Wittgenstein's Forms of Life, Patterns of Life and Ways of Living

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This paper aims to distinguish Wittgenstein's concept of 'form of life' from other concepts or expressions that have been confused or conflated with it, such as 'language-game', 'certainty', 'patterns of life', 'ways of living' and 'facts of living'. Competing interpretations of Wittgenstein's 'form(s) of life' are reviewed (Baker & Hacker, Cavell, Conway, Garver), and it is concluded that Wittgenstein intended both a singular and a plural use of the concept; with, where the human is concerned, a single human form of life characterized by innumerable forms of human life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-42
JournalNordic Wittsgenstein Studies
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2015


  • Wittgenstein
  • forms of life
  • patterns of life
  • language-game
  • certainty


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