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Was Wittgenstein an Analytic Philosopher? Wittgenstein vs Russell

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This article is in six main sections. In the first three sections, some indication of how and why philosophers have differed in their response to the title question is given by describing Wittgenstein’s encounters with Carnap, and by examining Wittgenstein’s commitment to clarity and argument in philosophy, illustrating this commitment by reference to his Philosophical Investigations discussion of the will. In the remaining three sections, Russell is taken as a paradigm example of a central kind of analytic philosopher. The answer to the title question is unfolded by sketching Wittgenstein’s and Russell’s treatments of a few philosophical topics and problems, focusing on theories and questions surrounding propositions, judgments, and their constituents, in particular Russell’s multiple relation theory of judgment and the question of the unity of the proposition. This approach displays, and does not merely assert, Russell’s deployment of (sometimes repeated variants of) technical solutions to philosophical problems and how that deployment contrasts with Wittgenstein’s attempts to make such problems disappear.

Affiliations: 1: M204: Philosophy


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