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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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Investigating the Investigations

Investigating the Investigations

(p.95) 4 Investigating the Investigations
Social Inquiry After Wittgenstein and Kuhn

John G. Gunnell

Columbia University Press

This chapter gives a detailed reading of the Philosophical Investigations from the perspective of social theory. In this text, Wittgenstein continued expounding his theories about meaning; language and mental concepts; the relationship between interpretation and understanding; the distinction between words and concepts; the epistemic relationship between inquiry and its subject matter, along with the problem of materializing the vehicle of interpretation; and various other issues that are vital to any mode of social inquiry. The chapter is mainly concerned with how the text, when viewed at the basic level, is really about issues that are central to the social and human sciences. Wittgenstein's analysis applies not simply to language narrowly construed but to conventional phenomena as a whole, and to what Max Weber regards as the meaningful actions that constitute social facts.

Keywords:   Philosophical Investigations, social theory, social science, human science, language, conventional phenomena, Max Weber, social facts

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