|Author||: Hanna F. Pitkin|
|Publisher||: Univ of California Press|
|Total Pages||: 360|
|ISBN 10||: 0520023293|
|ISBN 13||: 9780520023291|
|Language||: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL|
This is an introduction for students of politics and society to the later philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein, and some topics in "ordinary-language" philosophy. It argues that Wittgenstein's later philosophy offers a revolutionary new conception of language, and hence a new and deeper understanding of ourselves and the world of human institutions and action. Language is seen as activity, and words as signals, rather than labels for classes of objects. The implications for the social sciences and for political action are wide-ranging and surprising. Questions of justice, for example, are seen to be neither just patterns of human behavior the social scientists can observe, nor the subjective expression of personal preference or passion, but the locus of rational judgement in accord with standards, different from the standards of science or mathematics but just as objective and resting on the same human foundations. The book ranges beyond topics usually treated in discussions of Wittgenstein to more difficult and important concerns such as "grammar" and "forms of life". After an initial explication relating Wittgenstein's ideas to those of several interpreters and critics, the author proceeds to applications of his thought to certain selected problems central to social science and political theory. These include the nature of explanation, the relationship between action and causation, validity in judgement, and the relationship between concepts and reality in the human world. The author also applies Wittgenstein's ideas to such specialized questions as what is "political" and the nature of power. The theme of human justice in relation to social problems, political action, and judgement pervades the book, appearing and reappearing at many points in the discussion.