Saturday, 4 September 2010

Wittgenstein - and Lonergan

This is another old draft blog entry for what it is worth. (I still intending having the paper mentioned published in Divyadaan: Journal of Philosophy and Religion):
Yesterday I digitalized an old paper of mine on Wittgenstein's Private Language Argument. his is a paper prepared in November 1980 during the second year of the Master’s degree course in Philosophy at Jnana Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune, under the guidance of Dr Lisbert D’Souza, SJ. I publish it here without significant changes - quite conscious of the fact that Wittgenstein scholarship has probably made large strides in the intervening space of 29 years – because I find it still provides a rather nuanced interpretation of Wittgenstein, and in the hope that it might be a small step towards dialectic and dialogue between Wittgenstein and Lonergan. Scholars will know that Lonergan dedicates a section of his chapter on Dialectic in his Method in Theology (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990, 253-257) to Wittgenstein (section 7: The Dialectic of Methods: Part One), insisting rather strongly on mental acts and on the essentially private character of language in its origins. Lonergan, however, was no Wittgenstein scholar; he was reacting, as is evident also from the text itself, to questions posed him by Edward MacKinnon during one of his institutes on method in theology (see Transcendental Philosophy and the Study of Religion, Boston, 1968); so, despite the strong language he uses, the relationship between Wittgenstein and Lonergan still remains, to my mind, an open question.

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