Wittgenstein as Educator

Chapter

Abstract

In Wittgenstein’s later writings , he occasionally notes (parenthetically) that his remarks pertain to grammatical problems instead of psychological or causal ones (Z §§318 & 419). Briefly discussing Wittgenstein’s own elementary teaching experience to provide background , contrast is drawn between issues of efficacy in teaching and normative training into regular patterns or customs of usage. Following Josè Medina , I bring home a point of particular significance to analytic philosophy of education concerning adept initiation into practices : what Wittgenstein refers to as ‘mastery of techniques’ (PI §199) requires facility and autonomy within the rules not explicable on causal terms, nor diminished by its origins in normative training. Realizing this avenue through training does not however undermine the rational elements of teaching and learning —the space of reasons—sought by the analytic school. Etiological problems connected to teaching and learning are then distinguished from philosophical issues surrounding ranges of meaningful use and degrees of arbitrariness in relation to rule-following . The conclusion, earlier articulated by Standish (1995), is that Wittgenstein’s later philosophy draws a sharp distinction between any possible ‘science ’ of education and his therapeutic concept of philosophy as the dissolution of grammatical problems.

Keywords

Wittgenstein Education Causes Empirical Philosophical Pedagogy 

References

  1. Bartley, W. W., III. (1974). Theory of language and philosophy of science as instruments of educational reform: Wittgenstein and Popper as Austrian school teachers. In R. S. Cohen & W. W. Wartofsky (Eds.), Methodological and historical studies in the natural social sciences, Boston studies in the philosophy of science, XIV (pp. 207–337). Boston: D. Reidel.Google Scholar
  2. Bartley, W. W., III. (1985). Wittgenstein (2d edn.). LaSalle, IL: Open Court.Google Scholar
  3. Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and education. New York: Collier Books. In: John Dewey: The later works, (Vol. 12). Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1991.Google Scholar
  4. Edmonds, D., & Eidnow, J. (2001). Wittgenstein’s Poker. The story of a ten-minute argument between two great philosophers. London: Faber & Faber.Google Scholar
  5. Fuller, S. (2004). Kuhn vs. Popper: The struggle for the soul of science. Thriplow, UK and New York, US: Icon Books, Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Glock, H.-J. (1996). A Wittgenstein dictionary. Oxford: Blackwell.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hunter, J. F. M. (1985). The harried mathematics instructor. In Understanding Wittgenstein: Studies of philosophical investigations. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Janik, A., & Toulmin, S. (1973). Wittgenstein’s Vienna. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  9. Medina, J. (2002). The unity of Wittgenstein’s philosophy. Necessity, intelligibility, and normativity. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  10. Monk, R. (1990). Ludwig Wittgenstein: The duty of genius. London: Vintage.Google Scholar
  11. Mouffe, C.  (2000).  Wittgenstein, political theory and democracy.  In The democratic paradox.  London and New York: Verso. Google Scholar
  12. Peters, M. A. (1995). Philosophy and education: ‘After’ Wittgenstein. In J. Marshall & P. Smeyers (Eds.), Philosophy and education: Accepting Wittgenstein’s challenge (pp. 189–204). Dordrecht, Boston and London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Peters, M. A., Burbules, N., & Smeyers, P. (2008). Saying and doing: Wittgenstein as a pedagogical philosopher. Boulder: Paradigm Press.Google Scholar
  14. Peters, M. A., & Marshall, J. (1999). Wittgenstein: Philosophy, postmodernism, pedagogy. Westport, CT and London: Bergin and Garvey.Google Scholar
  15. Philips, D. L. (1977). Wittgenstein and scientific knowledge: A sociological perspective. Totowa, NJ: Rowan and Littlefield.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Putnam, H. (2002). The collapse of the fact/value dichotomy and other essays. Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Savickey, B. (1999). Wittgenstein’s art of investigation. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Smeyers, P. (1995). Initiation and newness in education and childrearing. In J. Marshall & P. Smeyers (Eds.), Philosophy and education: Accepting Wittgenstein’s challenge (pp. 105–126). Dordrecht, Boston and London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Smeyers, P. (2008). Images and pictures: Seeing and imagining. In M. A. Peters, N. Burbules, & P. Smeyers (Eds.), Saying and doing: Wittgenstein as a pedagogical philosopher (Ch 4). Boulder: Paradigm Press.Google Scholar
  20. Smeyers, P., Smith, R., & Standish, P. (2006). The therapy of education. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  21. Standish, P. (1995). Why we should not speak of an educational science. In J. Marshall & P. Smeyers (Eds.), Philosophy and education: Accepting Wittgenstein’s challenge (pp. 143–158). Dordrecht, Boston and London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Stickney, J. (2009). Wittgenstein’s contextualist approach to judging “sound” teaching: Escaping enthrallment in criteria-based assessments. In N. Burbules (Ed.), Educational Theory, 59(2), 197–216.Google Scholar
  23. Stickney, J. (2017). Wittgenstein and judging the soundness of curriculum reforms: Investigating the math wars. In M. A. Peters & J. Stickney (Eds.), A companion to Wittgenstein on education: Pedagogical investigations (pp. 481–502). Singapore: Springer.Google Scholar
  24. Taylor, C. (1995). To follow a rule. In Philosophical arguments (pp. 165–180). Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Tully, J. (1989). Wittgenstein and political philosophy. Political Theory, 17(2), 172–204.Google Scholar
  26. Williams, M. (1999). The etiology of the obvious. Wittgenstein and the elimination of indeterminacy. In Wittgenstein, mind and meaning. Toward a social conception of mind (Ch 8). London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  27. Wittgenstein, L. (1956). Remarks on the foundation of mathematics. (G. E. M. Anscombe, Trans.). Oxford: Basil Blackwell (RFM).Google Scholar
  28. Wittgenstein, L. (1968). Philosophical investigations. (3rd ed., G. E. M. Anscombe, Trans.). Oxford: Basil Blackwell (PI§, or PI, pg.) Google Scholar
  29. Wittgenstein, L. (1969). On certainty. (D. Paul & G. E. M. Anscombe, Trans.). Oxford: Basil Blackwell (OC).Google Scholar
  30. Wittgenstein, L. (1979). In A. Ambrose (Ed.). Wittgenstein’s lectures, Cambridge, 1932–35. Oxford: Blackwell (WL).Google Scholar
  31. Wittgenstein, L. (1980). Culture and value. (G. H. von Wright Ed., in collaboration with H. Nyman and P. Winch, Trans.). Oxford: Basil Blackwell (CV).Google Scholar
  32. Wittgenstein, L. (1993). Preface to the ‘dictionary for elementary schools’. In J. C. Klagge & A. Nordmann (Ed.). Philosophical occasions (1912–1951). Indianapolis and Cambridge: Hackett (PO).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TorontoTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations