Seminar with Peter K. Westergaard

Peter K. Westergaard (Institut for Tværkulturelle og Regionale Studier (ToRS), University of Copenhagen) visits the Wittgenstein Archives in the period 2.-28.2.2010. In this context, a seminar is organized:

Some preliminary remarks on the late Wittgenstein’s use of the phrase “the atmosphere of a word”

Wednesday, 24 February 2010, 13.15-15.00, Wittgenstein Archives, AKSIS (since 2009 "Uni Digital"), Allégt. 27, meeting room, 1st floor.

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discussions of the concept of meaning and understanding in The Brown Book; it appears several times in Wittgenstein’s ‘unpublished’ manuscripts.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 his critic of the so-called ‘pneumatic’ concept of meaning and understanding. But on the other hand it seems as if Wittgenstein 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.”

Last change: 2010.02.18 by ap