Article

Wittgenstein and The Moral Dimension of Philosophical Problems

Joel Backström

in The Oxford Handbook of Wittgenstein

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199287505
Published online January 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199287505.003.0033

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

 Wittgenstein and The Moral Dimension of Philosophical Problems

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Ludwig Wittgenstein's so-called Big Typescript from the early 1930s includes a famous chapter on ‘Philosophy’. This article examines how Wittgenstein saw the character of the philosophical problems he was dealing with, in particular the connection between them, language trouble, and the broadly speaking moral-existential difficulties apparently referred to in the opening statement. It is crucial to realise that reflection on the possible intertwining of philosophical problems and moral difficulties will not only challenge standard conceptions of philosophy, but also of morality. Wittgenstein always stresses the ‘depth’ of philosophical problems. Through his patient work of reflection and questioning of philosophical preconceptions and prejudices, he reveals how difficult it is, not just to free oneself from their grip but to realise that one is in their grip.

Keywords: Ludwig Wittgenstein; philosophy; morality; language; philosophical problems; moral difficulties; prejudices

Article.  12732 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Mind ; History of Western Philosophy

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