This thesis aims at presenting and defending the importance of aesthetics for Wittgenstein. It also strives to show that method and style overlap and that, in doing so, these embody Wittgenstein’s conception of philosophy as a clarifying activity. In Part I, we take Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus as our starting point, as well as its cardinal problem: the difference between what can be said (= thought) and what cannot be said but shows itself by what is said by meaningful propositions. We argue that clarifying the nature of propositions is essential to the solution of the problem, and carry out this clarification in the first sections of our work. As part of this task, we distinguish between propositions that are sinnvoll, sinnlos and unsinnig, and we elucidate the role internal relations play in harmonizing language, thought and the world. We emphasize the importance of making these internal relations visible and, accordingly, we accentuate the importance of vision and of the myriad terms connected with the word Bild, understood as image or model. We maintain that the book is an “ethical deed” as well as an aesthetic one, in that it facilitates a just vision of the world. We consider style as vital to understanding it thus. Moreover, we also underline the significance of seeing sub specie aeterni; for Wittgenstein, this is the way to see and understand the world as meaningful par excellence. In Part II, we try to come to grips with Wittgenstein’s new philosophical method, which he develops after the TLP. Based on several writings from the beginning of the thirties, and extending our scope to include the Investigations – the most polished typescript of the book that would have followed the TLP, if it were finished – we see which features illustrate Wittgenstein’s new method, as well as his new conception of language, of philosophical problems and of their dissolution. We show that these features allow us to compare Wittgenstein’s investigations to aesthetic ones, as both philosophical and aesthetic investigations are not empirical, but conceptual. We examine the importance of imagining new possibilities of sense that are inspired by what men say and by our ways of acting. This involves showing the importance of analogies, primitive language games, descriptions, reasons and comparisons in philosophizing, and contrasting these with causal and explanatory models. Furthermore, we consider the role of an übersichtliche Darstellung as a way of seeing that presents a synopsis of what we know, allowing us to clearly see and understand how our language works. We characterize this exercise as perceptive, aesthetic, and ethical. We also show how it connects, as a method, to Wittgenstein’s style and how it influences the form in which he arranges and writes his investigations. Finally, we reflect on Wittgenstein’s position regarding philosophy; in particular, we discuss his remark where he says that philosophy should be only dichten.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Award date||7 Nov 2016|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2016|
- Philosophy, method, style, aesthetics, language, conceptual investigation