To What Extent is Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations a Patchwork? Proposal for a Research Programme

Masahiro Oku


Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations is notoriously difficult to understand. Although each passage is clearly written, the gist of a series of sections is often slippery and tends to arouse incompatible interpretations. In my opinion, this is mainly due to its origin and composition. The book is nothing but the precipitate of his long-term investigations. As a result, in some places very old remarks are used as a comment without any modifications, elsewhere remarks have been cut and pasted several times, and catch phrases are picked out and placed into different contexts. I propose the following approach in case of difficulties: return to earlier versions of the remarks in question. In this paper I shall demonstrate my approach to four sections, §§ 354, 258, 580, and 201.


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; patchwork; labyrinth; Nachlass; difficulty; style; inner process; criterion; symptom; sensation; text genesis; interpretation; exegesis; verification; sensation diary; opponent; paradox; Kripke Saul

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