Realism, Modernism and the Realistic Spirit: Diamond's Inheritance of Wittgenstein, Early and Late

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Stephen Mulhall

Abstract

This paper argues that Cora Diamond's interpretation of Wittgenstein's early and later work, and her specific attempts to apply it in religious and ethical contexts, show a willingness to sacrifice elements of Wittgenstein's signature concepts to the demands of what she calls his 'realistic spirit'. The paper also argues that this willingness relates her project to a certain understanding of modernism in the arts.
Section
Invited Paper
Author Biography

Stephen Mulhall, New College, Oxford

Stephen Mulhall is Professor of Philosophy and a Fellow of New College, Oxford. He previously held positions at All Souls College, Oxford and the University of Essex. His main research interests include Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Sartre and Nietzsche; ethics and the philosophy of religion; and the relation between philosophy and the arts (especially film and literature). Recent publications include Wittgenstein’s Private Language: Grammar, Nonsense, and Imagination in Philosophical Investigations §§ 243-315 (2006), The Conversation of Humanity (2007) and The Wounded Animal: J.M. Coetzee and the Difficulty of Reality (2009).

References

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Diamond, C., 1991. The Realistic Spirit. Cambridge Mass.: MIT Press.

Diamond, C., 2005. “Wittgenstein and Religious Belief: the Gulfs Between Us”. In D.Z. Phillips and M. von der Ruhr (eds.), Religion and Wittgenstein’s Legacy, pp. 99-137. London: Ashgate.

Diamond, C., 2006. “The Difficulty of Reality and the Difficulty of Philosophy”. In A. Crary and S. Shieh (eds.), Reading Cavell, pp. 98-118. London: Routledge.

Holland, R.F., 1980. “The Miraculous”. In Against Empiricism. Totowa, NJ.: Barnes and Noble.

Watt, I., 1957. The Rise of the Novel. London: Pimlico.

Wittgenstein, L., 1922. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Trans. C.K. Ogden and F.P. Ramsey. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Wittgenstein, L., 1978. Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics, ed. G. H. von Wright, Rush Rhees and G.E.M. Anscombe, trans. G.E.M. Anscombe. Oxford: Blackwell.