Armstrong’s Wittgenstein

More of Armstrong playing at Grown Up Scholarship. On page 279 she lays down the law about Wittgenstein for almost the whole page.

In his later years, Wittgenstein changed his mind. He no longer believed that language should merely state facts but acknowledged that words also issued commands, made promises, and expressed emotion. Turning his back on the early modern ambition to establish a single method of arrivingat truth, Wittgenstein now maintained that there were an infinite number of social discourses. So it was a grave mistake “to make religious belief a matter of evidence in the way that science is a matter of evidence”

And there we have our first reference: it is to “Ludwig Wittgenstein, Lectures and Conversations on Aesthetics, Psychology and Religious Belief, ed. Cecil Barrett, Oxford 1966′ – so not something Wittgenstein himself published, but a posthumous compilation. Armstrong goes on for the rest of the long paragraph, making Wittgenstein say much what she says on the subject; the next reference is to the same book, the six after that are to ‘Maurice Drury, “Conversations With Wittgenstein,” in Ludgwig Wittgenstein: Personal Recollections, and the final one is to Ray Monk’s biography.

Not primary core Wittgenstein, in other words, but peripheral, compiled Wittgenstein, and chat, and a biography. One suspects cherry-picking, and one also suspects superficiality. One is not impressed.

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