The notion of philosophy in Wittgenstein's later writings
Wittgenstein's later view of philosophy centres on the claims that philosophy can make no discoveries and that philosophy should aim to describe the use of language. This thesis explores the hypothesis that these claims arise from the account of the nature of the internal relation in the later writings. The thesis falls into three parts. The first part examines the picture theory of representation in the Tractatus; it is argued that the theory takes its shape from Wittgenstein's early view of internal relations. The grounds for the rejection of the picture theory in the later writings are discussed; the argument against a private language is held to be based on the objections to the picture theory. The second part of the thesis looks at the account of internal relatedness given in Wittgenstein's later writings. The failure of the picture theory leads to a non-realist account of the internal relation. A proposal to preserve realism based on a causal theory of representation is rejected and Kripke's account of Wittgenstein's position is criticised. The notions of a grammatical rule and a practice are the keys to the later theory. Grammatical rules depend on the existence of natural reactions to and with signs; such natural reactions constitute a practice, and only within such a practice are there internal relations. Wittgenstein's view of psychological states is explored against the background of the notion of a practice. The third part of the thesis examines the doctrines on philosophy in the light of the account of internal relatedness which has emerged. It is argued that if this account is correct, there is no room for philosophical inquiry to discover objective truths. But if Wittgenstein's negative doctrines on philosophy are supported by these arguments, the same is not true for^ his proposals about the proper ambitions of philosophy: the task of describing rules of grammar is unproductive because there is no room for an interesting notion of a violation of a rule of grammar. Moreover, it is argued that Wittgenstein misadvertises the method one is to employ to reveal violations of grammatical rules. Finally it is asked whether the later account of philosophy suffers the same problems as beset philosophy in the Tractatus: can the negative doctrines really be stated? A way out of this problem is suggested.