To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
While readers have long recognized the innovative styles of Wittgenstein’s writings, this chapter considers the philosophical significance of the concept, perception, and attribution of style in Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations and other works. Contrary to some interpreters, I argue in the first section that the later Wittgenstein continued to see philosophy as logic, but expanded his conception of what constituted “the logical” to include “forms of life,” “life,” “living,” and so on. In the second section, I draw on recent work on the logical form of judgment about living organisms to describe distinctive logical features of such judgment including necessity, unity, generality and its relation to particularity, and temporality, and in the third section, I show that this logical form and its distinctive features can elucidate claims made about forms of life in Philosophical Investigations. In the final section, I show how Wittgenstein’s concept of style exhibits the same logical features and thereby serves as a guiding metaphor for recognizing “the logical” in our everyday life-activities.
This chapter highlights how Cavell’s pioneering interpretation of Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations in “The Availability of Wittgenstein’s Later Philosophy” bears on literary studies. It traces an influential misreading of the Investigations deriving from Jean-François Lyotard’s The Postmodern Condition (1979) whose understanding of “language-games” has become foundational to the conception of postmodern literature put forth by leading literary scholars, even as it relies on an unacknowledged simplification of how Wittgenstein understands the linked concepts of “language-games” and “rules” in the Investigations.
Cavell’s “Availability” essay exposes the problems with this postmodern reading of Wittgenstein. As Cavell makes clear, Wittgenstein compares the “rules” of language to “moves in a game” in part because he wishes to emphasize the differences between these two cases: unlike those of, say, a board game, the rules of “everyday language” cannot be exhaustively listed or written down, and yet, “the absence of such a structure in no way impairs its [i.e., language’s] functioning.” For this reason, as the “Availability” essay shows, “rules” turn out to be a concept of only secondary importance within the Investigations; rather, language-games emerge against the backdrop of what Wittgenstein calls “forms of life” or, elsewhere, “the natural history of human beings.”
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.