Wittgenstein against ‘Positivist' Approaches to International Relations: Replacing the Anti‐Representationalist Objection

Woolley, Jessica (2015) Wittgenstein against ‘Positivist' Approaches to International Relations: Replacing the Anti‐Representationalist Objection. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

Abstract
Over
the
past
few
decades,
a
number
of
prominent
scholars
have
attempted
to
apply
Wittgenstein’s
philosophy
to
the
study
of
International
Relations
(IR).
These
applications
have
taken
diverse
forms
and
directions;
nevertheless,
many
involve
using
Wittgenstein’s
philosophy
to
criticise
certain
purportedly
‘scientific’
approaches
to
studying
IR
that
have
conventionally
been
labelled
as
‘positivist’
within
the
discipline.
One
popular
line
of
objection
that
is
pursued
in
this
context
argues
that
‘positivist’
approaches
to
IR
are
committed
to
a
problematic
representational
view
of
language

called
the
‘mirror’
or
‘picture’
view

which
Wittgenstein
decisively
criticised
in
his
later
work.
While
many
IR
scholars
and
interpreters
of
Wittgenstein’s
later
philosophy
would
be
sympathetic
to
the
overall
aim
and
direction
of
this
line
of
argument,
I
contend
that
there
are
some
problems
with
it
which
have
the
result
that
it
does
not
support
the
conclusions
that
it
is
meant
to.
I
therefore
use
the
identification
of
these
problems
as
the
starting
point
for
developing
an
alternative
application
of
the
relevant
aspects
of
Wittgenstein’s
later
philosophy
to
IR,
which
can
replace
the
anti-­‐representationalist
objection
and
provide
a
more
sophisticated
way
to
criticise
‘positivist’
IR
scholars
that
overcomes
the
problems
identified.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
Depositing User: Vailele Chittock
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2016 11:15
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2016 11:15
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/59392
DOI:

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