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    Whiting, Daniel 2016. A Companion to Wittgenstein. p. 420.

  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: July 2010

6 - Wittgenstein vs contextualism

This chapter explores whether Wittgenstein is productively associated with contextualism. It shows that if one read contextualism back into passages in the Philosophical Investigations, they end up ascribing views to Wittgenstein that he not only does not endorse, but which are in active opposition to his intent. The chapter focuses on two alleged such ways, one associated with proper names and one with predicates. According to Charles Travis, Wittgenstein seeks to draw the reader's attention to both. The Philosophical Investigations might be taken to provide support for contextualism not merely by explicitly agitating for it, but more indirectly by challenging its nemesis: truth-conditional semantics (TCS). The thesis is that finding contextualism in the passages discussed is not merely unwarranted; it is at cross-purposes with an appreciation of the points about explanation and understanding that these passages are chiefly concerned to provide.
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Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations
  • Online ISBN: 9780511750939
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