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‘Form of Life’in Wittgenstein’s View

Author: LiZhiPing
Tutor: LiHong
School: Shanxi University
Course: Foreign Philosophy
Keywords: language-game form of life picture of world emotion religion
CLC: B521
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2006
Downloads: 189
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The main task of Later Wittgenstein is to investigate application of language in daily life. He thinks that the meaning of language is determined by use, and different use will give different meaning. There is no essential quality of language, except its application in daily life. He puts forward an important concept, namely, form of life, which he makes as the premise and background of analyzing language. So, the investigation into form of life has important significance in understanding the theories of Later Wittgenstein. However, Wittgenstein hasn’t defined the ’form of life’ explicitly, which causes various explanation of it.The paper will explain Wittgenstein’s ’Form of Life’ within three contexts. Firstly, through connecting language-game and form of life, I will indicate that language-game is in form of life, and it is part of form of life. Language and life interlace each other. We cannot understand language if we are off from life. Secondly, form of life is the premise and basis of knowledge. Form of life is picture of world that is consisted of proposition of common sense. It constitutes faith system of knowledge, it is root of knowledge, and it is the ground on which our interpretation, explanation and demonstration depend. Thirdly, the whole into which we interweave emotion with life, behavior and language consists of our form of life. We explain form of life in ethics. That means, emotion is not merely psychological activity, but it always presents in life, in people’s attitude to life and in the mode of life. People cannot evaluate the other’s form of life with his own. Wittgenstein indicates that religion is a kind of form of life and it is a way that people evaluate life. We can draw a conclusion from Wittgenstein’s statement of form of life: all philosophicalproblems are resolved in form of life. Now that philosophical problems are derived from misapplication of language, while language presents in life, then, cleaning the meaning of proposition and resolving philosophical problems can only occur in life. We merely find solution to philosophical problems in form of life. Language and form of life run through all the paper. To whatever degree does Wittgenstein use form of life, he always focuses on the use of language in daily life. He ascribes many philosophical problems to misapplication of language, thinking that the right application of language is only in form of life. So only returning to form of life can we resolve philosophical problems once for all.

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CLC: > Philosophy, religion > European philosophy > European Philosophy > Austrian philosophy
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