Skip to main content

Publication Details

Philosophical Problems and Therapy. Polemic with The New Wittgenstein

(Original title: Philosophical Problems and Therapy. Polemic with The New Wittgenstein)
Filozofia, 76 (2021), 4, 281 – 292.
Type of work: Original Articles
Publication language: English

The paper argues against the interpretations of Wittgenstein’s philosophy by Conant, Diamond, and Crary presented in The New Wittgenstein. Such interpretations are based on the concept of mere (or plain) nonsense and try out a strategy of translating Wittgenstein’s work into the idiom of therapeutic philosophy. In my argumentation, I show that it is impossible to effectively interpret Tractatus in the way proposed by Conant, Diamond and Crary. This fact has consequences for the concept of mere nonsense. If Tractatus is mere nonsense and means nothing, it is impossible to use the Tractatus method to identify logical object like problem or philosophical problem and finally identify mere nonsense. If philosophy as a therapy is to cure philosophical problems, then we must have a criterion that allows us to identify such problems as philosophical problems and, consequently, the entire therapy as a philosophical therapy. The concept of mere nonsense does not provide such a criterion. Without such a criterion, the therapy proposed by mentioned authors is a therapy with the use of any tool directed against anything. If we reduce understanding of the author’s understanding only and not of his work, there is no reason why this activity should be described as philosophical. My argumentation shows that the consequences of the methodology derived from The New Wittgenstein’s basic postulates, will always be confusing and will usually lead to contradictions, arbitrariness, or lack of connection with interpreted text.


New Reading, Philosophical problems, Therapy, Wittgenstein

File to download: PDF