Phenomenology and Language. Some Remarks on Wittgenstein’s Middle Period

Volker A. Munz


Returning back to philosophy in the late twenties, phenomenology played an important
part in Wittgenstein’s writings, although only for a few months. In his Some Remarks
on Logical Form probably held in summer 1929, he introduced fundamental changes of
his Tractarian philosophy. Faced with the problem of colour incompatibility,
Wittgenstein thereby had to concede major errors of some central ideas, he had
elaborated in the Tractatus. These mistakes were mainly connected with his conception
of elementary propositions as well as with the role logical analysis played in his
early work. In his new approach, Wittgenstein now stipulated a logical analysis of
our actual phenomena, but only for a short time. After about six months, he rejected
his idea of a phenomenological language based on the relation between so called
‘primary propositions’ and hypotheses and argued that expressions concerning our
given experience are really grammatical rules concerning the use of particular words
included in those expressions. This paper tries to reconstruct some of the main
arguments, Wittgenstein worked out in 1929 and shall contrast them with certain
ideas, he introduced in his Tractatus Logico-philosophicus.


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; middle Wittgenstein; phenomenology; transition; phenomenological language; physical language; immediate experience

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