Wittgenstein

Course Requirement Areas: 
History of Philosophy
Metaphysics and Epistemology
Term: 
Winter
Credits: 
2.0
Level: 
Master’s
Type: 
Elective
Course Description: 

The course will be based on a close reading of parts of the Philosophical Investigations and some other late work by Wittgenstein. I shall start with Wittgenstein's remarks on voluntary action, as this subject is relevant to the work of several students. We shall then continue with his related remarks on intention and meaning something. I shall then turn to Wittgenstein's remarks on sensation language, including the discussion of the possibility of a language about private sensations (misleadingly called the "private language argument"). However, we may adapt the sections we read to students' interests. We shall also apply Wittgenstein's ideas to some current discussions in the philosophy of mind and elsewhere. Additionally, we shall learn how to read the Investigations, this most influential and controversial philosophical text of the twentieth century.

Learning Outcomes: 

A better informed and critical approach to questions in the philosophy of mind and language, and to philosophical methodology more generally.

Assessment: 

Term paper of approximately 2500 words, preferably interpreting passages from Wittgenstein’s writings. Students should consult me about the paper’s subject.

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