Oliver Smithies Lectures
The myth of a quietist Wittgenstein has contributed to mainstream philosophy’s depreciation of a great philosopher. This talk will aim to extricate Wittgenstein from the quietist and reductively therapeutic image that has overshadowed him, by showing in what ways he is an interventionist philosopher both within philosophy and for the sciences. Perceptions of him as a linguistic idealist will be found unwarranted in that the practice of conceptual elucidation – which Wittgenstein claims to be the essential task of philosophy – cannot be insulated from our ways of living. And so Wittgenstein upheld and practised the non-theory-laden observation of human behaviour and action to inform his own 'perspicuous presentations'. We shall see how these have impacted the philosophy of mind and epistemology, as also psychology and the cognitive sciences.
Biography: Danièle Moyal-Sharrock is Reader in Philosophy at the University of Hertfordshire (UK). Her work focuses on Wittgenstein, epistemology, and the philosophy of literature. Her publications include Understanding Wittgenstein’s On Certainty; The Third Wittgenstein; Perspicuous Presentations: Essays on Wittgenstein's Philosophical Psychology; Hinge Epistemology (with A. Coliva); F. R. Leavis: critic, teacher, philosopher. She is President of the British Wittgenstein Society.