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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 Truly Apocalyptic View

The Truly Apocalyptic View

(p.125) 5 The Truly Apocalyptic View
The Fate of Wonder

Kevin M. Cahill

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines the purpose of Philosophical Investigations, with particular emphasis on the connections Ludwig Wittgenstein saw between the philosophical problems with which he grappled in his later philosophy and the historical-cultural context in which those problems arose. It begins with an overview of Wittgenstein's development of certain themes he found in Oswald Spengler as an important connecting link between his critique of metaphysics and his concerns with cultural decline. It then considers some ideas broached by Stanley Cavell to show how Philosophical Investigations can be read as a substantial continuation from the Tractatus, both in the way it attempts to embody a nontheoretical conception of philosophy and in the way in which this conception is in the service of what can be seen as an attempt to fulfill something like the earlier work's ethical purpose. The chapter also tackles the question of how these issues intersect with Wittgenstein's attitude toward and engagement with religion.

Keywords:   religion, Philosophical Investigations, Ludwig Wittgenstein, philosophy, Oswald Spengler, metaphysics, cultural decline, Stanley Cavell, Tractatus

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