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Title: Wittgenstein against 'positivist' approaches to international relations : replacing the anti-representationalist objection
Author: Woolley, Jessica
ISNI:       0000 0004 5915 7870
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2015
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Over the past few decades, a number of prominent scholars have attempted to apply Wittgenstein’s philosophy to the study of International Relations (IR). These applications have taken diverse forms and directions; nevertheless, many involve using Wittgenstein’s philosophy to criticise certain purportedly ‘scientific’ approaches to studying IR that have conventionally been labelled as ‘positivist’ within the discipline. One popular line of objection that is pursued in this context argues that ‘positivist’ approaches to IR are committed to a problematic representational view of language – called the ‘mirror’ or ‘picture’ view – which Wittgenstein decisively criticised in his later work. While many IR scholars and interpreters of Wittgenstein’s later philosophy would be sympathetic to the overall aim and direction of this line of argument, I contend that there are some problems with it which have the result that it does not support the conclusions that it is meant to. I therefore use the identification of these problems as the starting point for developing an alternative application of the relevant aspects of Wittgenstein’s later philosophy to IR, which can replace the anti-­‐representationalist objection and provide a more sophisticated way to criticise ‘positivist’ IR scholars that overcomes the problems identified.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available