Wittgenstein on Forms of Life, Patterns of Life, and Ways of Living

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Daniele Moyal-Sharrock

Abstract

This paper aims to distinguish Wittgenstein’s concept of ‘form of life’ from other concepts or expressions that have been confused or conflated with it, such as ‘language-game’, ‘certainty’, ‘patterns of life’, ‘ways of living’ and ‘facts of living’. Competing interpretations of Wittgenstein’s ‘form(s) of life’ are reviewed (Baker & Hacker, Cavell, Conway, Garver), and it is concluded that Wittgenstein intended both a singular and a plural use of the concept; with, where the human is concerned, a single human form of life characterized by innumerable forms of human life.

Section
Special Issue
Author Biography

Daniele Moyal-Sharrock, University of Hertfordshire

Danièle Moyal-Sharrock teaches philosophy at the University of Hertfordshire (UK), and is President of the British Wittgenstein Society. Her publications, mostly in English and French, focus on Wittgenstein’s contribution to epistemology, philosophy of language and philosophy of psychology. She is the author of Understanding Wittgenstein’s On Certainty (2004/2007) and the translator of On Certainty into French (Gallimard, 2006). Her edited volumes include The Third Wittgenstein (2004), Readings of Wittgenstein’s On Certainty (2005/2007), and Perspicuous Presentations: Essays on Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Psychology (2007); forthcoming are: Hinge Epistemology (with A. Coliva) and F. R. Leavis: critic, teacher, philosopher. She is currently working on a book: Wittgenstein: The Genius of Philosophy.

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