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Wittgenstein on the Arbitrariness of Grammar Kindle Edition

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Length: 264 pages

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"Nuanced and convincingly supported, Forster's work reaches conclusions of great intrinsic interest."

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"Nuanced and convincingly supported, Forster's work reaches conclusions of great intrinsic interest."

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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By W. Jamison VINE VOICE on March 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
If anything the book begins by giving a good collection of quotations from many different selections where Wittgenstein says the sorts of things he does on the nature of grammar. This is examined in light of Kantian views and the author points out the similarities - something I do not recall reading about before. I was under the impression that Wittgenstein was relatively unschooled philosophically. So seeing his views described as Kantian is exciting. "Wittgenstein's position can quite properly be described as idealist, in a sense closely analogous to that in which Kant's was." (P. 17) F contrasts his view (the diversity thesis) with that of Bernard Williams (may he rest in peace) and others, and in agreement with Norman Malcolm, on the interpretation of the later Wittgenstein's position on the "I" and the "We". (p. 24) So, the examples described here do not lead to the negative view that the alternatives given are unintelligible but rather that they are "either actual or possible." "In short, grammar is neither correct nor incorrect, neither true nor false, but is instead antecedent to correctness and incorrectness, truth and falsehood." (p. 48) Why does W hold this view? F says because "grammatical principles ... are rules or conventions, like those which govern games, that they have somewhat the character of commands, commandments, or categorical imperatives with which we enjoin ourselves to order our empirical or factual claims in specific ways." (p. 49) In some sense grammatical principles are non-arbitrary since they are "required to be useful." (p. 81) Chapter 4 deals with some criticisms. Part II of the book deals with the "diversity thesis."
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