Harald Johannessen: Wittgenstein and Hegel: Ostensive definition meets speculative proposition
The third Department Seminar this term will be given by Harald Johannessen. Open for all!
The talk is an attempt to compare Hegel and Wittgenstein through their views on the nature and rôle of philosophical, or logico-grammatical, propositions. Why compare two philosophers who seem so far apart? Well, both saw philosophy as non-creative, -not producing anything new-, and both saw our common language as the material for philosophical work. They both saw the familiar, that close by us, as being, just because of that, overlooked or not known. The later Wittgenstein reminded us of the perils of language on holiday, perils caused by our disregard of what language actually meant; Hegel insisted that language penetrates to the core of human thinking, and that the major categories of thought are stored in our language. While Wittgenstein was keen to show us how language works while at home; Hegel thought it was necessary for philosophers to move beyond the ordinary, trivial use of language in order to harvest the truths embedded in language, and he used speculative thinking to work towards this objective. Most of what I say is devoted to Wittgenstein, and consists in a close reading of a few extracts.