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Revelations from the Back Yard: Charles Wright and Wittgenstein

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“Revelations from the Back Yard: Charles Wright and Wittgenstein” investigates what constitutes an ethical pronouncement and/or sentiment, of what, essentially, characterizes ethical discourse. Wittgenstein's controversial assertion that we cannot speak of ethics without engaging in some form of nonsense makes sense as soon as it becomes apparent that his understanding of the role of nonsense in language is far from solely pejorative. His refusal to admit that ethics can be labeled a “science” leaves us with the question of how we might then go about formulating and/or investigating ethics. Poetry, in particular a poetry like that of Charles Wright, offers a more honest avenue, an avenue which, far from trying to overcome the limits of language in regard to ethics, instead engages just those limits, recognizing in them not an obstacle to ethical formulation but an essential characteristic of it.

Affiliations: 1: Montana State University


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