Wittgenstein on Vaihinger and Frazer

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Carlos Alves Pereira


In this paper I demonstrate the connection between the single remark Wittgenstein made explicitly on Hans Vaihinger’s Die Philosophie des als ob and the remarks he made on Sir James George Frazer’s The Golden Bough. After a critical-genetic exposition of the relevant material, I offer an interpretation of that connection, which will require that I interpret the remark on the philosophy of “as if” relative to how Wittgenstein seems to regard Vaihinger’s fictionalism and relative to how Wittgenstein reads Frazer.

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Vaihinger Hans; Frazer James; fiction; science; magic; meaning; analogy