Philosophical Concepts, the Ideal of Sublimation, and the “Unpredictability of Human Behaviour”
Wittgenstein famously criticizes the philosophical practice of analyzing the meaning of words outside their ordinary use in everyday language, whereby often self-made pseudo-problems arise. In order to shed further light on Wittgenstein’s critique, this article makes use of the Remarks on the Philosophy of Psychology. First, starting from the remark in Vol. I, §52, his criticism of the philosophical method of selection and generalization is explained in detail. Next, I give a brief outline of Wittgenstein’s own way of philosophizing by reference to a selection of comments concerning the use of psychological words in everyday language, which will also further elucidate his critique. Finally, I enter into the question which (kind of) significance everyday language according to Wittgenstein has for philosophy.
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Kuusela, Oskari, 2013. “Wittgenstein’s Method of Conceptual Investigation and Concept Formation in Psychology.” In Racine and Slaney (2013), pp. 51–71.
Racine, Timothy P. and Kathleen L. Slaney, eds., 2013. A Wittgensteinian Perspective on the Use of Conceptual Analysis in Psychology. London: Palgrave.
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———, 1980a. Remarks on the Philosophy of Psychology: Vol. I., edited by G. E. M. Anscombe and G. H. von Wright. Translated by G. E. M. Anscombe. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Estimated date of origin of the manuscript (in German Language) .
———, 1980b. Remarks on the Philosophy of Psychology: Vol. II., edited by G. E. M. Anscombe and G. H. von Wright. Translated by C. G. Luckhardt and M. A. E. Aue. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Estimated date of origin of the manuscript (in German Language) .
———, 1992. Last Writings on the Philosophy of Psychology: Vol. I., edited by G. H. von Wright and Heikki Nyman. Translated by C. G. Luckhardt and Maximilian A. E. Aue. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Estimated date of origin of the manuscript (in German Language) [1948-49].
———, 2009. Philosophische Untersuchungen / Philosophical Investigations, Revised fourth edition, translated by G. E. M. Anscombe, P. M. S. Hacker and Joachim Schulte. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. First published in 1953.
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