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The Fate of WonderWittgenstein's Critique of Metaphysics and Modernity$
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Kevin Cahill

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231158008

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231158008.001.0001

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The Ethical Purpose of the Tractatus

The Ethical Purpose of the Tractatus

(p.42) 2 The Ethical Purpose of the Tractatus
The Fate of Wonder

Kevin M. Cahill

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines Ludwig Wittgenstein's ethical aim in writing the Tractatus. While resolute readings provide a framework for how the relation between ethics and the Tractatus should be understood, none of those readings have offered a detailed explanation of this relation. This chapter first considers the problem of conveying an intention in the context of reading the Tractatus using the resolute approach and proceeds with an overview of the concepts of anxiety, the “they” (Das Man), and authenticity in Martin Heidegger's Being and Time. It then analyzes Heidegger's description of an authentic stance toward anxiety and the “they” within the context of the Tractatus, along with the conceptual resonances between wonder and anxiety and how they relate to passages in the Tractatus dealing with the self and solipsism. The chapter concludes by commenting on Michael Kremer's interpretation of the ethical aim of the Tractatus in relation to the writings of St. Paul and St. Augustine as well as James Conant's comparison of the Tractatus to Søren Kierkegaard's work.

Keywords:   ethics, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus, resolute readings, anxiety, authenticity, Martin Heidegger, Being and Time, wonder, Michael Kremer

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