Wittgenstein and the problem of phenomenology

Ometita, Mihai (2015) Wittgenstein and the problem of phenomenology. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Wittgenstein’s mention of the term “phenomenology” in his writings from the
middle period has long been regarded as puzzling by interpreters. It is striking to
see him concerned with this philosophical approach, generally regarded as being
foreign to the tradition of Russell and Frege, in which Wittgenstein’s thought is
taken to have primarily developed. On the basis of partially unpublished material
from Wittgenstein’s Nachlass , this thesis provides a reconstruction of the rationale
and fate of his peculiar notion of phenomenology, which he developed after his
return to Cambridge in 1929.
On the one hand, this notion is tributary to Wittgenstein’s longstanding task of
the philosophical clarification of language. On the other hand, Wittgenstein’s
concern with phenomenology develops against the background of his
reconsideration of the resources for clarification provided by his early philosophy.
His 1929 paper “Some Remarks on Logical Form” is elucidatory in this respect.
The paper expresses a dissatisfaction with the Tractarian account of logical
grammar and pleas for a “logical investigation of the phenomena themselves”. This
plea echoes Wittgenstein’s conception of a “phenomenological language” in the
manuscripts from the same period.
The thesis discusses the intricacies of this conception and the reasons for
Wittgenstein’s criticisms of it. By contrast to the prevalent view in the secondary
literature, the discussion shows that he did not fully endorse for a definite period,
and then suddenly abandoned, the idea of phenomenological language.
Wittgenstein rather attempts to develop a viable means of clarification and
philosophical expression through phenomenological language, while critically
exploring the implications and consequences of this attempt at the very same

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
Depositing User: Jackie Webb
Date Deposited: 04 May 2016 11:45
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 01:38
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/58566


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