This paper focuses on Wittgenstein’s philosophical engagement with James’ thought on the experiential account of meaning and understanding. According to this account, meaning is characterized as a state of mind of the subject, while understanding is conceived as a kind of experience of the subject. This paper argues that, although Wittgenstein criticizes the experiential model as a tempting but deceptive philosophical view, James’s account has a pervasive positive influence on Wittgenstein’s thought. It will be shown that, even though Wittgenstein argues against the idea that meanings are experiences, the Jamesian principle of the absence of the will act informs Wittgenstein’s alternative conceptions of meaning as use and understanding as mastery of a technique. Moreover, Wittgenstein’s discussion of aspect-seeing in the second part of the Philosophical Investigations follows the discussion of the experiential account. Wittgenstein’s discussion is presented as an instance of the distinction between experience and grammar and as an example of a broader engagement with James’s philosophy on the concept of experience.

Experience and Grammar: Wittgenstein and James on the experience of meaning.

Alice Morelli
2018

Abstract

This paper focuses on Wittgenstein’s philosophical engagement with James’ thought on the experiential account of meaning and understanding. According to this account, meaning is characterized as a state of mind of the subject, while understanding is conceived as a kind of experience of the subject. This paper argues that, although Wittgenstein criticizes the experiential model as a tempting but deceptive philosophical view, James’s account has a pervasive positive influence on Wittgenstein’s thought. It will be shown that, even though Wittgenstein argues against the idea that meanings are experiences, the Jamesian principle of the absence of the will act informs Wittgenstein’s alternative conceptions of meaning as use and understanding as mastery of a technique. Moreover, Wittgenstein’s discussion of aspect-seeing in the second part of the Philosophical Investigations follows the discussion of the experiential account. Wittgenstein’s discussion is presented as an instance of the distinction between experience and grammar and as an example of a broader engagement with James’s philosophy on the concept of experience.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3716579
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