User projects

For publications resulting from WAB users projects, see the Publications by WAB users site.

    José María Ariso (Facultad de psicología de la universidad complutense de Madrid, Filosofía IV): Madness according to Wittgenstein's later work (6.6.-26.6.2004)

    Wittgenstein´s attitude towards madness provides an important tension in his later work. In this context, the madman is the individual who gives up knowing his way about when something really unheard-of happens: according to Wittgenstein, something really unheard-of means not only a sudden and drastic variation in the environment, but also the loss of the confidence which allowed the individual to take part in language-games. In other words, the madman does not try to justify or explain his current situation: so he does not try to move into the mystical, that is, the scope of the unspeakable which underlies our ungrounded language-games. That is why Wittgenstein conceives of the madman as the opposite of the sceptic (i.e., the individual who moves only in the scope of the unspeakable), and that is why Wittgenstein longed for developing an attitude closer to the madman´s: because it is respect for the mystical what leans seriousness to life. Wittgenstein emphasizes the possibility of losing the essential confidence upon which our language-games are based; since this is an animal and ungrounded confidence, there are no reasons to assure it will persist: that is why Wittgenstein wonders time and again how he should live in order to develop the most suitable attitude to face this risk.

    Luigi Arpaia (University of Naples, Department of Mathematics and Statistics): Logic and knowledge: the role of scientific language in the modern statistic inference (1.8.-30.9.2003)

    Wittgenstein, in his Tractatus logico-philosophicus, confirmed the central role of language in constructing certainty in meaning: from the philosophy of logic to the logic of communication. The logic of meaning must be functional to the logic of communication; otherwise it would be better to stay silent. The possibility of communicating coincides with the need to live according to certainty in meaning. A meaning has certainty for Wittgenstein when its use coincides with its function. Wittgenstein's message resides above all in its equation, first proposed in his Tagebücher, and later encoded in the Sprachspiele of the Philosophiche Untersuchungen, between logic and life. Wittgenstein's thoughts can be considered a proposal to overcome some models of reasoning in statistics, and in experimental sciences in general, and to reconstruct the certainty of understanding without compromising our very own nature.

    Ulrich Arnswald (Technical University Darmstadt, Department of Philosophy, and University of Karlsruhe, Department of Philosophy): Wittgenstein and authenticity as a concept for political legitimacy (11.8.-31.10.2003)

    Anat Biletzki (University of Tel-Aviv, Philosophy Department): Reading Wittgenstein on religion (5.8.-5.9.2002)

    Michael Biggs (University of Hertfordshire, Faculty of Art and Design): Using XML to markup graphics in encoded text (7.5.-31.5.2003)

    Among other issues, the project addresses an apparently trivial question: what is the difference between graphics and text? It appears to be trivial because there appears to be several alternative and simple ways of answering it. For example, 'text is made up of letters whereas graphics are not', 'one can create text using a keyboard', 'one can read text aloud', etc. However, none of these provides robust conditions to differentiate graphics from text, e.g. cases such as typewriter art and gobbledygook can be identified. The project approaches the problem of identifying content conditions by analysing boundary cases which lie on the margins and are difficult to classify. It considers examples that arise in the production of materials, including bitmapped text, graphics consisting of letters and words, text used as patterns or in tables, etc. It also considers examples that arise from the consumption of materials, including a comparison of the methods used for reading and interpreting text and graphics. One of the project's conclusions is, that current XML specifications, e.g. TEI guidelines, for the integration of graphics into text are primarily made on the basis of form rather than content. This is incompatible with a content-based markup scheme. Before such guidelines can be modified we must be clearer about what differentiates graphics from text in terms of content conditions rather than a technological or formal conditions.

    Thomas Binder (Forschungsstelle und Dokumentationszentrum für österreichische Philosophie, Graz): Text encoding applied to Franz Brentano's unpublished philosophical writings (23.9.-31.10.2002)

    The main objective of the project was to demonstrate that state of the art methods of text encoding are applicable to the unpublished philosophical manuscripts of Franz Brentano and to develop a model for a future machine readable edition of his collected works. This goal was fully achieved. The decision was made to use the Guidelines P4 of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) as a basis for encoding-work, because they provide very valuable and elaborated XML-tools for processing handwritten source materials in general. In a first step of work the particular TEI elements were identified, which are necessary for describing the source materials. In a second step the layout for a diplomatic transcription (which keeps as many of the manuscript's features as possible) and a normalized transcription (which tries to provide an easy readable version) was designed, taking the "Bergen Electronic Edition" of Wittgenstein's Nachlass as a model. In cooperation with staff at the University of Bergen XSL-stylesheets were produced, which allow the transformation of TEI conformant XML-transcriptions into HTML-files. This makes it possible to publish Brentano's manuscripts in the WWW as well as on CD-ROM. Two extensive chapters of Brentano's manuscript «Zeitbewegende philosophische Fragen» were encoded during the research stay and are available now in a diplomatic and a normalized transcription as mentioned above, both in HTML.

    Ela Dutkiewicz (Lublin): Wittgenstein and William Blake's Gnosticism (27.11.-2.12.2006)

    I began my PhD investigation with the conviction that William Blake’s ‘visionary’ engravings and ‘prophetic books’ were determined by a theological (mainly Gnostic) tradition and can best be described in terms of an ontology of fiction. I argue that William Blake adopted a form of Gnostic imagery and created allegories, and that a particular concept of his art is related to representational components of Gnostic consciousness, i.e. archetypal consciousness. The contents of such mental phenomena cannot be treated as philosophy. In my discussion, I deny that the esoteric self-referentiality presented by late Blake performs any kind of semantic functions, thus his temperamental and pervasive performative language and his conceptions are not connected with any philosophical views, conceived as science (as advanced by the Lvov-Warsaw School). After Ingarden’s theory, I distinguish a special sort of quasi-propositions. Gnostic views cannot make a claim to truth nor do they assert independently existing states of affairs as real judgements (propositions) do, but they state fictional states of affairs. I believe William Blake’s performative language could be precisely described in relation to Wittgenstein’s ‘state of affairs’ concept.

    Istvan Danka (Institute for Philosophical Research of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest): Wittgenstein and Synthetic a priori (7.1.-21.2.2004)

    The most relevant aspect of Wittgenstein's relation to the notion of Synthetic a priori is shown in his philosophy of mathematics. Fortunately, most of his remarks on syntheticity are also connected to this topic. Wittgenstein sometimes asserted that he seemed to be close to the point of Kant in claiming that mathematics is a synthetic a priori discipline. The project investigates what he might have meant by this. Another aspect of the project is to apply Wittgenstein's account of Synthetic a priori to questions of interpreting Wittgenstein. There are two main methodological trends of interpreting Wittgenstein. One of them is closely interpretative and text-oriented. The other approach tries to find problems and arguments in his thought, independent of the contexts where they appear. It is argued, that both of them are quite unwittgensteinian methods. The project's approach is, in a sense, an argument for a special application of the Bergen Electronic Edition. By using the function of searching keywords, there can be seen/given some new relations among different manuscripts which disappear from a light bird's eye view of problem-oriented philosophy and also from a text-oriented view which sometimes does not see the wood for the trees. It is argued for (1) that there isn't any (essential) meaning of a particular text (by this, conceptual relativism shall be avoided), (2) that there is'nt any (essential) meaning, independent of contexts (that is against any essentialist/realist concept of meaning). These statements seem to be counterpart of each other, and to exclude a middle. The project investigates, how Wittgenstein's account of Synthetic a priori can solve this problem.

    Piotr Dehnel (Dolnośląska Szkoła Wyższa Edukacji Towarzystwa Wiedzy Powszechnej, Wroclaw): Wittgenstein im Verhältnis zur deutschen Sprachphilosophie (3.5.-30.6.2004)

    The project deals with the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein in comparison with a tradition of German philosophy of language (Hamann, Herder, von Humboldt) which emphasizes the dependence of thinking on language. The project discusses questions concerning the problem of the relation between language and thinking and the notion of understanding both in the philosophy of Wittgenstein and in the German philosophy, including Hans-Georg Gadamer. More specifically, the project focuses on the notions of understanding in Wittgenstein's «Philosophical Investigations» and in the hermeneutical tradition of Schleiermacher, Dilthey and Gadamer, and differences between both conceptions of understanding are investigated. The project also investigates the private language argument and the thesis about the essentially social character of language in Wittgenstein's philosophy. This thesis is crucial for Hans-Otto Apel and Jürgen Habermas with reference to the notion of the communicative community who are critically discussed.

    Jan Estep (University of Minnesota, Department of Art): Art and language (27.4.-6.5.2005)

    This visit to the Wittgenstein Archives attempts to bring together my interests in philosophy and language with my occupation as a visual artist. This is not to set up a simple antagonism between philosophy and art, or language and art, but to investigate these distinct disciplines as complementary and interrelated fields of activity. In this regard I am particularly attracted to Wittgenstein’s changing notions of philosophy, the so-called limits of language and our struggle with its confusion and complexity, his seemingly contradictory impulses toward silence and writing, and his own wrestling within and against philosophy. I anticipate artistically the results will include a video and a series of embroidered text pieces, written in response to my research at the archives and a trip to Wittgenstein’s hut, or what remains of it, in Skjolden.

    Dorota Frackiewicz (University of Wroclaw, Department for Cultural Studies): Vision, representation and aesthetics in Wittgenstein's philosophy (9.6.-12.7.2003)

    The main subject of the project is the problem of representation in contemporary art. The project refers to various philosophical concepts of representation as well as to different notions (metaphors) of vision which are popular in the contemporary thought. With regard to Wittgenstein, it focuses on two topics: Wittgenstein's theory of seeing and his insights into aesthetics. Wittgenstein has never developed a consistent concept of art, but in various ways his ideas can be instruments for the interpretation and analysis of the practice of artistic activity as well as means of perceiving the works of art. Wittgenstein’s insights are significant for the interpretation of the contemporary “avant-garde” art because of its particularity in contrast to the “traditional” notion of art.

    Dinda L. Gorlée (Juridisch Vertaalbureau Gorlée, The Hague): Wittgenstein on translation (19.1.-24.1.2004 and 28.4.-5.5.2004)

    The project studies occurrences of translation theory within Wittgenstein's heritage, particularly related to syntactic, semantic and pragmatic theory, following the theory of Peirce's semiotics. The approach to translation theory implies intralingual, interlingual and intersemiotic translations, and includes not only language (Jakobson). The events found are real, dictional, analogical and metaphorical. Earlier findings from Gorlée 1989 (Wittgenstein & Translation: A Semiotic Approach. Paul Nekeman (ed.), Translation, our future / La traduction, notre avenir. Maastricht: Euroterm, 1989: 154-172) and 1994 (Semiotics and the Problem of Translation: With Special Reference to the Semiotics of Charles S. Peirce (= Approaches to Translation Studies, 12). Amsterdam and Atlanta, GA: Rodopi, 1994) are compared with new findings at the Wittgenstein Archives in Bergen. Further, the translations of Wittgenstein's works from German to English (Ogden and Anscombe) are studied. Work following the project will include a study of the concepts of translating and translation as metaphorical concepts, as previously used by Bezzel (semiotic theory) and Quine (radical translation).

    Gerhard Gelbmann (Österreichische Gesellschaft für Semiotik, Vienna): Towards a pragmatic theory of meaning and emotions (18.3.-15.9.2002)

    The project researches historical and systematic connections of the author's Pragmatic theory of communication (Gelbmann 2000) to Wittgenstein's philosophy in two main fields, (1) a Pragmatic theory of meaning, and (2) a Pragmatic theory of emotions. Both areas are partly unanswered, yet perhaps treatable by developing and furthering the semiotic notions contained in Wittgenstein's thinking. With (1), the project intends to go beyond any so-called statement-view of semantic information. Especially assumptions of meaning as such shall be questioned as being sufficient for an analysis of communication. Wittgenstein's philosophy shows that natural languages, since they are rooted in a practice and hence in concrete social systems, require a pragmatic level of theorising about how meaning is interpersonally construed. Therefore it is important to find out where and how semiotic subjectivity in different modes of sign-use comes into consideration. Tracing such notions in Wittgenstein's writings would be an important step. Especially his later writings in the area of Philosophy of psychology shall be investigated, along with the relevant interpretations and successors. With (2), it shall be investigated how far the hypothesis can be taken that in the Pragmatic theory of communication emotions can be explained as intrapersonally produced. It is expected, that supportive thoughts are found among Wittgenstein's many remarks as well as among his numerous commentaries. See more on http://h2hobel.phl.univie.ac.at/~yellow/projects/TPTME.htm

    Gerhard Gelbmann (Österreichische Gesellschaft für Semiotik, Vienna): Recollection of references: Wittgenstein on the language-games of remembering (2.1.-15.3.2003)

    The project studies the theme of «memory» («Gedächtnis») and «remembering» or «recalling» («Erinnern») in an epistemic and semiotic field, references to which are scattered throughout Wittgenstein's life-long writing, but might also be useful for interpreting his late conventionalistic phase in thinking about certainty, doubt, belief and knowledge. The background for the project lies in Gelbmann 1998 ("Zum Problem der Referenz: Frege versus Eco. Zwei Pole im Universum semiotischer Gestaltung", S - European Journal for Semiotic Studies 10 (1, 2): 73-158). In particular, the project shall concentrate on aspects of, firstly, conceptual questions, secondly, of the developmental structure of Wittgenstein's thinking within these issues, and thirdly, of an attempt in reconstruction within a conception of a certain pragmatologic model-theory in order to (1) carefully study Malcolm's half-forgotten interpretation from the outset as a profound and genuine contribution which shall help in clarification on solely Wittgensteinian grounds; (2) investigate whether memory can be described as a function of referring to sign-processes which itself is modelled by our language-gaming in such a way that «remembering» is performative; (3) find out what role memory plays for a conventionalistic conception of «liquidity» and «solidity» of knowledge. The idea is to take a certain statement-view of knowledge according to sup. point 3 within the frame of memory understood along the lines of a non-statement-view in such a way, that the relativity and changes of conceptual and empirical constituents of knowledge and conventions depend (also) on the form of performance of remembering. The interrelation of the concepts of knowledge and convention might be elucidated by a clarification of such a conception of «memory» and «remembering», not the least into the direction of conceptualising «historicity». See more on http://h2hobel.phl.univie.ac.at/~yellow/projects/RR.htm.

    Gerhard Gelbmann (Österreichische Gesellschaft für Semiotik, Vienna): Pragmatics and the conceptual constitutivity of the social (1.4.-10.5.2003)

    Kim van Gennip (University of Groningen, Faculty of Philosophy): Comparing printed works to their original Nachlass sources (1.3.-18.4.2004)

    One aim of the project is to compare two of Wittgenstein's printed works, namely «Cause and Effect: Intuitive Awareness» (1976) and On Certainty (1969) to their original manuscripts. The contention is that the editors have incited a rather narrow and incomplete view of Wittgenstein's writings on epistemological concepts. A second aim of the project is to gain an understanding of the development of Wittgenstein's thoughts on epistemological concepts. «Cause and Effect» is to be seen as a precursor of On Certainty, and a close comparison of both manuscripts supports the idea that Wittgenstein's reflections on concepts such as knowledge, doubt and certainty play a larger role in his philosophy than often is assumed.

    Herbert Hrachovec (University of Vienna, Department of Philosophy): Digital philology on Wittgenstein's Nachlass (1.5.-16.5.2004)

    The project concentrated on exploring the digital philology of Wittgenstein's «Big Typescript» (TS 213). This is a very complicated text, offering several layers of corrections and editorial rearrangements. The very first version of this typescript has been published in print ("Wiener Ausgabe" by Michael Nedo) and a diplomatic rendering is available in the Bergen Electronic Edition. This rendering, however, is not entirely satisfactory from a philological point of view, since it omits the first textual layer (presented by Nedo). Issues arising from this situation were extensively discussed and several strategies to supplement the electronic edition were considered. In addition to philological issues, the philosophical relevance of designing an interpretative schema to guide the reader through the accumulation of Wittgenstein's remarks was explored. Moreover, the following issues were investigated: How can WAB's MECS source code be transformed into XML and integrated into a presentation of structure and content of Wittgenstein's manuscripts (including commentaries)? In what way can the resources of WAB be utilized to enhance international participation in the collaborative development of Wittgenstein commentaries?

    Nick Hayward (Centre for Textual Scholarship, De Montfort University): Analysis and comparison of markup languages (27.11.-2.12.2006)

    The primary aspect of this project will be the analysis and comparison of markup languages, and their resultant dialects, appropriate to the HyperLearning platform and the TEI. The developing HyperWoolf project expects to derive its own markup language dialect, as a possible offshoot of the HyperNietzsche project and its associative markup language. Analysis of TEI solutions, methodologies, and examples will be a key aspect of this development, in addition to the specific requirements and demands of the HyperWoolf project. By comparing the relevant TEI encoding of manuscripts with the Hyper system of markup, we hope to understand and learn from the advantages and disadvantages of both systems. With the development of our own Hyper Language dialect we shall provide further feedback as a relevant framework for the development of subsequent project specific Hyper markup language dialects. The Wittgenstein Archives at the University of Bergen has a strong focus on XML based and TEI guided text encoding, and will provide an ideal environment for this continuing analysis and development.

    Nicole Immler (University of Graz, Department of History and University of Innsbruck, Brenner Archives): Das autobiographische Gedächtnis von Ludwig Wittgenstein (19.8.-3.11.2003)

    The project studies Wittgenstein's autobiographical remarks and his attitude towards the genre 'autobiography' and 'diary' and the project of autobiographical writing as such. Apart of one diary, Wittgenstein left just a few single considerations, spread all over his papers. But these remarks in his manuscripts, diaries and letters show that he had at least planned an autobiography, even though he was very sceptical about the nature of autobiographical writing. The guiding questions are: (a) What was Wittgensteins attitude towards the autobiographical project? (b) Which means of self-presentation did he use? (c) Are his part time use of a code and his several confessions to friends radicalized forms of his longing for authenticity?

    James Matthew Fielding (Department of Philosophy, University of Paris I): Wittgenstein document ontology (4.-16.10.2010)

    Matthew Fielding is working on building a document ontology for navigating Wittgenstein's philosophical corpus. The aim of this ontology is to allow researchers to track repeated occurrances of the same passage throughout all its various incarnations and arrangements in Wittgenstein's Nachlass.

    Leszek Koczanowicz (University of Wroclaw, Department for Cultural Studies): Dialogue, language game, and concept formation (9.6.-12.7.2003)

    The project compares the concepts of language developed by L. Wittgenstein, M.M. Bakhtin and L.S. Vygotsky. In spite of all difference their approaches to language have at least one thing in common: They view language primarily as a tool for communication and they see the other functions of language as derived from this crucial task. Each of them elaborated different aspects of language and communication, but this gives rise to considering their results as complementary rather than opposite. The project tries to find the similarities in those conceptions and to show that they indeed form a certain common area in which the language phenomena can be consistently described. This includes work on Wittgentein’s understanding of language and its social context and the consequences that Wittgenstein draws from such a concept of language, and to compare them with that of Bakhtin and Vygotksy. The relation between inner and outward speech and concept formation are paid particular attention to.

    Oskari Kuusela (University of Helsinki, Philosophy Department): Ethics and Wittgenstein's approach to philosophy (12.1.-15.3.2004)

    The research project «Ethics and Wittgenstein's conception of philosophy» examines the consequences of Ludwig Wittgenstein's later conception of philosophy for moral philosophy and philosophy more generally. A key issue is the role of philosophy in the discussion of ethical questions and the relevance of moral philosophy to the discussion of ethical issues. Overall, the research project aims at a re-examination of the prevailing conception that the task of moral philosophy is to provide us with a theory of the essence of morality which forms a basis for our decisions concerning what is good, right or just. An alternative approach to moral philosophy will be articulated.

    Peter Keicher (University of Karlsruhe, University of Paris VIII): Reconstruction of Philosophical Investigations, part 1 and 2, 1944-49 (15.7.-31.8.2004)

    The aim of the project is the reconstruction of Wittgenstein's writing processes which led to «Philosophical Investigations» part I (TS 227) and part II (TS 234). TS 227 consists not only of one but in fact of two different physical typescripts which were combined by the help of a third typescript. The reconstruction of part I of «Philosophical Investigations» implies therefore to distinguish between three different typescripts, which are connected in different ways. The socalled «Zwischenfassung» of the «Philosophical Investigations» (partly preserved in TS 242) plays an important role regarding the origin and the composition of part I of «Philosophical Investigations». Although the «Zwischenfassung» contains philosophical remarks which are partly the same both in the earliest versions of this text and in TS 227, the «Zwischenfassung» has to be considered much less as a text of transition, but as a far more «individual» and separate text on its own, implying both similar and different aims compared to TS 227. Primary studies on the origin of part II (TS 234) lead to the conclusion, that part II is not an immediate continuation of part I of «Philosophical Investigations», as it was suggested by the posthumous 1953 publication of the «Philosophical Investigations».

    Peter Keicher (University of Karlsruhe, University of Paris VIII): The Philosophical Investigations and the «Helsinki-Edition» (1.9.2004-31.1.2005)

    The Wittgenstein Archives at the University of Bergen is one of the few institutions, where scholars have access to the unpublished «Helsinki-Edition» of the Philosophical Investigations. The «Kritisch-genetische Edition» of the Philosophical Investigations (Suhrkamp, Frankfurt/Main, 2001) is based on the «Helsinki-Edition», but it comprises new editorial principles and additional research results. The project examins research material of the «Helsinki-Edition» held at the Wittgenstein Archives in Bergen. It is part of an examination of Wittgenstein's writing processes leading to part I of the Philosophical Investigations (TS 227), which are considered to be Wittgenstein's main work after the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (TS 202).

    Roman Kopytko (University of Poznan, Department of English): Ludwig Wittgenstein's relevance for pragmatics of language: The idea of the social context (1.9.-30.9.2003)

    The major objective of the project is to relate Ludwig Wittgenstein's philosophy of language to the claims of modern non-Cartesian pragmatics. The most important common themes and Wittgensteinian ideas include: language-games, rule-following, family resemblance, forms of life, the inner vs. outer dichotomy, meaning as use, grammar and grammatical rules, the private language argument, essentialism, the social practice, and certainty. The claims of non-Cartesian pragmatics are represented in terms of such notions as non-modularity, non-essentialism, non-discreteness, non-determinism, non-reductionism, contextuality, affectability, «pragmability», and others. In addition, Wittgenstein's stand on the issue of Cartesian dualism, the innateness hypothesis, and modern cognitivism is considered. This investigation also takes account of Wittgenstein's holism and its weaknesses as well as the issue of communicative certainty vs. uncertainty, and its implications for pragmatic theory. The project reveals the areas of theoretical convergence as well as divergence between the claims of Wittgenstein's philosophy and those of modern pragmatics. New ideas include 'language-game certainty', gradability of rules, overruling of the rules, multiple articulation of the linguistic sign, virtual understanding, and some others.

    Miklos Lehmann (University of Eötvös Lorand, Teacher Training College): Das Thema der Photographie in Wittgensteins Philosophie und Leben (10.5.-14.6.2004)

    A crucial point of the project is to affirm the view that Wittgenstein's own photographs and his own photographing play a central role in his activity as a philosopher. The photographs taken by Wittgenstein and also his photo-album contain many philosophical issues; therefore photography is to be considered a source of philosophical thinking for Wittgenstein. The theme of photography is connected with the question of graphical objects and diagrams in Wittgenstein's Nachlass and in the published works. Thus, it concerns Wittgenstein's graphical practice as a whole. As it is shown by Wittgenstein's Nachlass, the theme of practice is a very important issue for Wittgenstein's way of thinking. It is therefore only natural to connect Wittgenstein's way of thinking with his philosophical practice of photography.

    Aleksander Motturi (Åbo Akademi, Philosophy Department): Revisiting the Frazer remarks (2.4.-31.5.2002)

    Cristina Marras (ILIESI, Roma): Treatment of a corpus of philosophical and scientific terms (19.-26.11.2007)

    Debora Maccanti (University of Pisa, Department of Philosophy): The role of the visual in Wittgenstein's philosophy (4.5.-8.6.2004)

    A central focus of the project is Wittgenstein's analysis of seeing and vision in the «Notebooks» and the «Tractatus». What is the conception of Bild in the «Notebooks» and the «Tractatus», and which are the consequences from the distinction between truth, Bedeutung and Sinn? Which risks and freedoms are related to conceive conceiving vision and seeing without an ontological background? Does Wittgenstein's way to of conceive conceiving vision and seeing create difficulties for the conception of the subject and for the way in which we can distinguish sense from nonsense? Finally, has does the way in which we interpret «The proposition is a picture of reality» have consequences for how we conceive ethics and aesthetics?

    Federico Meschini (CTS - Centre for Textual Studies, De Montfort University, Leicester): Markup systems and Electronic Editions (16.4.-23.5.2009)

    Since the nineties the Wittgenstein Archives at the University of Bergen (WAB) has had a primary role in developing mark up systems, together with the related field of mark up as a theory of text, so to properly encode the complex reality and layers embedded in Wittgenstein’s writings. The many activities related to the production of an electronic edition of “Wittgenstein`s Nachlass” have resulted in the production of mark up syntaxes (MECS and texMECS), data structure (GODDAG), validation grammar (Rabbit/Duck grammar) and semantic framework (BECHAMEL), which are organized in a larger framework called MLCD (Markup Language for Complex Documents). Given the objective value and relevance of WAB activities, the main aim of project is the in-depth study of the MLCD system, in order to contextualize it in the larger scope of digital humanities, text encoding and electronic editing, since it is quite clear how much preeminent is the role of mark up in the creation of critical digital editions. The MLCD will then be compared to existing mark up systems, including not only the one developed by the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) through its Guidelines, which is the current ‘de facto’ standard for literary texts and also the markup standard currently used at WAB, but also with other ones, such as the Layered Markup and Annotation Language (LMNL), the MultiVersionDocument, the Genetique Markup Language(GML) or the GODDAG implementation made by the Edition Production & Presentation Technology (EPPT). This will set therefore the MLCD in a wider context, following the current trend of electronic editions towards cooperation and interoperability.

    Liz Mitchell (University of Warwick, Department of Philosophy): An investigation of the usefulness of Wittgenstein's philosophy to feminist ideas of the self (14.7.-20.7.2003 and 22.6.-25.6.2004)

    The project investigates whether the detail provided in Wittgenstein's original material supports ideas on the usefulness of Wittgenstein's philosophy to feminist ideas of the self. It investigates whether there is detailed evidence in Wittgenstein's Nachlass of a transition from an essentialist position, and whether there are parallels to be drawn with feminist transitions from essentialist positions. To invesitigates whether the genesis of Wittgenstein's concept of Lebensform allows the idea of a typically female form of life.

    Katalin Neumer (Institute for Philosophical Research of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest): Die Seele und die Schrift (19.5.-3.8.2003)

    Yrsa Neuman (Department of Philosophy, Åbo Akademi): Nonsense, propositions and rigor (5.1.-15.2.2009)

    The debate on Wittgenstein's view of nonsense - and whether he has one - hinges on a vision of a complete or unified reading of Wittgenstein's work or of separable wholes within it. This vision connects, not in an unproblematic way, to possible changes in his view of 'the proposition', a concept which Wittgenstein (so my conjecture goes) became more and more careful with. The concept 'proposition' is interesting because it creates difficulties also within analytical philosophy today, the birth and development of which Wittgenstein was very much involved in and with. A closer look at Wittgenstein's applications of 'proposition', 'Satz', 'Unsinn' etc. may open up for a discussion of philosophical rigor in relation to Wittgenstein's work. - In the HyperWittgenstein project at WAB, the text mark-up system XML is used. During my stay at WAB I will try to become acquainted with the project and XML, both in theory and practice.

    Masahiro Oku (Graduate School of Human Sciences, Osaka University, Osaka): Philosophico-Philological Studies on Wittgenstein's Nachlass (13.-18.10.2003)

    The project's objectives are studies on Wittgenstein's philosophy and Nachlass, primarily his Zettel. The project is part of Philosophico-Philological Studies on Wittgenstein's Nachlass, a research project funded by the Japan Ministry of Education, Grant-In-Aid For Scientific Research.

    Todor Polimenov (Department of Logic, Ethics and Aesthetics; Faculty of Philosophy; Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski"). RCN YGGDRASIL mobility programme project: Wittgenstein's Doctrine of Formal Concepts and Its Reinterpretation in Logical Empiricism" (21.2.-17.3.2011)

    The Tractatus’ § 6.54 contains a paradox that outlines the problem of the logico-syntactic well-formedness of any categorial ‘elucidations’. It was not until recently that the view has prevailed in discussions that the key to a proper interpretation of the Tractatus would be exactly successfully handling this paradox. Earlier, however, R. Carnap had already made an original and serious attempt at solving this paradox by means of his ‘syntactical’ method, based to a great extent on deploying some of Wittgenstein’s fundamental ideas, especially those regarding the nature of the so-called formal concepts (paradigmatically logical categories). The goal of the research project is to provide a detailed study of Carnap’s reception (during his syntactical phase) of early Wittgenstein’s basic conceptions with regard to the character of categorial distinctions.

    Nicolas Reitbauer (Institut für Philosophie, University of Vienna): The Big Typescript - Genetic Reading and Understanding / Das Big Typeskript - Genetisch Lesen und VERSTEHEN (21.3.-15.6.2005)

    Das Vorhaben dieses Projektes ist es, die neuen Möglichkeiten mit Wittgensteins Nachlass zu arbeiten (Bergen Electronic Edition), insofern fruchtbar zu machen, als dass wir versuchen können, ein neues Licht auf dessen Arbeitsprozess zu werfen. Nicht jedoch aus nostalgischen Gründen, sondern um Wittgensteins philosophische Arbeit, die vor allem in Re-Arrangements und Re-kontextualisierungen seiner gesammelten «Bemerkungen» bestand, aus einem systematischen Blickwinkel zu betrachten. Am Beispiel des Big Typescripts TS 213 (i.e. des 1. Kapitels «Verstehen»), welches sich aufgrund seines klar strukturierten Aufbaus wie sonst kein Fragment für diese Arbeit anbietet, wird überprüft, ob Wittgenstein seine Zusammenstellungen dort mit einem systematischen Hintergedanken und wenn ja, mit welchem, angeordnet hat. Indem die einzelnen «Snippets» dieses Kapitels, sowie andere ausgewählte Passagen, in ihre ursprünglichen Kontexte zurückverfolgt werden, könnte sich erklären, wieso Wittgenstein diese an der jeweiligen Stelle im Big Typescript platziert. Die ursprünglichen Zusammenhänge sollen dabei einerseits dazu dienen, die dortige argumentative Kraft zu veranschaulichen, und andererseits das Verständnis für das Arrangement (im Hinblick auf eine inhaltliche Relevanz) im Big Typescript zu schärfen. Dass diese Herangehensweise das Label «Verstehen» trägt, steht in direkter Beziehung zu der Methodologie der Arbeit. Der Arbeitsprozess Wittgensteins ist selbst stark mit philosophischem Gehalt geladen, und es sollte diesem deshalb endlich, unter Zuhilfenahme des Nachlasses, die notwendige Aufmerksamkeit geschenkt werden.

    Steen Brock (Aarhus University), Mark Addis (Aarhus University), Svend Brinkmann (Aalborg University) (Aarhus University, Philosophy Department, and Aalborg University, Department of Communication and Psychology): Thematic patterns in Wittgenstein's philosophy of psychology (2.-13.6.2009)

    The current facilities on the Bergen Electronic Edition of Wittgenstein do not allow sophisticated searching for possibly interesting patterns of psychological concepts especially those to do with emotions. The project seeks to employ technology for user driven annotation and user defined concept groups to enable this kind of searching. The intention is that the planned research would complement the Discovery project (www.discovery-project.eu). Each member of the user group lead has a distinct but related role in the project. Steen Brock will identify thematic patterns in Wittgenstein’s philosophy of psychology and use these patterns to develop appropriate semantic coding categories and articulate their relationships. Svend Brinkmann will build on this by exploring the possible use of CAQDAS (Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis) for the identification of these thematic patterns by using the semantic coding categories and their articulated relationships as input parameters. Mark Addis will examine the specification of the functionality and potential for integration of the user driven annotation and user defined concept groups. Brock will test the effectiveness of the development of this user driven thematic search on areas of Wittgenstein’s philosophy of psychology where research into thematic patterns has already been undertaken. Steen Brock’s development of appropriate semantic coding categories and articulation of their relationships for Wittgenstein’s philosophy of psychology will be built upon. In broad terms CAQDAS enables the coding, categorising, and creation of semantic units. CAQDAS has been developed for qualitative research in the empirical sciences, where it enables researchers to get an overview of a large amount of empirical data, e.g. from qualitative research interviews, field observations or naturally occurring talk. Exploring the use of CAQDAS to code, categorise and analyse philosophical texts has until now not been attempted. The general effectiveness of CAQDAS for the identification of thematic patterns in this area will be analysed by using the developed semantic coding categories and their articulated relationships as input parameters. For example, when Wittgenstein discusses ‘toothache’ the semantic coding category for this should be ‘private language’.

    Heikki Saari (Åbo Akademi, Philosophy Department): Wittgenstein on understanding other cultures (24.6.-12.7.2002)

    This project investigates Wittgenstein's view of what is involved in understanding other cultures. It is shown that Wittgenstein is not committed to cultural relativism, as some of his critics argue. As Wittgenstein sees it, the real differences between cultures do not involve any fundamental conceptual, epistemic or other barriers that would make it impossible for us to understand and criticise other cultures. Shared forms of life and man's natural history provide a foothold for us when we attempt to understand other cultures.

    Ludovic Soutif (University of Paris I, Department of Philosophy, and University of Rennes I, Department of Philosophy): Logic, visual space and the grammar of perceptual statements (1.8.-7.9.2002 and 16.6.-16.8.2003)

    The project attempts at providing an account of the role played by the notion of visual space in Wittgenstein's shift from phenomenology to grammar (within his transitional period), in his commitment to a radical intensionalist-constructivist view in the philosophy of mathematics, and in the genesis and elaboration of that view (within the same period). In addition, it investigates the scientific background of Wittgenstein's concept of phenomenology, with a special emphasis on the so-called 'Mach-Boltzmann controversy' about the unobservables of physics.

    Ludovic Soutif (University of Paris I, Department of Philosophy, and University of Rennes I, Department of Philosophy): Phenomenology, geometry and grammar in Wittgenstein's middle period (18.5.-19.6.2004)

    The project aims at giving a clear account of the relationships between phenomenology, geometry, and grammar in Wittgenstein's transitional period from 1929 to 1933. The first step is to gain a proper understanding of what Wittgenstein meant by phenomenology. Focusing on the notion of visual space as Wittgenstein used it to highlight certain structural properties of our visual experience as a whole (its perspectival structure as well as the simultaneous presence and diversity of its places), it is argued that a phenomenological description eventually amounts to a description of the grammar of our perceptual concepts. At the same time, however, Wittgenstein discovers that we don't need to construct or to make the supposition of a language (the so-called «phenomenological» language) specially designed to describe our (visual) experience. Our ordinary (physical) language as it is, is the only language, i.e. it provides us with all the necessary relations to describe our immediate (visual) experience. It remains to be understood however in what sense an investigation of the actual working of our usual physicalistic language can be considered as having any normative character. It is argued that the answer is that the rules are internal to the use and that the spatial or geometrical metaphor (or analogy) originally used by Wittgenstein to describe the structural properties of our visual experience can then be used to describe the structure of the (grammatical) «space» formed by the rules for the use of our (perceptual) concepts.The second step is to have another look at Wittgenstein's solution to what the author considers to be Wittgenstein's main problem in the 1930s, namely how to account for the diverse modes of relation of our statements to reality (including mathematical statements that have none) from within, i.e. without going beyond what our language can express. Wittgenstein's solution consists in providing a new semantical conception of the a priori where the a priori is understood in normative or constitutive terms. This comes out in Wittgenstein's account of geometrical statements (inspired by Poincare and Hilbert) as «rules of syntax» in disguise and more generally of geometry as grammar. The project emphasizes the likenesses, but also the differences between Wittgenstein's grammatical conception of the a priori in geometry and that of the logical positivists (in particular Carnap and Reichenbach). The main difference is that there is no language of science for Wittgenstein. Physical geometry is nothing but the syntax of our ordinary statements about spatial objects (rigid bodies) in physical space, and visual geometry a pure, unapplied syntax. The rules of combination expressed in these two different syntaxes are internal to the use of our ordinary geometrical words. This completely fits with the previous account of phenomenology and grammar as non-empirical descriptions of the space of the rules for the use of our everyday words.

    Monika Seekircher (University of Innsbruck, Brenner-Archiv): Wittgenstein: Briefwechsel und philosophischer Nachlaß (27.5.-10.6.2002)

    Radek Schuster (University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Department of Philosophy): Project: “The electronic expository dictionary with the virtual library of Wittgenstein’s philosophy” (FRVŠ 681/2010) (11.-19.11.2010)

    The aim of the project is to provide an expository dictionary of key topics and concepts of the Wittgenstein’s volatile thinking in the HyperText Markup Language. The hypertext linking is used on two levels: 1) particular entries are mutually interlinked when one entry occurs as a term in an exposition of another entry; 2) component explanatory parts of each entry are interlinked with selections of the relevant passages of Wittgenstein’s work. These passages are available in the Czech translation as well as in the German or English original. The combination of the explanatory entries with the digital library of texts offers not only a systematic guide to the Wittgenstein’s thinking but also makes it accessible in Wittgenstein’s own words. The dictionary is intended to serve as an educational tool primarily for Czech students interested in the philosophy of Wittgenstein. (An access to the virtual library of Wittgenstein’s texts is restricted in accordance with the international author law.)

    Elena Tatievskaya (University of Augsburg, Lehrstuhl für Philosophie und Wissenschaftstheorie): Wittgenstein über die logischen Konstanten (23.2.-18.4.2004)

    Im Mittelpunkt des Projekts steht die Untersuchung der Quellen und des Inhalts der logischen Ideen des Tractatus sowie des Einflusses dieser Ideen auf die Neugestaltung der Logik.

    Céline Vautrin (University of Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne; Collège de France): The distinction between sense and nonsense in Wittgenstein’s philosophy (16.-30.9.2005)

    The distinction between sense and nonsense is a central distinction in Wittgenstein’s writings, from the Notebooks to the very last texts. I want to look more precisely at the contexts in which this distinction appears in Wittgenstein’s manuscripts. The Bergen Archives should enable me to examine the question of the continuity and/or of the evolution of this distinction, and of the role that this distinction is playing in Wittgenstein’s philosophy.

    Edward Vanhoutte (CTB - Centre for Scholarly Editing and Document Studies, Gent): Genetic encoding of modern manuscript texts (1.6.-6.7.2002)

    Nuno Venturinha (New University of Lisbon, Philosophy of Language Institute): The peculiarity of Wittgenstein's philosophical activity (1.10.-31.10.2003)

    The aim of this project is to examine thoroughly the fundamental relation between Wittgenstein's working method and his conception of philosophy as an activity. The Wittgenstein papers are peculiar, holding an uncommon formality. First of all, they are written in short remarks, in an aphoristic style. But there are many other significant elements along the Nachlass, such as the continuous undecided alternatives (open variants) or the pasted-in cuttings. These literary strategies have an unavoidable philosophical meaning, which lies in the (in)determinability of experience. I try to analyse in detail this essential feature, inquiring into some exemplary (groups of) manuscripts and typescripts. This philologico-philosophical research focuses upon the «early» and the «later» Wittgenstein, in order to consider the different processes of indirect communication in both speculative stages. My idea is that Wittgenstein's writing constitutes a notable attempt to express the limits of an understanding about our situation.

    Nuno Venturinha (New University of Lisbon, Institute for Philosophy of Language): More on Wittgenstein's method (22.-28.9.2005)

    In Wittgenstein’s MS 110, the sixth of a series of “volumes” initiated after his return to Cambridge in January 1929, entitled “Philosophical Remarks”, we find parenthetically that “[he] should perhaps begin [his] book with the analysis of an everyday proposition”, i.e., “with a description of nature” (p. 243: 30.6.1931). The project aims at clarifying the distinction between the Tractarian determination of experience, later compared by Wittgenstein, as Elisabeth Anscombe reports in her An Introduction to Wittgenstein’s Tractatus, to a clock that does not go (p. 78), and the dynamic propositional model which characterizes his mature philosophy. More specifically, it investigates the question of continuity/discontinuity in Wittgenstein’s thought, defending that what his new philosophical method attempts to convey is a quasi-organic ontology. The project thus studies the development of Wittgenstein's grammatical connectionism in the 1930s as an all extended holism, contrasting the early (static) fragmentation which constitutes TS 213, the so-called “Big Typescript”, with the prototypification set forth in MS 142/TS 220, the prewar version (first half) of the Investigations.

    Nuno Venturinha (New University of Lisbon, Institute of Philosophy of Language): Making an XML edition of Wittgenstein's 1938 English translation of the PI preface (13.-17.6.2010)

    The project produces a XML edition of the uncatalogued English version of Wittgenstein's 1938 Preface. This edition follows the standards developed at the Wittgenstein Archives for the publication of the Wittgenstein Nachlass. The project is part of the FCT funded project Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations: Re-Evaluating a Project.

    Manfred Wiplinger (Institut für Philosophie, University of Vienna): PU §§1-18: Editionen und Interpretationen (7.9.2004-31.1.2005)

    Ziel des Projektes ist es, aufzuzeigen, inwiefern die veränderten Zugangsbedingungen zu Wittgensteins Nachlass, oder besser zu dem, was man sein Werk nennen könnte, die Interpretation und die Sicht auf dieses verändert haben. Als Untersuchungsobjekt dient dazu der Beginn der Philosophischen Untersuchungen ungefähr bis zu §18. Im ersten Teil des Projektes sollen die unterschiedlichen Editionskonzepte und die damit jeweils transparent gemachte Textgenese des Werkes Ludwig Wittgensteins kurz vorgestellt werden. Der zweite Teil untersucht dann, im Anschluss daran, wie Kommentatoren und Interpreten zu verschiedenen Zeiten mit den veränderten Möglichkeiten an den Text herangehen. Dieses Vorhaben könnte man daher auch als eine Art grobe Bestandsaufnahme über den aktuellen Diskussionsstand ansehen.

    Peter K. Westergaard (Institut for Tværkulturelle og Regionale Studier (ToRS), University of Copenhagen): The atmosphere of a word (2.-28.2.2010)

    The concept ‘atmosphere’ occurs sporadically in Wittgenstein’s manuscripts, dictations and posthumous publications. It is introduced (via Wittgenstein’s reading of William James (The Principles of Psychology)) in the first half of the 1930’s, at which time it occurs in connection with discussions of the concept of meaning and understanding in The Brown Book; it appears several times in Wittgenstein’s ‘unpublished’ manuscripts. The concept is used, moreover, in a number of remarks in Philosophical Investigations. In general it seems as if Wittgenstein uses the concept in the following ways: A.) In accordance with the use of the term in ordinary speech, whereby it refers to a certain mood, a (public) feeling or (general) sentiment. B.) In his diagnosis of the (often self-inflicted) difficulties involved in procuring a correct philosophical analysis / description or in doing philosophy in general. C.) In connection with his grammatical descriptions of the concept of “attitude” / “Einstellung”. And D.) in his critic of the so-called ‘pneumatic’ concept of meaning and understanding. Wittgenstein’s introduction and use of the concept relate in fact primarily to his discussions of the “theory” of meaning and of understanding – but it seems as if Wittgenstein – here especially in his very late notebooks (and admittedly in a very rough manner) – also introduces the concept in order to get a grasp on the more unspoken or silent “semantic” aspects of words, names and sentences. As when he notes in 1949: “The name Schubert, shadowed around by the gestures of his face, of his works. – So there is an atmosphere after all? – But one cannot think of it as separate from him.” – In brief, an ‘atmosphere’ can be equated to a “semantic” aspect, which is connected to the grammar / use of the words or sentences in a more complex manner than can be made manifest by means of a description of or a direct reference to the more or less explicit rules by which the meaning of words or sentences is established. We could call this use of the concept: E.) The constructive use – occasions on which Wittgenstein hints at an enlargement of the range of his praxeological semantic. – Is Wittgenstein suggesting such an elaboration when he notes: "The atmosphere of a word is its use”?

    Edoardo Zamuner (Philosophy Department and CILTA, University of Bologna): Wittgenstein's account of personal identity (2.1.-16.3.2003)

    The project is concerned with the issue of personal identity. In the author's opinion, Wittgenstein's works contain several remarks that can be traced back to this topic. Of course, we cannot speak of an explicit theory of personal identity provided by Wittgenstein; though we can find a great deal of notes on concepts related to diachronic personal identity. The project is focused on Wittgenstein's remarks on the concept of soul. This concept is seen as the first step in sketching Wittgenstein's account of personal identity. The personal identity theme has a wide linguistic phenomenology. It seems that some of the remarks on proper names noted in the Philosophical Investigations could be traced back to an account of personal identity. The hypothesis is that part of Wittgenstein's interest in proper names is an interest in personal identity. For instance, the important notion of Träger refers to the bodily identity of the person who is the bearer of the name. What happens to this person, through her life, is part of the semantics of her name.

    Edoardo Zamuner (Philosophy Department and CILTA, University of Bologna): A philosophical argument on continuity: On the connection between Philosophical Investigations Part I and Part II (12.7.-31.8.2004)

    We know from several sources that Wittgenstein originally intended the second part of his book Philosophical Investigations to be about the philosophy of mathematics. The book as published tells us that Wittgenstein changed his mind. The outcome of this change is the fact that the second part does not concern the philosophy of mathematics but rather the philosophy of psychology. The project argues that this change can be regarded as the natural outcome of Wittgenstein's investigations of rules and meanings. The fact that there was a change of subject in the second part of PI may have some consequences for our conception of Wittgenstein's philosophy. In fact, we cannot think that this change is unrelated to the results which Wittgenstein obtained from his work on the foundations of mathematics. In the author's opinion, such results, and especially those on rule-following in mathematics, are related to the section of PI concerning the issue of rule-following in linguistic practice. The hypothesis is that PI §§ 139-242 (circa) may be regarded as the origin of some problems which Wittgenstein will discuss in the second part, such as the issues of seeing-as and seeing aspects. Thus we may suppose that there is a close continuity between some of the remarks on mathematics, the sequence of PI on rule-following and some of the ideas Wittgenstein will later express in the second part of his book.

    Jacek Ziobrowski (Warsaw School of Economics, Department of Philosophy): Methoden der Philosophie Wittgensteins und die indirekte Mitteilung (24.7.-7.9.2003)

    The major themes of this project are the connections between the philosophy of Wittgenstein and some ideas of Kierkegaard. The convergences between philosophical concepts of these two thinkers are rarely discussed. It is sometimes mentioned that Wittgenstein’s method of showing (from his early works) is similar to Kierkegaard’s method of indirect communication. The project attempts at interpreting the late philosophy of Wittgenstein as a kind of indirect communication. Moreover, it is shown that thanks to the method of indirect communication both thinkers obtain similar aims.

    Tomasz Zarębski (University of Lower Silesia, Dolnośląska Szkoła Wyższa Edukacji Towarzystwa Wiedzy Powszechnej, Wroclaw): Cavell's reading of Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations (3.5.-23.5.2005)

    In my project I focus on the problem of skepticism in Wittgenstein's PI in the light of Stanley Cavell's writings. In contrast with most common interpretations, which usually take Wittgenstein to have fought against skepticism, Cavell' reading tends to understand him as acknowledging the 'truth of skepticism'. According to Cavell, the skeptical uncertainty in Wittgenstein, concerning the external world as well as other minds, is already embedded in our human 'forms of life'. Thus uncertainty is not something to be deprived of, but rather something to be 'lived'. In fact, at a deeper level of interpretation, Cavell finds Wittgenstein's PI as redefining the traditional problem of skepticism, so as to undermine both epistemological foundationalism and skepticism. The task of my inquiry will be to analyze and revise this perpective.

Last change: 2010.2.26 by ap