Judging Portraits of Wittgenstein

Chapter
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Education book series (BRIEFSEDUCAT)

Abstract

Here, we examine two caricatures of Wittgenstein in order to show in relief a more accurate portrait of his later philosophy and its significance for education. Curry’s attempt to appropriate Wittgenstein to Philosophy of Geography backfires but gives occasion to explore his geographic metaphors in relation to his ambling method of philosophical investigation. Learning is shown to be the gradual absorption of rich cultural surroundings or background for going on as others do, knowing one’s way about but also sharing in the genius loci of one’s place. Friesen’s attempt to portray Wittgenstein as a ‘tragic Philosopher of Education’ based on a ‘German-first reading’ of his use of the word Abrichtung (training) also dissembles under closer scrutiny. Friesen’s apparent tribunal of Wittgenstein makes it seem like philosophers drawing on him for progressive purposes in education are somehow naïve or duped in overlooking the dictionary definition of Abrichtung. Exonerating colleagues from disparagement, we show how closer reading of Wittgenstein’s remarks on training, teaching and learning take us not into pedagogy but into deeper aspects of post-foundational epistemology, where meaning no longer hinges on correspondence with an external reality.

Keywords

Training Abrichtung Learning Surroundings Circumstances Forms of life Correspondence theory 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationWilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research, The University of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand
  2. 2.Ontario Institute for Studies in EducationUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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