By Garry L. Hagberg
The voluminous writings of Ludwig Wittgenstein comprise one of the most profound reflections of modern occasions at the nature of the human topic and self-understanding - the human situation, philosophically conversing. Describing Ourselves mines these broad writings for a perception of the self that stands in impressive distinction to its predecessors in addition to its more moderen possible choices. extra particularly, the e-book bargains an in depth dialogue of Wittgenstein's later writings on language and brain as they carry targeted value for the knowledge and rationalization of the specific personality of self-descriptive or autobiographical language.
Garry L. Hagberg undertakes a ground-breaking philosophical research of chosen autobiographical writings--among the simplest examples we've of human selves exploring themselves--as they solid new and distinct mild at the critique of mind-body dualism and its undercurrents particularly and at the nature of autobiographical realization extra normally. The chapters soak up in flip the themes of self-consciousness, what Wittgenstein calls 'the internal picture', psychological privateness and the image of metaphysical seclusion, the very proposal of our statement of the contents of awareness, first-person expressive speech, reflexive or self-directed suggestion and competing photos of introspection, the nuances of retrospective self-understanding, person-perception and the corollary problems with self-perception (itself an curiously risky phrase), self-defining reminiscence, and the healing perception of philosophical development because it applies to all of those concerns.
The solid of characters interwoven all through this wealthy dialogue comprise, as well as Wittgenstein centrally, Augustine, Goethe, Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, Iris Murdoch, Donald Davidson, and Stanley Cavell, between others. all through, conceptual clarifications relating brain and language are placed to paintings within the research of concerns in relation to self-description and in novel philosophical readings of autobiographical texts.
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Additional info for Describing Ourselves: Wittgenstein and Autobiographical Consciousness
He writes: ‘Now the idea that the real I lives in my body is connected with the peculiar grammar of the word ‘‘I,’’ and the misunderstandings this grammar is liable to give rise to’ (p. 66). At this stage of his development Wittgenstein draws a contrast (one to be made with much greater subtlety in Philosophical Investigations and his mature writings on the philosophy of psychology) between categories of cases where ‘I’ is used as an object and those where it is used as a subject. If I refer to my broken arm, the bump on my forehead, or the fact that I have grown six inches (p.
And the aim of the philosophical undertaking that utilizes therapeutic, argumentative, and self-monitoring modes of analysis (along with multi-voiced selfdirected dialogue) is, of course, conceptual clarity, perspicuity, and—in a philosophical sense—self-understanding. Conceptual perspicuity, as we see at the close of the ﬁnal section, is the kind of thing one achieves in a case-by-case, piecemeal manner. The fact that we cannot characterize generally a system called ‘Wittgenstein’s method’ or generically deﬁne ‘perspicuousness’ itself (as we will see by returning to Cavell and to Cavell’s Emerson at this point), along with the fact that one cannot at the end of investigations of this kind elucidate a succinctly expressed theory of autobiographical or self-descriptive language that stands at the end of a single overarching argumentative line, is not a limitation.
And this shows something of the distinctively personal nature of this kind, or idiom, of philosophical work. The seeing of newly emergent connections of the kind examined in Chapter 6, and the layered and intricate analyses of linguistically induced conceptual disquietudes, take time and care—as does the kind of autobiographical work (whether it manifests itself in a formal autobiography, memoir, diary, or not) considered throughout this study. Some have argued that Wittgenstein’s ‘method’ is essentially (there is a gentle irony that appears Introduction: The Cartesian Legacy 13 on both sides of the debate here) therapeutic, while others have argued that it is essentially more conventionally argumentative in nature.