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'If Some People Looked Like Elephants and Others Like Cats': Wittgenstein on Understanding Others and Forms of Life. / Sandis, Constantine.

In: Nordic Wittgenstein Review, Vol. 4, No. Special Issue, 06.10.2015, p. 131-153.

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@article{6456e3d9d5844b308c79c1a718dd7671,
title = "'If Some People Looked Like Elephants and Others Like Cats':: Wittgenstein on Understanding Others and Forms of Life",
abstract = "This essay introduces a tension between the public Wittgenstein{\textquoteright}soptimism about knowledge of other minds and the privateWittgenstein{\textquoteright}s pessimism about understanding others. There are threerelated reasons which render the tension unproblematic. First, thebarriers he sought to destroy were metaphysical ones, whereas thosehe struggled to overcome were psychological. Second, Wittgenstein{\textquoteright}sofficial view is chiefly about knowledge while the unofficial one is aboutunderstanding. Last, Wittgenstein{\textquoteright}s official remarks on understandingthemselves fall into two distinct categories that don{\textquoteright}t match the focusof his unofficial ones. One is comprised of those remarks in theInvestigations that challenge the thought that understanding is an innermental process. The other consists primarily of those passages in PPFand On Certainty concerned with the difficulty of understanding otherswithout immersing oneself into their form of life. In its unofficialcounterpart, Wittgenstein focuses on individuals, rather than collectives.The official and the unofficial sets of remarks are united in assuming adistinction between understanding a person and understanding themeaning of their words. If to understand a language is to understand aform of life, then to understand a person is to understand a whole life.",
author = "Constantine Sandis",
note = "This manuscript version is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The version of record, {\textcopyright} 2015, de Gruyer, Sandis, Constantine; {\textquoteleft}If some people looked like Elephants and Others Like Cats{\textquoteright}, Wittgenstein on Understanding Others and Forms of Life, Nordic Wittgenstein Review, Special Issue, pp. 131-153, October 2015, ISSN 2242-248X. Available online at: http://www.nordicwittgensteinreview.com/article/view/3372 ",
year = "2015",
month = oct,
day = "6",
doi = "10.15845/nwr.v4i0.3372",
language = "English",
volume = "4",
pages = "131--153",
journal = "Nordic Wittgenstein Review",
issn = "2194-6825",
publisher = "Nordic Wittgenstein Society",
number = "Special Issue",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - 'If Some People Looked Like Elephants and Others Like Cats':

T2 - Wittgenstein on Understanding Others and Forms of Life

AU - Sandis, Constantine

N1 - This manuscript version is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The version of record, © 2015, de Gruyer, Sandis, Constantine; ‘If some people looked like Elephants and Others Like Cats’, Wittgenstein on Understanding Others and Forms of Life, Nordic Wittgenstein Review, Special Issue, pp. 131-153, October 2015, ISSN 2242-248X. Available online at: http://www.nordicwittgensteinreview.com/article/view/3372

PY - 2015/10/6

Y1 - 2015/10/6

N2 - This essay introduces a tension between the public Wittgenstein’soptimism about knowledge of other minds and the privateWittgenstein’s pessimism about understanding others. There are threerelated reasons which render the tension unproblematic. First, thebarriers he sought to destroy were metaphysical ones, whereas thosehe struggled to overcome were psychological. Second, Wittgenstein’sofficial view is chiefly about knowledge while the unofficial one is aboutunderstanding. Last, Wittgenstein’s official remarks on understandingthemselves fall into two distinct categories that don’t match the focusof his unofficial ones. One is comprised of those remarks in theInvestigations that challenge the thought that understanding is an innermental process. The other consists primarily of those passages in PPFand On Certainty concerned with the difficulty of understanding otherswithout immersing oneself into their form of life. In its unofficialcounterpart, Wittgenstein focuses on individuals, rather than collectives.The official and the unofficial sets of remarks are united in assuming adistinction between understanding a person and understanding themeaning of their words. If to understand a language is to understand aform of life, then to understand a person is to understand a whole life.

AB - This essay introduces a tension between the public Wittgenstein’soptimism about knowledge of other minds and the privateWittgenstein’s pessimism about understanding others. There are threerelated reasons which render the tension unproblematic. First, thebarriers he sought to destroy were metaphysical ones, whereas thosehe struggled to overcome were psychological. Second, Wittgenstein’sofficial view is chiefly about knowledge while the unofficial one is aboutunderstanding. Last, Wittgenstein’s official remarks on understandingthemselves fall into two distinct categories that don’t match the focusof his unofficial ones. One is comprised of those remarks in theInvestigations that challenge the thought that understanding is an innermental process. The other consists primarily of those passages in PPFand On Certainty concerned with the difficulty of understanding otherswithout immersing oneself into their form of life. In its unofficialcounterpart, Wittgenstein focuses on individuals, rather than collectives.The official and the unofficial sets of remarks are united in assuming adistinction between understanding a person and understanding themeaning of their words. If to understand a language is to understand aform of life, then to understand a person is to understand a whole life.

U2 - 10.15845/nwr.v4i0.3372

DO - 10.15845/nwr.v4i0.3372

M3 - Special issue

VL - 4

SP - 131

EP - 153

JO - Nordic Wittgenstein Review

JF - Nordic Wittgenstein Review

SN - 2194-6825

IS - Special Issue

ER -