Later Wittgenstein's Anti-Philosophical Therapy

Philosophy 89 (2):251-272 (2014)
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The object of this essay is to discuss Ludwig Wittgenstein's remarks inPhilosophical Investigationsand elsewhere in the posthumously published writings concerning the role of therapy in relation to philosophy. Wittgenstein's reflections seem to suggest that there is a kind of philosophy or mode of investigation targeting the philosophical grammar of language uses that gratuitously give rise to philosophical problems, and produce in many thinkers philosophical anxieties for which the proper therapy is intended to offer relief. Two possible objectives of later Wittgensteinian therapy are proposed, for subjectivepsychologicalversus objectivesemanticsymptoms of ailments that a therapy might address for the sake of relieving philosophical anxieties. The psychological in its most plausible form is rejected, leaving only the semantic. Semantic therapy in the sense defined and developed is more general and long-lasting, and more in the spirit of Wittgenstein's project on a variety of levels. A semantic approach treats language rather than the thinking, language-using subject as the patient needing therapy, and directs its attention to the treatment of problems in language and the conceptual framework a language game use expresses in its philosophical grammar, rather than to soothing unhappy or socially ill-adjusted individual psychologies.



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References found in this work

Philosophical investigations.Ludwig Wittgenstein & G. E. M. Anscombe - 1953 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 161:124-124.
What's the point of elucidation?Phil Hutchinson - 2007 - Metaphilosophy 38 (5):691-713.
The end(s) of philosophy: Rhetoric, therapy and Wittgenstein's pyrrhonism.Bob Plant - 2004 - Philosophical Investigations 27 (3):222–257.

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