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About the Author

Jaakko Hintikka is a professor of philosophy at Boston University

Inclui os nomes: J. Hintikka, Jaako Hintikka

Image credit: Jaako Hintikka (2003) / By Gate220 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Obras por Jaakko Hintikka

The Philosophy of Mathematics (1969) 36 exemplares
Investigating Wittgenstein (1986) 23 exemplares
Information and inference (1970) 13 exemplares
Kieli ja maailma (1988) 6 exemplares
Aspects of inductive logic (1966) 4 exemplares
Indagine su Wittgenstein (1990) 3 exemplares
Eseje logiczno-filozoficzne (1992) 1 exemplar
Tense Logic (2013) 1 exemplar

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Conhecimento Comum



The book Investigating Wittgenstein by Jaakko and Merrill B. Hintikka was special to me for several reasons:

1. Jaakko Hintikka was one of the most renowned experts on Wittgenstein and in the philosophy of language in general, established early in his life
2. Jaakko Hintikka was my major professor in the Department of Philosophy at Florida State University
3. Merrill B. Hintikka was also a formidable philosophical mind and she was my departmental advisor in philosophy at FSU

For me the book served as a refresher course of professor Jaakko Hintikka’s courses that I enjoyed in the early-to-mid-1980s. I studied the philosophy of language in general and Wittgenstein in particular under Hintikka from 1981 through 1986 and this book was published in 1986.
I was first struck by the two facts about this book:

1. Highly methodical critical analysis connecting Wittgenstein’s early, middle, and late periods.
2. Method itself is deeply informed by Wittgenstein’s method of exposition

The book clearly and accurately explains Wittgenstein’s view of language as the universal medium and the ineffability of semantics. Further, it shows how this framework holds true throughout Wittgenstein’s early, middle, and late periods (contrary to some other philosophers’ mistaken opinions in the past, e.g., G. Hallett’s Companion). Those who suggest Wittgenstein changed his views of the limits of language do so from a mistaken idea that the Strictness of Rules has anything to do with it. But “Whether such semantical rules are strict or loose does not make the slightest difference.” Wittgenstein does change his views about the strictness of rules around language. But the point is, semantics are ineffable, how strict the rules are doesn’t matter.

The book shows the important difference between the ineffability of semantics vs. the ability to talk about syntax, which is where philosophical discussion becomes most productive. Wittgenstein’s philosophy of mathematics and language as calculus are also explored in depth. Just as in calculus you have to do something with the signs, in language you have to do something with the signs. Language is action. Then the authors lament, “Alas, the prevalence of pocket calculators is bound to make this point harder for future readers of Wittgenstein to appreciate.” This was in 1986. Imagine how much harder today, where almost no calculation is done “in the head” anymore! In fact, the way games used to interact with the world highlighted the meaning of Wittgenstein’s famous “language games” as well. But the analogy falls apart with video games and other screen-based games. So today the phrase “language games” probably fails to communicate the action that Wittgenstein intended.

Getting back to the review, readers who follow the “game” analogy will be happy to find that “language games” and their interrelations figure prominently throughout the book. Like any philosophy of language book, it explores how names and abstract objects interact and hook into the world (e.g., logical form such as color ascriptions).

The book is divided into short numbered sections, which are very logically ordered. The writing style is pleasing (not typical of philosophy books). The book will be boring to anyone not truly interested in the philosophy of language, but that’s to be expected. Anyone with such an interest, will find the book rewarding in its straightforward style, well-thought-out organization, well-supported and brilliantly argued points of view. The mind of Wittgenstein truly comes alive in this study.
… (mais)
Coutre | Dec 23, 2020 |

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