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Social Inquiry After Wittgenstein and KuhnLeaving Everything as It Is$
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John Gunnell

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231169400

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231169400.001.0001

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Mind, Meaning, & Interpretation

Mind, Meaning, & Interpretation

(p.65) 3 Mind, Meaning, & Interpretation
Social Inquiry After Wittgenstein and Kuhn

John G. Gunnell

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines how Wittgenstein's work challenges the dominant views of meaning and interpretation in both philosophy and the human sciences. It presents two general narratives: “mentalism” and “interpretism.” The evolution of Wittgenstein's account of the relationship between thought and language shows how he challenges both the traditional mentalist conception of meaning, and the loyal opposition of interpretive determinism. The transformation in Wittgenstein's work resulted in a new conception of the relationship between language and thought—this is the central thesis of The Blue and Brown Books. A budding theme in this earlier transitional work would soon find full articulation in his Philosophical Investigations. This theme refers to the problem of confusing the means of representation with what was represented, which Wittgenstein claims is the principal mistake of metaphysics, as well as an inherent danger in any form of social inquiry.

Keywords:   meaning, interpretation, mentalism, interpretism, The Blue and Brown Books, Philosophical Investigations, representation, Ludwig Wittgenstein

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