Wittgenstein’s Way of Working and the Nature of Experience

Nuno Venturinha


This paper aims to analyse 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 will try to set out
this essential feature, inquiring into some exemplary (groups of) manuscripts and
typescripts. The analysis focuses upon the “earlier” and the “later” Wittgenstein, in
order to consider the different processes of indirect communication in both
speculative stages. My purpose is to point out that Wittgenstein’s writing
constitutes a notable attempt to express the limits of an understanding about our


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; secret code; description; experience; flux; method; Nachlass; style; perspicuous presentation

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