Outline of an Argument for a “Therapeutic“ Reading of Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations

Alois Pichler


The paper presents the outline of an argument for what is called a "therapeutic"
reading of Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations, Part I (PI). First, the
principles of two fundamental debates on methodological issues in PI interpretation
are described and assessed: one debate concerns the question, whether to approach the
PI text-immanently or contextually; the other concerns the question, whether to
interpret the PI as developing and defending a system of theses, or rather as a
therapeutic attempt to counteract and dissolve systematic philosophy and
philosophical theses. This is followed by the outline of an argument (rather than the
detailed content) for a therapeutic reading of the PI; in the argument, the view is
defended that a text-immanent reading of the PI yields a therapeutic reading, and
that this is corroborated by contextual elements. The argument seeks to avoid certain
fallacies and mistakes that often afflict PI interpretation on the mentioned
methodological levels.


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; text immanentism; context; dogmatism; therapy; text genesis; preface; album; style; shortcoming

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.