Nordic Wittgenstein Review 2021-01-24T01:22:48+01:00 Simo Säätelä Open Journal Systems <p><strong><em>Nordic Wittgenstein Review</em> (NWR)</strong> publishes original contributions on all aspects of Wittgenstein's thought and work.&nbsp;Each issue includes a peer-reviewed articles section, an archival section, and a book review section. In addition, most issues include&nbsp;an invited paper and/or an interview. The journal is published by the <em>Nordic Wittgenstein Society</em> (NWS).</p> <p>eISSN 2242-248X</p> Note from the Editors 2021-01-24T01:22:48+01:00 Simo Säätelä Gisela Bengtsson Cato Wittusen Oskari Kuusela <p>Originally published March 20, 2020. This version published December 30, 2020.&nbsp;</p> 2020-03-20T00:00:00+01:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wittgenstein’s Critique of the Additive Conception of Language 2021-01-24T01:22:47+01:00 James F. Conant <p>This paper argues that Wittgenstein, both early and late, rejects the idea that the logically simpler and more fundamental case is that of "the mere sign" and that what a meaningful symbol is can be explained through the elaboration of an appropriately supplemented conception of the sign: the sign plus something (say, an interpretation or an assignment of meaning). Rather the sign, in the logically fundamental case of its mode of occurrence, is an internal aspect of the symbol. The Tractatus puts this point as follows: “The sign is that in the symbol which is perceptible by the senses.” Conversely, this means that it is essential to a symbol – to what a symbol is – that it have an essentially perceptible aspect. For Wittgenstein there is no privileged direction of explanatory priority between symbol and sign here: without signs there are no symbols (hence without language there is no thought) and without some sort of relation to symbols there are no signs (hence the philosopher’s concept of the supposedly "merely linguistic" presupposes an internal relation to symbols).</p> 2020-03-23T00:00:00+01:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wittgenstein and G. H. von Wright’s path to The Varieties of Goodness (1963) 2021-01-24T01:22:46+01:00 Lassi Johannes Jakola <p>The development of G. H. von Wright’s work in ethics is traced from the early 1950s to the publication of <em>The Varieties of Goodness </em>in 1963, with special focus on the influences stemming from Wittgenstein’s later thought. In 1952, von Wright published an essay suggesting a formal analysis of the concept of value. This attempt was soon abandoned. The change of approach took place at the time von Wright started his work on Wittgenstein’s <em>Nachlass </em>and tried to articulate the main lines of Wittgenstein’s <em>Philosophische Untersuchungen</em> in spoken and written form. This preoccupation with Wittgenstein led to a new approach to <em>value judgments</em> in an 1954 article, which shows strong late-Wittgensteinian influences on methodical as well as stylistic levels. Some traces of the 1954 approach are still visible in <em>The Varieties of Goodness</em>, while the stylistic imitations and allusions have mostly been dropped. Furthermore, von Wright’s approach in <em>The Varieties </em>is wider in scope, aiming at a broad overview of the phenomenon von Wright calls the “varieties of goodness”. But new conncections to the later Wittgenstein also seem to emerge: the idea of a "perspicuous presentation" of ethical concepts and the will to make philosophy relevant for "kulturens större sammanhang".</p> 2020-04-15T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Winds of Change: The Later Wittgenstein’s Conception of the Dynamics of Change 2021-01-24T01:22:45+01:00 Cecilie Eriksen <p>The theme of change is one of the most prominent traits of Wittgenstein’s later work, and his writings have inspired many contemporary thinkers’ discussions of changes in e.g. concepts, ‘aspect-seeing’, practices, worldviews, and forms of life. However, Wittgenstein’s conception of the dynamics of change has not been investigated in its own right.</p> <p>The aim of this paper is to investigate which understanding of the dynamics of changes can be found in the later Wittgenstein’s work. I will argue that what emerges is a rich and complex picture that has the potential to aid our thinking in politics and elsewhere when developing strategies for creating changes. It can do so both as source of inspiration and by countering tempting, yet ultimately problematic ways of conceptualizing change like the hope for transforming harmful traditions and social practices with the help of a general explanatory theory of the fundamental dynamics of changes.</p> 2020-06-03T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wittgenstein's Forms of Life: A Tool of Perspicuous Representation 2021-01-24T01:22:45+01:00 Olli Lagerspetz <p>The focus is on two texts by Wittgenstein where ‘forms of life’ constitute the pivot of an extended argument: ‘Cause and Effect’ and the discussion of colour concepts in ‘Remarks on the Philosophy of Psychology’. The author argues that forms of life are above all Wittgenstein's response to the question what it is to analyse a concept. The remark that forms of life are ‘given’ and must be ‘accepted’ is a natural corollary of Wittgenstein’s antireductionism and his idea of philosophy as a descriptive enterprise. Wittgenstein is, however, not offering forms of life as the ultimate foundation of our statements about causation or colour. He shifts the focus to the questioning activity itself. Our inquiries and descriptions imply conceptions of how to look and what to accept as verification. Forms of life are given, not because they cannot be analysed further, but because the investigation will take them as given. Comparisons are made, on the one hand, with G.H. von Wright’s interventionist account of the concept of causation and, on the other hand, with the two currently dominant interpretations of ‘forms of life’: the ‘linguistic community’ view and the ‘naturalist’ view.</p> 2020-06-03T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wittgenstein on the Constitutive Uncertainty of the Mental 2021-01-24T01:22:44+01:00 Ben Sorgiovanni <p>The idea that our recognition of others’ mental states is beset, not only by contingent but <em>constitutional</em> uncertainty is one to which Wittgenstein returns throughout his later work. And yet it remains an underexplored component of that work.&nbsp;The primary aim of this paper is to better understand what Wittgenstein means when he describes the mental as constitutively uncertain, and his conception of the kind of knowledge of others' mental lives consistent with it.&nbsp;&nbsp;The secondary aim is to connect Wittgenstein’s discussion of the constitutive uncertainty of the mental with two further components of his later thought—specifically, his remarks on aspect perception and on the pattern-like nature of the emotions.</p> 2020-09-21T13:43:58+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wittgenstein on "Imaginability" as a Criterion for Logical Possibility 2021-01-24T01:22:42+01:00 Jasmin Trächtler <p>Throughout his whole work, Wittgenstein seizes on a distinction between logical and physical possibility, and impossibility. Despite this continuity and although, Wittgenstein brings in this distinction in various contexts and from different vantage points, he often solely brushes over it without elaborating in detail. In the so-called <em>Big Typescript</em>, however, he dedicates himself not only to the distinction between logical and physical possibility but also to the distinction between logical possibility and impossibility in particular investigations. In the course of these investigations, another aspect arises and is tossed and turned repeatedly by Wittgenstein – namely, the place of “imaginability” in these considerations.</p> <p>On the basis of three focussed chapters in the <em>Big Typescript</em>, I argue that “imaginability” as an utterance of the form “being able to imagine ‘what it would be like’” can be allocated the place of a criterion for logical possibility. To this end, I will first outline the chapters 96., 27. and 26. in one section each. Although in these chapters, Wittgenstein only indicates rather than claiming explicitly “imaginability” to be a criterion for logical possibility, I will discuss in the last section how this conclusion can be drawn by combining the results of the previous sections.</p> 2020-09-30T12:05:38+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## “We are Human Beings, and We Value Human Life”: Glock and Diamond on Mental Capacities and Animal Ethics 2021-01-24T01:22:42+01:00 Mikel Burley <p>How should a philosophical inquiry into the moral status of (nonhuman) animals proceed? Many philosophers maintain that by examining the “morally relevant” psychological or physiological capacities possessed by the members of different species, and comparing them with similar capacities possessed by human beings, the moral status of the animals in question can be established. Others contend that such an approach runs into serious moral and conceptual problems, a crucial one being that of how to give a coherent account of the natural sense of concern for profoundly cognitively impaired human beings if moral status is assumed to depend on features that centrally include cognitive capacities. The present article discusses this debate with reference to Wittgenstein-influenced philosophers whose respective approaches, on the face of it, diverge dramatically. With a primary focus on Hans-Johann Glock and Cora Diamond, and a secondary focus on recent work by Alice Crary, I argue that, despite an overt disavowal of the kind of approach favoured by Diamond and Crary, Glock’s affirmation that we simply do “value human life” brings him closer to that approach than he acknowledges.</p> 2020-10-19T11:33:51+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Chadbourne Gilpatric and Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Fateful Meeting 2021-01-24T01:22:46+01:00 Stephen Leach <p>On January 11 1951 Chadbourne Gilpatric met with Wittgenstein to offer him, on behalf of the Rockefeller Foundation, funding for any forthcoming publications. Wittgenstein politely declined the offer as he did not believe his health would permit him to bring any projects to completion. The meeting is referred to in a letter from Wittgenstein to Norman Malcolm and is also recalled by O.K. Bouwsma. Bouwsma learned of it from conversations with Wittgenstein and by Gilpatric. However, it is also recounted in Gilpatric’s diary. Gilpatric’s account comprises the fullest account of the meeting. It has remained unedited, until now, and is here transcribed for the first time. Five years later on February 1 1956 Gilpatric submitted a report, entitled ‘Logician and Mystic’, to the Rockefeller Foundation This report adds detail to his original account and summarises the Rockefeller’s financial support of the posthumous publication of Wittgenstein’s work. It also sketches Gilpatric’s view of Wittgenstein’s work.</p> 2020-04-15T17:19:30+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Language, Ethics and "The Merits of Being Involved in Meaning". Review of Maria Balaska: Wittgenstein and Lacan at the Limit: Meaning and Astonishment 2021-01-24T01:22:44+01:00 Paul Livingston <p>Working through Balaska’s deeply perceptive, elegantly written, and profoundly honest book, <em>Wittgenstein and Lacan at the Limit</em>, a reader steeped in the recent academic literature about either or both of its main figures may come to feel herself placed at what is, itself, a certain kind of limit.&nbsp; The limit I mean is the limit of a familiar type of theoretical discourse about the constitution and structure of language and subjectivity as Wittgenstein and Lacan treat them: it includes the discourses that seek, for instance, to articulate how language and sense are constituted in the <em>Tractatus</em>, and thus what is really meant by “logical form” and “nonsense” there; or those that aim to comprehend the true relationship of our biological nature to language, culture, and the advent of freedom in Lacan; or, again, those that try to find, in either thinker’s works (or both), the precise location of the delicate logical buttonhole that would alone permit us entry, from within everyday language and life, to the absoluteness of an ineffable beyond. &nbsp;&nbsp;These discourses all treat of language and life, but handle these phenomena (so we might say) at arm’s length, theorizing the structure of each and the form of their relationship in such a way as to establish, ultimately, their mutual convertibility to one another, their mutual absorption into a third, more inclusive term (such as “nature” or “biology), or adduce translations from the dense theoretical matrices of one thinker’s treatment of them to the other’s (for instance, from the terminology of logic to that of psychoanalysis, or back again).&nbsp; Balaska’s book, doing none of these things, rather succeeds in bringing out how an interconnected reading of the Wittgenstein of the <em>Tractatus </em>and Lacan may speak to and inform our response to a certain kind of experience that is characteristic for both thinkers, and typical as well of those moments and occasions of our lives in which we may find ourselves drawn to reflect on what meaning is and how we relate to it.&nbsp;</p> 2020-06-03T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Review of Cora Diamond: Reading Wittgenstein with Anscombe, Going on to Ethics 2021-01-24T01:22:43+01:00 Lars Hertzberg <p>Review of Cora Diamond: <em>Reading Wittgenstein with Anscombe, Going on to Ethics</em></p> 2020-09-21T13:44:29+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Review of New Essays on Frege, edited by G. Bengtsson, A. Pichler, and S. Säätelä 2021-01-24T01:22:41+01:00 Wim Vanrie 2020-12-03T09:44:09+01:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Review of Friedrich August von Hayek’s Draft Biography of Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Text and Its History, edited by Christian Erbacher 2021-01-24T01:22:41+01:00 Jack Manzi <p>Friedrich von Hayek’s <em>Unfinished Draft of a Sketch of a Biography of Ludwig Wittgenstein</em> was the first attempt at the task of assembling a comprehensible picture of the life of his pre-eminent cousin, Ludwig Wittgenstein. As the title might suggest, von Hayek never finished this task, his efforts being stymied by both Wittgenstein’s literary executors and Wittgenstein’s sister, Margaret Stonborough. Here, and for the first time, Christian Erbacher presents the first real publication of this draft, with accompanying commentary, and an afterword by Allan Janik.</p> <p>&nbsp;Perhaps the best way to describe Erbacher’s work here is as a ‘biography of a biography’. His introduction to von Hayek’s manuscript details the story behind its creation, beginning with an outline of von Hayek’s own relationship with Wittgenstein, and the parallels between their academic careers. In doing so, Erbacher not only also describes the history of von Hayek’s sketch, but also the history of Wittgenstein-biography as a genre in itself. For what emerges from Erbacher’s extensive work in researching the von Hayek sketch is that, despite never coming to fruition itself, the work that von Hayek put into collecting the materials for writing a biography of Wittgenstein was hugely influential in all future endeavours of chronicling Wittgenstein’s life.</p> 2020-12-03T09:44:52+01:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement##