Wittgenstein’s Phenomenology: Bridging the Analytic-Continental Gap

For long, Wittgenstein’s philosophy was primarily associated with the Anglo-American analytic tradition, construed in opposition with the continental phenomenological tradition. In line with more recent strands of research, the seminar aims to challenge that traditional reception. We will explore the explicitly phenomenological project developed by Wittgenstein in manuscripts from late 1920s and early 1930s, namely, in his less known “middle period”, between the Tractatus and the Philosophical Investigations. We will discuss sections (provided in Romanian translation and the German original) from Manuscript 213 of Wittgenstein’s Nachlass, and thus get an overview of the rise and fall of his phenomenological project. Among the themes in focus: the notion of phenomenological language; thought experiments vs. scientific experiments; immediate experience; visual, physical and Euclidian space; varieties of images (e.g. visual, mnemonic, cinematographic); memory time vs. historical time; the grammar of colours and their mixtures; the experience of pain and its communication.

The seminar will meet once every two weeks – in alternation with the Permanent Seminar on Recent Phenomenology – on Wednesdays 18:00-20:00, in the Office of the Romanian Society for Phenomenology (1 Dimitrie Brândză St.)

First meeting: Wednesday, 27 February 2019, 18.00.

Those interested to attend, please write to the seminar organizer: Mihai Ometiță (IRH-ICUB Fellow) – mihai.ometita(at)icub.unibuc.ro.


Wednesday, 22 May 2019, 18h, Faculty of Philosophy, Titu Maiorescu Room

Babrak Ibrahimy (University of Derby, UK), Einstimmung’ and ways of life in Wittgenstein – a political interpretation

Abstract: Wittgenstein uses the terms Einstimmung (consensus) and Lebensformen (ways of life) in a peculiar way. In his own work, they are rarely used politically, and yet, for students of political theory it is hard to see how these terms can been understood apolitically. It is therefore not surprising that, while always implicitly present, recent years have seen a rise of explicit use of Wittgenstein’s work in political theory. In this paper, I want to borrow Wittgenstein’s insights and connect his view to Carl’s Schmitt’s notion of the political. On the one hand, the move is not too radical precisely because at the outset of his treatise Schmitt refers to politics as competing ways of life. On the other hand, Schmitt and Wittgenstein could not be more different. This paper does not therefore aim to synthesise the two scholars, but only to show a possible political reading of Wittgenstein’s work.

Talk organised in collaboration with the Department of Theoretical Philosophy