"Let us imagine...": Wittgenstein's Invitation to Philosophy

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Beth Savickey


Wendy Lee-Lampshire writes that Wittgenstein’s conception of language has something valuable to offer feminist attempts to construct epistemologies firmly rooted in the social, psychological and physical situations of language users (1999: 409).  However, she also argues that his own use of language exemplifies a form of life whose constitutive relationships are enmeshed in forms of power and authority. For example, she interprets the language game of the builders as one of slavery, and questions how we read and respond to it.  She asks: “Who are ‘we’ as Wittgenstein’s reader(s)?” This is an important question, and how we answer offers insight not only into our own philosophical practices, but also into Wittgenstein’s use of language games. With the words “Let us imagine...”, Wittgenstein invites readers to participate in creative, collaborative, and improvisational language games that alter not only the texts themselves, but our relationship with others.

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Wittgenstein Ludwig; language game; improvisation