Wittgenstein on Vaihinger and Frazer

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Carlos Alves Pereira

Abstract

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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Author Biography

Carlos Alves Pereira, University of Lisbon; Nova University of Lisbon.

Carlos A. Pereira is a researcher in philosophy at the NOVA Institute of Philosophy, Lisbon, and a doctoral candidate in Literary Theory from the University of Lisbon, with a thesis on the concept of fiction. His research focuses on the philosophy of language, literary theory and criticism, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Donald Davidson. He has written on Wittgenstein (“Sobre o Tractatus e as Investigações”, in Venturinha, Nuno (ed.), Linguagem e Valor, Lisbon: Instituto de Filosofia da Linguagem, 2011, pp. 65-73) and on the concepts of fetishism and fiction.

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