A Live Language: Concreteness, Openness, Ambivalence

Croatian Journal of Philosophy 15 (1):51-65 (2015)
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Abstract
Wittgenstein has shown that that life, in the sense that applies in the first place to human beings, is inherently linguistic. In this paper, I ask what is involved in language, given that it is thus essential to life, answering that language – or concepts – must be both alive and the ground for life. This is explicated by a Wittgensteinian series of entailments of features. According to the first feature, concepts are not intentional engagements. The second feature brings life back to concepts by describing them as inflectible: Attitudes, actions, conversations and other engagements inflect concepts, i.e., concepts take their particular characters in our actual engagements. However, inflections themselves would be reified together with the life they ground unless they could preserve the openness of concepts: hence the third feature of re-inflectibility. Finally, the openness of language must be revealed in actual life. This entails the possibility of conceptual ambivalence.
ISBN(s)
1333-1108
PhilPapers/Archive ID
RAZALL
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Archival date: 2015-11-21
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2015-08-25

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