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Two Lectures on Wittgenstein (Nuno Venturinha)

Beethovenstraße 15, Leipzig
GWZ H2 1.16
Lecture I – The Hermeneutics of Unfinishedness (28.1.2014, 13hrs)
The publication of Wittgenstein’s Nachlass has made clear that what is generally regarded as his second philosophical masterpiece, the Philosophical Investigations, is in fact an unfinished book. There are many other examples of unfinished books in the western tradition and Wittgenstein’s book would seem to fall under the category of works whose authors could not finish in their lifetimes. I shall discuss some of these examples and show that there is something peculiar regarding Wittgenstein’s enterprise, specifically that the unfinished nature of his book mirrors his view of philosophy as an unfinishable task. I shall conclude by examining some epistemological consequences of such an undogmatic view when seriously taken and suggest that this does not mean completely abandoning substantial theses. 
Lecture II – Grammatical Epistemology (29.1.2014, 13hrs)
The affinity of the Tractarian programme of logic to Kant’s apriorism and Frege’s anti-psychologism is one of the few indisputable facts of the Wittgenstein scholarship. What deserves more consideration is Wittgenstein’s reencounter with Frege and his re-examination of logic in his later philosophy of psychology, a reencounter and re-examination that occasioned a far-reaching epistemological programme. In this lecture I draw attention to documents which show that Wittgenstein had a very different attitude towards psychologism starting in the late 1930s. This is linked to his new conception of evolutionary normativity, a conception that however retains important traces of his earlier Kantianism. The lecture will focus on the question of how seemingly fixed principles of thought can be reconciled with more changeable grammatical rules.
Nuno Venturinha is a senior research fellow in Philosophy and teaches at the New University of Lisbon. He has held visiting teaching positions at the universities of Lisbon and São Paulo, and has been a visiting researcher on various occasions at the universities of Bergen, Innsbruck, Oxford, Cambridge and Helsinki. His current research interests concentrate on epistemology, philosophical methodology, philosophy of language and Wittgenstein. He is the author of Lógica, Ética, Gramática. Wittgenstein e o Método da Filosofia (Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda, 2010) as well as the editor of Wittgenstein After His Nachlass (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) and The Textual Genesis of Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations (Routledge, 2013).



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