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Was Wittgenstein an Analytic Philosopher?


Glock, Hans Johann (2004). Was Wittgenstein an Analytic Philosopher? Metaphilosophy, 35(4):419-444.

Abstract

This article first surveys the established views on Wittgenstein's relation to analytic philosophy. Next it distinguishes among different ways of defining analytic philosophy—topical, doctrinal, methodological, stylistic, historical, and the idea that it is a family-resemblance concept. It argues that while certain stylistic features are important, the historical and the family-resemblance conceptions are the most auspicious, especially in combination. The answer to the title question is given in section 3. Contrary to currently popular “irrationalist” interpretations, Wittgenstein was an analytic philosopher in all phases of his career, albeit an exceedingly exotic one whose style transcends the limits of academic philosophy in general. On the historical understanding he qualifies because he was influenced by and in turn influenced mainly analytic philosophers. On the family-resemblance conception he qualifies both because he developed and employed logico-linguistic analysis and because he initiated the linguistic turn and the distinction between philosophy and science that characterizes one important strand in analytic philosophy.

This article first surveys the established views on Wittgenstein's relation to analytic philosophy. Next it distinguishes among different ways of defining analytic philosophy—topical, doctrinal, methodological, stylistic, historical, and the idea that it is a family-resemblance concept. It argues that while certain stylistic features are important, the historical and the family-resemblance conceptions are the most auspicious, especially in combination. The answer to the title question is given in section 3. Contrary to currently popular “irrationalist” interpretations, Wittgenstein was an analytic philosopher in all phases of his career, albeit an exceedingly exotic one whose style transcends the limits of academic philosophy in general. On the historical understanding he qualifies because he was influenced by and in turn influenced mainly analytic philosophers. On the family-resemblance conception he qualifies both because he developed and employed logico-linguistic analysis and because he initiated the linguistic turn and the distinction between philosophy and science that characterizes one important strand in analytic philosophy.

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9 citations in Web of Science®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Philosophy
Dewey Decimal Classification:100 Philosophy
Language:English
Date:2004
Deposited On:14 May 2012 14:42
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:26
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0026-1068
Additional Information:French Translation “Wittgenstein, philosophe analytique?”, in E. Rigal (ed.), Wittgenstein: état des lieux (J. Vrin, Paris 2008), pp. 330-352.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9973.2004.00329.x
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-56241

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