A highly accessible account of the thought of Wittgenstein
A Cloud of Philosophy, a Drop of Grammar
paper EAN: 978-0-87722-904-9 (ISBN: 0-87722-904-X)
"A very well written and reasoned book; a good introduction to and exposition of Wittgensteinian thinking. Suter does a fine job of showing why Wittgenstein should not be viewed as 'just another analytic philosophy practitioner,' without making him into some sort of mystic.... The book addresses an audience that is rarely addressed by Wittgenstein studies, and it presents interpretations that are original, interesting, and should raise good discussions among the experts."
Julius M. Moravcsik, Stanford University
Ludwig Wittgenstein conceived of philosophy as beneficially destructive: its purpose was to remove blocks to the understanding, to destroy "houses of cards," to eliminate philosophical muddles. Rather than providing solutions to philosophical problemsthe mind-body problem, the problem of other minds, the problem of skepticism, the problem of universalsWittgensteinian philosophy tries to show that the problems are nonsensical. This controversial philosopher has been the object of intense scrutinyboth professional and popularand widely divergent interpretations. In this 100th anniversary of Wittgenstein’s birth, Ronald Suter offers a highly accessible account of the thought of one of the most influential Anglo-American philosophers of the twentieth century.
Focusing on his mature conception of philosophy and the application of his philosophical methods to traditional and contemporary debates, Suter shows how Wittgenstein’s philosophy can be applied to many philosophical problems. He gives an account of the doctrine of family resemblance and discusses Wittgenstein’s relationship to Freud and to Russell. Contrasting Wittgenstein’s radically new view of philosophy with more traditional views, the author challenges various notions about the philosopher and shows how his approach dissolves traditional problems in theories of nature, mind, knowledge, and the philosophy of language.
"This presentation of Wittgenstein is interesting and admirably on target when defending certain interpretations against those of commentators with whom Suter disagrees. And Suter writes lucidly. This is not a simple achievement, and I commend him for really clear and helpful analyses of sticky, dense issues.... A fresh, original study that will be widely discussedit is no mere 'introduction.'"
Gerald E. Myers, Professor of Philosophy, C.U.N.Y
List of Abbreviations
Part I: Wittgenstein's Conception of Philosophy
1. Wittgenstein's Conception of Philosophy
2. The Doctrine of Family Resemblance
3. Wittgenstein's Freud
Part II: Wittgenstein and Mind
4. Behaviorism: Logical, Philosophical, Metaphysical
5. The Mind-Brain Identity Theory
6 . Cartesian Dualism
7. Wittgenstein's Refutation of Cartesian Dualism
8. Characteristics of Criteria
Part III: Wittgenstein on Some Problems of Philosophy
9. Augustine on Time
10. Dissolving the Dream Argument
11. Russell's Theory of Proper Names
12. Saul Wittgenstein's Skeptical Paradox
Appendix: Russell's Theory of Descriptions
Ronald Suter is Professor of Philosophy at Michigan State University and the author of Are You Moral?
Philosophy and Ethics
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