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"Lebensform" oder "Lebensformen"? Zwei Addenda zur Kontroverse zwischen N. Garver und R. Haller


Ferber, Rafael (1992). "Lebensform" oder "Lebensformen"? Zwei Addenda zur Kontroverse zwischen N. Garver und R. Haller. In: Puhl, Klaus. Wittgensteins Philosophie der Mathematik: Akten des 15. alen Wittgenstein-Symposiums, Teil 2, Schriftenreihe der Wittgenstein-Gesellschaft,. Wien: Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky, 270-276.

Abstract

“Form of life” (Lebensform) is one of the most influential philosophical concepts of Wittgenstein’s “Philosophical Investigations” (PI), although the term is used only five times (PI I § 19, § 23, § 241; P II, p. 485, p. 539). There has been a discussion between N. Garver and R. Haller (in: Grazer Philosophische Studien 21, 1984) about its meaning: Garver suggests a species-specific (singular) meaning of the term, Haller a sociocultural (plural) one.
The first part of this paper defends the thesis that the expression “form of life”, which is used only a single time in the plural as “forms of life” (PU II, p. 539), is ambiguous: It has a primary species-specific (singular) meaning which is connected to a secondary sociocultural (plural) meaning. This connection is quasi-paronymic (cf. Aristotle.Cat.2a11-19) because all secondary sociocultural forms of life depend on and refer to the single form of life of the human species.

The second part of the paper discusses the question of whether Wittgenstein’s term “form of life” goes back to E. Spranger’s Lebensformen (1922) or W. Fred’s Lebensformen (1911). It is shown that Wittgenstein himself says that he was influenced by O. Spengler (VB, p. 43). Spengler’s “Untergang des Abendlandes” (Decline of the West) (UA) uses the term “Lebensform” (UA 588. 591) in a way which is very close to Wittgenstein’s usage of the term (for this, compare PU II 539 and UA 593).

Abstract

“Form of life” (Lebensform) is one of the most influential philosophical concepts of Wittgenstein’s “Philosophical Investigations” (PI), although the term is used only five times (PI I § 19, § 23, § 241; P II, p. 485, p. 539). There has been a discussion between N. Garver and R. Haller (in: Grazer Philosophische Studien 21, 1984) about its meaning: Garver suggests a species-specific (singular) meaning of the term, Haller a sociocultural (plural) one.
The first part of this paper defends the thesis that the expression “form of life”, which is used only a single time in the plural as “forms of life” (PU II, p. 539), is ambiguous: It has a primary species-specific (singular) meaning which is connected to a secondary sociocultural (plural) meaning. This connection is quasi-paronymic (cf. Aristotle.Cat.2a11-19) because all secondary sociocultural forms of life depend on and refer to the single form of life of the human species.

The second part of the paper discusses the question of whether Wittgenstein’s term “form of life” goes back to E. Spranger’s Lebensformen (1922) or W. Fred’s Lebensformen (1911). It is shown that Wittgenstein himself says that he was influenced by O. Spengler (VB, p. 43). Spengler’s “Untergang des Abendlandes” (Decline of the West) (UA) uses the term “Lebensform” (UA 588. 591) in a way which is very close to Wittgenstein’s usage of the term (for this, compare PU II 539 and UA 593).

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Philosophy
Dewey Decimal Classification:100 Philosophy
Language:German
Date:1992
Deposited On:21 May 2014 14:30
Last Modified:17 May 2016 14:32
Publisher:Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky
Number:20/2

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