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Paradox and Platitude in Wittgenstein's Philosophy$
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David Pears

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199247707

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199247707.001.0001

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(p.96) 5 Ego
Paradox and Platitude in Wittgenstein's Philosophy

David Pears

Oxford University Press

‘I’, or if given thegravitasof Latin, ‘Ego’, is a surprisingly elusive concept, and Wittgenstein's concern with the problems that it presents to a philosopher emerges very early in his writings. His treatment of the concept leads him into two paradoxes. The first paradox is formulated in the discussion of solipsism in theTractatus. The second paradox does not — at least, on the face of it — involve any philosophical theory. It is the simple claim that the pronoun ‘I’ does not make a reference. This claim is made inThe Blue Book(1933-34).

Keywords:   paradox, Tractatus, The Blue Book, I

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