Motives for philosophizing debunking and Wittgenstein's philosophical investigations

Metaphilosophy 40 (2):260-272 (2009)
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Abstract: In this article I contest a reading of Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations —a reading of it as debunking philosophy. I concede that such a reading is not groundless, but I show why it is nonetheless mistaken. To do so, I distinguish two different ways of viewing Philosophical Investigations and its concern with philosophical problems, an External View and an Internal View. On the External View, readers of the book are taken to know ahead of time what philosophical problems are. On the Internal View, readers are not taken to know this ahead of time: the task of the book is to disclose what philosophical problems are, to show them coming into being. One thing disclosed is our participatory role in philosophical problems coming to be. Learning about the nature of philosophical problems is thus learning about our own nature; metaphilosophical knowledge is in part self-knowledge. If the Internal View is correct (as I believe it is), then Philosophical Investigations does not debunk philosophy but provides a different conception of philosophy and the philosopher's task.



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Kelly Jolley
Auburn University

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.
Consequences of Pragmatism: Essays 1972-1980.Richard Rorty - 1982 - University of Minnesota Press.
Consequences of Pragmatism.Richard Rorty - 1984 - Erkenntnis 21 (3):423-431.

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