Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Wittgenstein: Comparisons and Context$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

P. M. S. Hacker

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199674824

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199674824.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 November 2020

Wittgenstein's Anthropological and Ethnological Approach

Wittgenstein's Anthropological and Ethnological Approach

Chapter:
(p.111) 5 Wittgenstein's Anthropological and Ethnological Approach
Source:
Wittgenstein: Comparisons and Context
Author(s):

P. M. S. Hacker

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199674824.003.0005

Wittgenstein remarked that he adopted an ethnological or anthropological approach in philosophy. The approach of the Tractatus was logico-metaphysical, an investigation into timeless truths and their representation in language. Language was conceived as an atemporal system of forms. Linguistic behaviour and the performance of speech-acts were not mentioned, and both communication and understanding were relegated to psychology. In the Investigations, he dealt with language as a human practice. Now he argued that grammar is autonomous and, in an important sense, arbitrary. There is no semantic connection between language and reality. Ostensive definition does not forge such a connection, for samples belong to the means of representation, not to what is represented. Concepts are not correct or incorrect, but only more or less useful. Concept-formation, possession, application, and utility depend upon general facts of nature, as well as on common human nature. Wittgenstein's later conception of language is anthropological, and his conception of human languages is ethnological and cultural.

Keywords:   language, concepts, grammar, ostensive definition, representation, communication, practice

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .