Wittgenstein: Readings from the Philosophical Investigations

Graduate Program (& Advanced Certificate) Status

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Course Description: 

The course will be based on a close reading of the Philosophical Investigations, starting from its beginning. The intention is to cover much of the material up to section 133. This includes, among other things, Wittgenstein’s views on meaning and use, ostensive definition, family resemblance, language games, language and mind, (so, much philosophy of language), the nature of philosophy, and more. We shall make use of other works by Wittgenstein along the way, both earlier and later to the Investigations. In the process, we shall learn how to read the Investigations, this most influential philosophical text of the twentieth century, as well as other writings by Wittgenstein.


Term paper of approximately 2500 words (students should consult the instructor about the paper’s subject). Participation in class can contribute up to plus one grade (from B to B+ etc.) to the final grade. 

Possible crosslist with other departments: none