Aspect-Perception as a Philosophical Method


  • Reshef Agam-Segal Virginia Military Institute



metaphilosophy, aspect seeing, Wittgenstein Ludwig, philosophical method


Inducing aspect-experiences – the sudden seeing of something anew, as when a face suddenly strikes us as familiar – can be used as a philosophical method. In seeing aspects, I argue, we let ourselves experience what it would be like to conceptualize something in a particular way, apart from any conceptual routine. We can use that experience to examine our ways of conceptualizing things, and re-evaluate the ways we make sense of them. I claim that we are not always passive with regard to these experiences, and explain how we can actively induce them. I distinguish this method from other standard Wittgensteinian philosophical methods.

Author Biography

Reshef Agam-Segal, Virginia Military Institute

Reshef Agam-Segal is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the Virginia Military Institute. His main research interests include Wittgenstein, ethics, and philosophy and literature. Publications include: “A Splitting ‘Mind-Ache’: An Anscombean Challenge to Kantian Self-Legislation” (Journal of Philosophical Research, 2013); “How to Investigate the Grammar of Aspect-Perception: A Question in Wittgensteinian Method” (Essays in Philosophy, 2012); “Contours and Barriers: What Is It to Draw the Limits of Language?” (Philosophy, 2009).


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