Worldviews and World-Pictures. Avoiding the Myth of the Semantic Given

Topoi 41 (3):449-460 (2022)
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In this paper I focus on the notion of worldview as a conceptual scheme and the role of language in shaping our view of reality. In particular, I engage with Wittgenstein’s notion of World-picture in order to suggest an alternative account to the deceptive dogmatic conception of worldview, which is exemplified by C.I. Lewis’s account of cognitive experience. I argue that worldviews constitute the way in which the world is given in a particular socio-linguistic context and they presuppose the mastery of a World-picture, that is, the inherited background of our acting and thinking. First, I will distinguish between two different uses of the term “worldview”. Then I will show the way in which a metaphysical-dogmatic conception of worldview leads to the Myth of the Semantic Given. Finally, I will present Wittgenstein’s notion of World-picture and its connection to the notion of worldview.



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Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind.Wilfrid S. Sellars - 1956 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 1:253-329.
Ways of Worldmaking.Nelson Goodman - 1978 - Harvester Press.
On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme.Donald Davidson - 1973 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 47:5-20.
On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme.Donald Davidson - 2011 - In Robert B. Talisse & Scott F. Aikin (eds.), The Pragmatism Reader: From Peirce Through the Present. Princeton University Press. pp. 286-298.

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