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Title: Ordinary language philosophy and sociological theory : some issues in Wittgenstein's later work and their implications for sociological theorising
Author: Gofton, Leslie Ross
ISNI:       0000 0001 3501 5884
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 1979
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This thesis examines the relation between ordinary language and sociological theorising in the light of Ludwig Wittgenstein's work on the problem of dualism. It examines the work of Peter Winch and D. Lawrence Wieder in their attempts to deal with, respectively, the role of convention and indexicality in the constitution of sense, and argues for an alternative view which ties these concepts together rather than giving either priority. In an examination of theoreticity, it looks at the work of Harold Garfinkel and Talcott Parsons, and finds that they exemplify twin aspects of a central problematic - how to reconcile naturalism, and the concepts of the everyday world, with the analytically formal structures which a scientific theorising requires. It argues for the mutual inter-dependence of these requirements. In the analysis which it offers of the work of Alvin Gouldner and Alan Blum, it finds that their responses to Karl Mannheim's formulation of the problem of historicity founder on the difficulties contained in their conception of the possibilities for reflexive theorising. While Gouldner espouses the necessity of a radical commitment to emancipation as the fundamental value displayed by the historical development of thought, and Blum argues for the degeneracy of any attempt to locate such a value in the historical realm, this work argues that both theorists in fact offer versions of theorising which proceed from a classical epistemologlcal position, leading to a fund amentally dualistic conception of language, and hence support an incoherent theory of certainty. All of these analyses are set against the background of Wittgenstein's work on other minds and certainty. It proposes that Wittgenstein's criterial theory of sense-constitution, as outlined in the work of P. M. S. Hacker and Gordon Baker, offers a fruitful alternative to the classical epistemological theories upon which much of the work discussed can be seen to rest. It proposes to find in this work a new way of approaching sociological theorising, and a new approach to work which has already been produced, notably that of Parson, Garfinkel and Mannheim.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available