Presenter Information

Griffin Pion, Vassar CollegeFollow

Date

5-13-2020

Description

In his later writings, Wittgenstein uses the term “picture” in a variety of ways. One such way is to mean a “conception” of or “way of looking” at a given philosophical problem (PI §144). Gordon Baker and David Egan offer two detailed accounts of this use (Baker 2004, 266-278; Egan 2011); for convenience, I will call such pictures “conceptual pictures”. Baker finds a helpful analogy between conceptual pictures and the phenomenon of aspect-seeing: in the same way that we can shift the aspect under which we view an image, Wittgenstein shifts the conceptual picture by means of which we view a given philosophical problem. Egan criticizes Baker’s analogy, finding it ambiguous. In this paper, I will argue two things: first, Egan misinterprets Baker’s analogy; and second, Baker’s analogy, when taken correctly, illuminates an important method in the Philosophical Investigations.

Keywords: Wittgenstein, Later Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, philosophical picture, David Egan, Gordon Baker, self-understanding.

Share

COinS
 
May 13th, 12:00 AM

One of Wittgenstein’s Methods: A Defense and Elaboration of Baker’s Analogy

In his later writings, Wittgenstein uses the term “picture” in a variety of ways. One such way is to mean a “conception” of or “way of looking” at a given philosophical problem (PI §144). Gordon Baker and David Egan offer two detailed accounts of this use (Baker 2004, 266-278; Egan 2011); for convenience, I will call such pictures “conceptual pictures”. Baker finds a helpful analogy between conceptual pictures and the phenomenon of aspect-seeing: in the same way that we can shift the aspect under which we view an image, Wittgenstein shifts the conceptual picture by means of which we view a given philosophical problem. Egan criticizes Baker’s analogy, finding it ambiguous. In this paper, I will argue two things: first, Egan misinterprets Baker’s analogy; and second, Baker’s analogy, when taken correctly, illuminates an important method in the Philosophical Investigations.

Keywords: Wittgenstein, Later Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, philosophical picture, David Egan, Gordon Baker, self-understanding.