Wittgenstein, Rush Rhees, and the Measure of Language

New Blackfriars 87 (1009):288-301 (2006)
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This essay critically examines Rush Rhees’ Wittgensteinian account of language against the backdrop of Plato’s complete reversal of Protagoras’ axiom regarding man as the measure. Rhees jettisons Plato’s notion of Transcendence while retaining his emphasis on dialogue and unity. Despite trenchant points Rhees makes in that regard, it argues that Rhees’ view of language is in the end Protagorean. The essay traces out the problem of autonomy from rules to the practice to discourse itself, addresses Rhees’ missteps in relation to instinctive reactions and intentionality, all of which are instructive in arriving at a better understanding of the relation between God and language.
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