By Garry L. Hagberg
The voluminous writings of Ludwig Wittgenstein comprise one of the most profound reflections of contemporary occasions at the nature of the human topic and self-understanding - the human , philosophically talking. Describing Ourselves mines these broad writings for a belief of the self that stands in amazing distinction to its predecessors in addition to its newer possible choices. extra in particular, the ebook deals an in depth dialogue of Wittgenstein's later writings on language and brain as they carry distinct importance for the knowledge and explanation of the targeted personality of self-descriptive or autobiographical language.
Garry L. Hagberg undertakes a ground-breaking philosophical research of chosen autobiographical writings--among the simplest examples we've got of human selves exploring themselves--as they solid new and specified gentle at the critique of mind-body dualism and its undercurrents particularly and at the nature of autobiographical awareness extra ordinarily. The chapters absorb in flip the subjects of self-consciousness, what Wittgenstein calls 'the internal picture', psychological privateness and the image of metaphysical seclusion, the very notion of our commentary of the contents of attention, first-person expressive speech, reflexive or self-directed concept and competing photos of introspection, the nuances of retrospective self-understanding, person-perception and the corollary problems with self-perception (itself an curiously risky phrase), self-defining reminiscence, and the healing notion of philosophical growth because it applies to all of those concerns.
The forged of characters interwoven all through this wealthy dialogue comprise, as well as Wittgenstein centrally, Augustine, Goethe, Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, Iris Murdoch, Donald Davidson, and Stanley Cavell, between others. all through, conceptual clarifications referring to brain and language are placed to paintings within the research of matters on the subject of self-description and in novel philosophical readings of autobiographical texts.
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Extra resources for Describing Ourselves: Wittgenstein and Autobiographical Consciousness
28 Autobiographical Consciousness Wittgenstein asks if we cannot imagine that the people around us are automata, that they lack consciousness, and that, for example, the liveliness of a group of children is the result only of automatism (§420). He predicts that we will, in one reaction to this suggestion, ﬁnd the words, the sentences, expressing this ‘automata view’ of persons becoming quite meaningless when they are, as it were, held up against the reality of the persons. Or as a second reaction to the suggestion, we might momentarily provoke an uncanny feeling in ourselves.
In accordance with the picture, the genuine understanding of another person’s thinking, another person’s thought, would be a metaphysical impossibility; in accordance with a far less neat reality, such understandings, sometimes characterized as genuine in contexts where that word marks an ¹⁸ The reality of those autobiographical processes is far closer, in fact, to what pragmatism might suggest. Very brieﬂy, we would ﬁnd an individual or group of individuals working within a problem-ﬁeld of self-or-other understanding—or working within particularized contexts within which the criteria relevant to the determination of the particular issue will emerge as relevant in highly context-sensitive ways that no generalized theory of autobiographical writing or person-interpretation could possibly accommodate.
G. H. von Wright and Heikki Nyman. ’ This idea, of course, co-conspires with those guilty conceptions and pictures, and in giving us a dualistic conceptual model for the content of experience, at the same time gives us a conceptual model for the content of autobiography. At this stage of his reﬂections the answer to his question is clear, and he wastes no time in answering it. ’ That private object²³ would be the inner object upon which the private diarist introspects,²⁴ and (for our present concerns) it would be the inner representation of world-constituting Schopenhauerian signiﬁcance, knowable only to the autobiographer, and upon which that self-describing, self’s-world-deﬁning author introspects in order to capture the inner content for which the autobiographical writing serves as external descriptive-narrative counterpart.