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Wittgenstein on Subjectivity: the Metaphysical Subject in the Tractatus and the Human Being in the Investigations

Tang, Hao (2010) Wittgenstein on Subjectivity: the Metaphysical Subject in the Tractatus and the Human Being in the Investigations. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Wittgenstein practices a critique of language, in a broad Kantian sense. This critique is animated by a fundamental concern with the human being, of which he sees language as an essential part.1.The first part of the dissertation shows that there is a thin, insubstantial form of transcendental idealism in the Tractatus. It is insubstantial because it rejects the possibility of any substantial (one sense of synthetic) a priori truth about the world.The first stage of the argument shows that in both Kant and the Tractatus there is an identity of form between thought and reality. The second stage shows that the metaphysical subject in the Tractatus is a transcendental subject. In particular it shows that Tractarian solipsism, "The world is my world", is an analogue and thin version of the transcendental unity of apperception.2.The second part of the dissertation studies a strand in the Private Language Argument in the Investigations, namely the temptation towards treating the inner (one sense of subjective) and the outer as independently intelligible (dualism of the Inner and the Outer). The focus is on the dual-ism of Sensation and Sensation-Behaviour.The study aims to show that for Wittgenstein the deepest roots of this dualism lie in the very development of the capacity for the "I think", of the intellect itself.Wittgenstein gives two diagnoses of the dualism of Sensation and Sensation-Behaviour. His real target is the intellectualist conception of language, which constantly derives its strength from the predominance of the intellectual use of our language. The deepest roots of this intellectualism lie in our development of a language of sensations, where the incision of language is salient. This phenomenon is a cause for ambivalence: it is crucial for the development of an intellect but at the same time also inflicts cuts between the inner and the outer, cuts that can easily tempt us into the dualism of the Inner and the Outer.To heal the dualistic cuts, we must restore the concept of a living human being at the center of philosophy.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Tang, Haohatst16@pitt.eduHATST16
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMcDowell, Johnjmcdowel@pitt.eduJMCDOWEL
Committee MemberGupta, Anilagupta@pitt.eduAGUPTA
Committee MemberMcGuire, James Ejemcg@pitt.eduJEMCG
Committee MemberEngstrom, Stephenengstrom@pitt.eduENGSTROM
Date: 1 October 2010
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 23 July 2010
Approval Date: 1 October 2010
Submission Date: 9 July 2010
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Philosophy
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Critique of Language; Metaphysical Subject; Sensation-Language; Subjectivity; Private Language Argument; Wittgenstein
Other ID:, etd-07092010-102411
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:50
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:45


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