This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Philosophical Investigations Essay

4603 words - 18 pages

The Philosophical Investigations

ABSTRACT: The Philosophical Investigations is an inherently pedagogical work. Wittgenstein claims throughout his later writings to be teaching a method and this method is both philosophical and pedagogical. It is the claim of this paper that if we do not take Wittgenstein's methodological claim seriously, we do not engage with the text in the manner for which it was written. Consequently, we begin and end in the wrong places and the text becomes (in the words of Wittgenstein) 'variously misunderstood, more or less mangled and watered-down.' §1 is philosophically and pedagogically complex. It presents the philosophical problems to which Wittgenstein will respond in the text which follows and it also, significantly, presents their solution. An investigation of the philosophical and pedagogical questions raised in the opening remark of the Investigations will demonstrate that we have not yet begun to use Wittgenstein's method and his writings to their full potential.

The Philosophical Investigations is an inherently pedagogical work. Wittgenstein claims throughout his later writings to be teaching a method, and this method is both philosophical and pedagogical. According to Moore and Fann he remarked to the effect that it did not matter whether his results were true or not, what mattered was that a method had been found (Moore 1993: 113). During the 1930s Wittgenstein also described the Investigations as a textbook; 'a textbook, however, not in that it provides knowledge (Wissen), but rather in that it stimulates thinking (Denken)'. (1) He claimed that the remarks which he wrote enabled him to teach philosophy well. (2) Although generally acknowledged within the secondary literature, these methodological claims have not altered our use of (or response to) Wittgenstein's text. If we do not take these claims seriously, however, we do not engage with the text in the manner for which it was written. Consequently, we begin and end in the wrong places and the text becomes (in the words of Wittgenstein) 'variously misunderstood, more or less mangled and watered-down' (PI xe). (3) An examination of §1 provides an introduction to the philosophical and pedagogical complexity of Wittgenstein's Investigations.

Wittgenstein begins the Investigations with a quotation from Augustine's Confessions. Augustine writes:

When they (my elders) named some object, and accordingly moved towards something, I saw this and I grasped that the thing was called by the sound they uttered when they meant to point it out. Their intention was shewn by their bodily movements, as it were the natural language of all peoples: the expression of the face, the play of the eyes, the movement of other parts of the body, and the tone of voice which expresses our state of mind in seeking, having, rejecting, or avoiding something. Thus, as I heard these words repeatedly used in their proper places in various sentences, I gradually learnt to...

Find Another Essay On The Philosophical Investigations

Understanding the Nature of the Essence of a Given Experience

1146 words - 5 pages “It is as if at first all these more or less inessential processes were shrouded in a particular atmosphere, which dissipates when I look closely at them” (§173). This last sentence of section 173 of Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations expresses the concern around which the rest of this section largely revolves. In this section of the Investigations (and those around it, at times) Wittgenstein concerns himself with problems one faces in

Ludwig Wittgenstein Essay

1424 words - 6 pages metaphysics via language. His later philosophy, mostly found in Philosophical Investigations, published posthumously in 1953, controversially critiqued all traditional philosophy, including his own previous work. In this essay I will explain, contrast and evaluate both stages of his philosophy, highlighting strengths and weaknesses and concluding that Wittgenstein’s late philosophy has provided an interesting explanation for the meaning of language

Case Study: Captain Edith Strong

1003 words - 4 pages believe they have a heavy workload and complain that they go from one incident to the next and spend too much time generating reports. The patrolmen fell that they have to cut corners to get their preliminary investigations completed because the time consumed generating reports. The patrol officers do not interact with each other except during shift change and roll call. A survey shows that the job is viewed as dissatisfying, morale is low, response

Developmental Psychology

608 words - 3 pages In exploring the discussion about developmental psychology, there is a need to review the historical background of the works, which led to what we have today. Most of the work started as philosophical subjects with argument being the interplay between biology and culture. Leading these discussion on these dichotomous view were philosophers such as John Locke attributing development completely to the effect of sensory input. His view

Personal Statement

669 words - 3 pages Philosophy and Politics will help me to pursue the answers to the big questions in this life. Wittgenstein’s ‘Philosophical Investigations’ completely opened up, twisted upside-down and reshaped my perception of language and its relationship to understanding, much, I suppose, like his own philosophical stance. Apart from his logical approach to the analysis of language, remark 464 encapsulates why I am attracted to him as a thinker; any man that

Nietzsche’s Take On Religion

865 words - 4 pages pick out the passages that support the beliefs you already hold(Sinnott-Armstrong). Works Cited Companion to Nietzsche, pages 180–222, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Sorensen, R., 2001. Vagueness and Contradiction. Clarendon Press, Oxford. 29 Boswell Road, Oxford, OX4 3HW. piero.pinza@gmail.com 166 Philosophical Investigations © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Companion to Nietzsche, pages 180–222, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Sorensen, R., 2001. Vagueness and Contradiction. Clarendon Press, Oxford. 29 Boswell Road, Oxford, OX4 3HW. piero.pinza@gmail.com 166 Philosophical Investigations © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

20th Century Philosophy

1895 words - 8 pages describe an earlier word that he had just forgotten" (Wittgenstein, 1972). He stood by his assumption that philosophical tradition committed a grave mistake by supposing that the experiences of mankind are the sources of its knowledge. His work, Philosophical Investigations, published posthumously in 1953, was the pinnacle of communication, common sense, logic, language expression and elaboration. As Strawson emphasized the importance of tackling

Is it possible to define ‘art’?

2136 words - 9 pages Nietzche, who had used the theory to discuss language families, along with many other philosophers of the nineteenth century. This is a perfectly plausible theory as we know that Wittgenstein was obsessed by language and its uses. The theory is seen in much of his later work, and in his work Philosophical Investigations, published in 1953, he first mentions it as a response to questions about language and the general form of propositions, which were

Primary Goal Of Government

892 words - 4 pages in greek philisophy is virtue and its relationship to man. Socrates taught that virtue is a divinely bestowed or inheirent understanding of what is just and what is unjust. His investigations into the nature of virtue, lead him to his belief that "knowledge and virtue are so closely related that no human agent ever knowingly chooses evil: improper conduct is a product of ignorance rather than of weakness of the will." Machiavellia rejects this

Metaphors in Philosophy

4135 words - 17 pages This paper deals with the question of whether metaphors are sufficient for the fulfillment of philosophical tasks, and, if they are, which cognitive or methodological place metaphors can have within philosophical discourse. We can distinguish three attitudes toward metaphors. First is the general rejection of metaphors in philosophy. Second is the unrestricted affirmation of metaphors as ‘absolute’ and as compensating for metaphysics. This

Tractarian Dualism

4002 words - 16 pages by such language is a natural byproduct of its own frequent use, dangerous only to the philosopher who might be tempted to take its meaning literally. Perhaps Wittgenstein had this sort of phenomenon in mind when he later wrote in the Philosophical Investigations: "Where our language suggests a body and there is none: there, we should like to say, is a spirit"(2) Alternatively, such dualistic expressions might be treated as examples of the

Similar Essays

Buddhism Essay

690 words - 3 pages religious system, it is a philosophical system, since Buddhism tends to develop the qualities of Wisdom and Compassion and also it does not include the idea of worshipping a creator God. Buddhism was born according to its creator Buddha's investigations about mediation. Therefore, Buddhism became a path of practice and spiritual development leading to insight into the true nature of life. Moreover, Buddhist practices such as meditation are means

But What Do You Mean? An Essay On Ludwig Wittgenstein's Linguistics And Logical Theories

1149 words - 5 pages mind and thinking process are independent from that of his or her peers. Therefore, it is impossible to avoid such conflicts because of the lack of uniformity in the way people think and comprehend ideas.Ludwig Wittgenstein was a revolutionary philosopher who studied linguistics and logic. Through "The Tractatus" and "Philosophical Investigations" and his own logical understandings, he was able to explain the flaws of the human language to the

Conscience In Ethical Decision Making Essay

1435 words - 6 pages priest of the Catholic Church, philosopher and theologian, explicitly defined conscience as the "reason making right decisions and not a voice giving us commands" (Philosophical Investigations 2009). He recognised its purpose as a faculty that distinguished right from wrong actions, inferring that humans, by nature, would do good and avoid evil, abbreviated by the term 'Synderesis' (Philosophical Investigations 2009). Aquinas inferred that there

Conscience In Ethical Decision Making Essay

1410 words - 6 pages individual doesn't actually make a conscious decision themself. However, Freud's model differs significantly from that of Aquinas, who inferred that the process was largely based on a 'right or wrong' theory.Thomas Aquinas, an Italian Dominican priest of the Catholic Church, philosopher and theologian, explicitly defined conscience as the "reason making right decisions and not a voice giving us commands" (Philosophical Investigations 2009). He