Introduction: Wittgenstein and the Scene of Contemporary Political Theory

Christopher C Robinson

in Wittgenstein and Political Theory

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780748639144
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652839 | DOI:
Introduction: Wittgenstein and the Scene of Contemporary Political Theory

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The peripatetic character of the philosophizing in Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations guides the organization of this book. There are perceptual modulations in this study of what it takes to theorize politics today. This chapter aims to reconceive theorizing politics using Wittgenstein's work on language and seeing, to both foreground the obstacles to seeing politics clearly that are unique to our times and that render older, epic examples of theory otiose; and to show the rough ground of language to offer paths that surmount these obstacles. His philosophical works in all their anti-Cartesian glory provide an intimate view of how a theorist goes about the hard work of seeing clearly and describing with a felicity that illuminates ‘the uncanniness of the ordinary’ — a feature of contemporary political life underappreciated by those who wish to escape its unpredictability with equations, textual analogues and the promise of epistemological heights.

Keywords: Philosophical Investigations; theorizing politics; language-games; Wittgenstein; contemporary politics

Chapter.  8191 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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