Review of Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations by David Stern (2004)(review revised 2019)

In The Logical Structure of Human Behavior. pp. 166-193 (2019)
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Abstract
Overall Stern does a fine analysis of Wittgenstein (W) and is one of the top W scholars, but in my view, they all fall short of a full appreciation, as I explain at length in this review and many others. If one does not understand W (and preferably Searle also), then I don't see how one could have more than a superficial understanding of philosophy and of higher order thought and thus of all complex behavior (psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, literature, society). In a nutshell, W demonstrated that when you have shown how a sentence is used in the context of interest, there is nothing more to say. I will start with a few notable quotes and then give what I think are the minimum considerations necessary to understand Wittgenstein, philosophy and human behavior. As Stern is aware, throughout W’s works, understanding is bedeviled by possible alternative and consequently often infelicitous translations from often unedited and handwritten German notes, with “Satz” being frequently incorrectly rendered as “proposition” (which is a testable or falsifiable statement) when referring to our non-falsifiable psychological axioms, as opposed to the correct “sentence”, which CAN be applied to our axiomatic true-only statements such as “these are my hands” or “Tyrannosaurs were large carnivorous dinosaurs that lived about 50 million years ago”. Finally, let me suggest that with the perspective I have encouraged here, W is at the center of contemporary philosophy and psychology and is not obscure, difficult or irrelevant, but scintillating, profound and crystal clear and that to miss him is to miss one of the greatest intellectual adventures possible. Those wishing a comprehensive up to date framework for human behavior from the modern two systems view may consult my book ‘The Logical Structure of Philosophy, Psychology, Mind and Language in Ludwig Wittgenstein and John Searle’ 2nd ed (2019). Those interested in more of my writings may see ‘Talking Monkeys--Philosophy, Psychology, Science, Religion and Politics on a Doomed Planet--Articles and Reviews 2006-2019 3rd ed (2019) and Suicidal Utopian Delusions in the 21st Century 4th ed (2019)
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Archival date: 2019-02-24
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