The new Wittgenstein: A critique

European Journal of Philosophy 9 (3):375–404 (2001)
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Abstract
A critique of Cora Diamond's influential approach to reading Wittgenstein's Tractatus. According to Diamond, the Tractatus contains no substantive philosophical theses, but is rather merely an especially subtle and sophisticated exercise in the unmasking of nonsense. I argue that no remotely convincing case for this interpretive thesis has yet been made--either by Diamond herself, or by the numerous defenders of this so-called "resolute" reading (so-called by those who wish to style themselves as resolute; their opponents tend to reject this characterization as tendentious and rhetorically self-serving). Having critically scrutinized the arguments that have been offered in favor of the resolute reading, I proceed to amass evidence suggesting that, on the contrary, Wittgenstein advanced, and indeed took himself to have advanced, a host of substantive philosophical theses even in the (so-called) "body" of the Tractatus. I argue that resolute readers of the Tractatus have not begun to offer a plausible explanation of these problematic texts, and that the "frame/body" distinction alleged by resolute readers does not stand up to critical scrutiny.
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