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Toward a perspicuous presentation of “perspicuous presentation”

Hutchinson, Anthony Philip A. and Read, Rupert (2008) Toward a perspicuous presentation of “perspicuous presentation”. Philosophical Investigations, 31 (2). pp. 141-160. ISSN 1467-9205

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Abstract

Gordon Baker in his last decade published a series of papers (now collected in Baker 2004), which are revolutionary in their proposals for understanding of later Wittgenstein. Taking our lead from the first of those papers, on “perspicuous presentations,” we offer new criticisms of ‘elucidatory’ readers of later Wittgenstein, such as Peter Hacker: we argue that their readings fail to connect with the radically therapeutic intent of the ‘perspicuous presentation’ concept, as an achievement-term, rather than a kind of ‘objective’ mapping of a ‘conceptual landscape.’ Baker's Wittgenstein, far from being a ‘language policeman’ of the kind that often fails to influence mainstream philosophy, offers an alternative to the latent scientism of Wittgenstein's influential ‘elucidatory’ readers.

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