The Unity of Wittgenstein's Philosophy: Necessity, Intelligibility, and Normativity

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Explores the stable core of Wittgenstein's philosophy as developed from the Tractatus to the Philosophical Investigations.
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Editorial Reviews

Until recently, Wittgenstein's two main works<-->the and the <-->were seen as representing two radically different philosophies. Here Medina (philosophy, Vanderbilt U.) aims to demonstrate the internal logic of Wittgenstein's thought throughout his career. He argues that there is a strong methodological unity in Wittgenstein's treatments of the interrelated themes of necessity and intelligibility. The text is based upon the author's dissertation (Northwestern U., 1998). Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From the Publisher
This is a carefully conceived and imaginatively executed piece of work with a great deal to offer its intended audience. Medina is thoroughly familiar with the primary and the secondary literature, he has a thesis both important and unexpected, and his arguments are plausible and far-reaching.— James C. Edwards, Furman University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791453889
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2002
  • Series: SUNY Series in Philosophy
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

José Medina is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University.

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Table of Contents




1. Necessity and Intelligibility in the Tractatus

1.1. Possibility and Necessity in the Tractatus
1.2. What's Color Got to Do with It?
1.3. The Myth of 'Hidden Bodies'
1.4. Deflationism and Realism in the Tractatus

2. From Pictures to Yardsticks: The Colorful Transformations of the Tractarian View of Language

2.1. Let the Phenomena Speak for Themselves!
2.2. The Emergence of the Satzsystem Conception of Language

3. The Calculus View of Language: Meaning and Rules

3.1. Rules as Constitutive of Meaning
3.2. Local Holism, Verificationism, and the Proliferation Problem
3.3. Idealizing Language: The Autonomy of Rules

4. The “Unbridgeable Gulf” between Rule and Application

4.1. Frege on Applicability
4.2. The “Internal Relation” between Rule and Application
4.3. Is Grammar Up to Me?

5. Internal Relations in Action: Following a Rule versus Conforming with It

5.1. Searching for a Differentia Specifica
5.2. The Irrelevance of Learning: Reasons and Causes
5.3. From Possible Applications to Actual Uses

6. Normativity in Practice: Learning and Techniques

6.1. Psychologism and “Logical Madness”
6.2. Learning and Necessity
6.3. Back to the Rough Ground!
6.4. The Role of the Community: Contextualism and Quietism in Wittgenstein's Later Philosophy




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