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A Confusion of the SpheresKierkegaard and Wittgenstein on Philosophy and Religion$
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Genia Schönbaumsfeld

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199229826

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199229826.001.0001

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Sense and Ineffabilia—Kierkegaard and the Tractatus

Sense and Ineffabilia—Kierkegaard and the Tractatus

Chapter:
(p.84) 3 Sense and Ineffabilia—Kierkegaard and the Tractatus
Source:
A Confusion of the Spheres
Author(s):

Genia Schönbaumsfeld (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199229826.003.0004

The aim of this chapter is to undermine ‘resolute’ readings, advanced by James Conant, of both the Tractatus and Concluding Unscientific Postscript. Interesting parallels are indeed discernible between Kierkegaard and the early Wittgenstein, but the exposure of a doctrine of ‘substantial nonsense’ (or of ineffable truth) isn't one of them. For whilst Wittgenstein is clearly committed to the notion of ineffabilia in the Tractatus, Climacus'/Kierkegaard's project in Postscript has nothing whatever to do with such a conception. A profound disanalogy therefore exists, in this respect, between the early Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard. The points of contact that can therefore be perceived between the early Wittgenstein and the Danish philosopher cannot be located in the actual endorsement (or rejection) of similar views about the nature of language and what lies beyond its limits, but are rather to be found in a certain commonality of vision as regards ethics and religion.

Keywords:   absolute paradox, James Conant, Concluding Unscientific Postscript, Kierkegaard, Mere nonsense, Revocation, substantial nonsense, Tractatus, Wittgenstein, saying and showing

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