Thursday, November 30, 2006

Wittgenstein's Mystical Method

This is my MA thesis on Wittgenstein - the pinnacle of my academic career. (So far ;-)
Having just re-read it, six years after production, I feel rather proud of it. Certainly my thinking hasn't changed, and I think I make a solid case - but then, I would, wouldn't I?

My essay can be summarised as an argument for the following theses:
a) Wittgenstein had a consistent purpose in his philosophical work, composed of two elements –
i) a belief in the ineffability of the mystical, that value cannot be spoken; and
ii) a consequent need to put limits to the realm of philosophy, in order not to distort our understanding of what is of value; and
b) the change from the early to the later Wittgenstein is only concerned with part ii) above, viz. Wittgenstein’s understanding of the nature of philosophy changed (the division between sense and nonsense in the Tractatus mutated into the development of a new method for philosophy in the Investigations) but the rĂ´le of philosophy within his overall thinking remained constant.

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