work is a anti-modern strand, diagnosing as an ill the privileging of the individual as self-determining and its consequent pathological concerns with matching language to “reality”. I articulate, to a first approximation, implications for our understanding of pedagogy in the context of what I take to be Wittgenstein’s critique of modernity, and his descriptive account of a shared way of life.

Keywords

Tractatus Wittgenstein Solitude Finitude Transcendence 

References

  1. Beauvoir, S. (1953). The second sex (H. M. Parshley, Trans.). London: Jonathan Cape.Google Scholar
  2. Carnap, R. (1937). The logical syntax of language. Open Court Publishing.Google Scholar
  3. Carnap, R. (2014). Logical syntax of language. Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Carney, J. D. (1960). An introduction to Wittgenstein’s Tractatus (G. E. M. Anscombe) Philosophy of Science, 27(4), 408–408. doi: 10.1086/287768
  5. Coffa, A., & Wessels, L. (1991). The semantic tradition from Kant to Carnap: To the Vienna station. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Collingwood, R. G. (1994). Idea of history. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Crary, A., Crary, A. P. O. P. A., & Read, R. (2002). The new Wittgenstein. Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Diamond, C. (2009). Throwing away the ladder. Philosophy, 63(243), 5–27. doi: 10.1017/S0031819100043102
  9. Garver, N. (1994). This complicated form of life: Essays on Wittgenstein. Chicago: Open Court.Google Scholar
  10. Malcolm, N., Wright, G. H. V. G. H., & Wittgenstein, L. (2001). Ludwig Wittgenstein: A memoir. Oxford; New York: Clarendon Press; Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Ostrow, M. B. (2002). Wittgenstein’s Tractatus: A dialectical interpretation. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Schilpp, P. A. (1978). The philosophy of Rudolf Carnap.Google Scholar
  13. Tanesini, A. (2004). Wittgenstein: A feminist interpretation. Cambridge, UK; Malden, MA: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  14. Wittgenstein, L. (1961). Tractatus logico-philosophicus (TLP).Google Scholar
  15. Wittgenstein, L. (1971). Prototractatus (B. F. McGuinness, T. Nyberg, and G. H. von Wright, Eds. and Trans.) (P).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of General Education and Humanities (Philosophy)Mount Royal UniversityCalgaryCanada

Personalised recommendations