The Aesthetic Dimension of Wittgenstein's Later Writings

In Garry L. Hagberg (ed.), Wittgenstein on Aesthetic Understanding. pp. 3-29 (2017)
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In this essay I argue the extent to which meaning and judgment in aesthetics figures in Wittgenstein’s later conception of language, particularly in his conception of how philosophy might go about explaining the ordinary functioning of language. Following a review of some biographical and textual matters concerning Wittgenstein’s life with music, I outline the connection among (1) Wittgenstein’s discussions of philosophical clarity or perspicuity, (2) our attempts to give clarity to our aesthetic experiences by wording them, and (3) the clarifying experience of the dawning of an aspect, which Wittgenstein pictures as the perception of an internal relation. By examining Wittgenstein’s use of “internal relation” from the Tractatus to his later writings, I come to challenge the still prevalent understanding of Wittgenstein’s appeals to grammar as an appeal to something given (e.g., to a set of grammatical rules). Instead, as I argue, Wittgensteinian appeals to grammatical criteria should be understood as modeled by the form of justification found in our conversations about art.
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Archival date: 2018-09-17
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