David Egan: “Pictures in Wittgenstein’s Later Philosophy”

The journal Philosophical Investigations has just published a new essay by David Egan which we thought would interest some of you. It is entitled, “Pictures in Wittgenstein’s Later Philosophy,” and you can access it by clicking here.

Here is its abstract:

The word “picture” occurs pervasively in Wittgenstein’s later philosophy. Not only does Wittgenstein often use literal pictures or the notion of mental pictures in his investigations, but he also frequently uses “picture” to speak about a way of conceiving of a matter (e.g. “A pictureheld us captive” at Philosophical Investigations§115). I argue that “picture” used in this conceptual sense is not a shorthand for an assumption or a set of propositions but is rather an expression of conceptual bedrock on the model of an organising myth. This reading builds primarily on work by Gordon Baker and Stanley Cavell.

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