Waking to Wonder: Wittgenstein's Existential Investigations

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SUNY Press, 1997 M01 1 - 265 pages
The central claim of this book is that, early and late, Wittgenstein modelled his approach to existential meaning on his account of linguistic meaning. A reading of Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy sets up Bearn's reading of the existential point of Wittgenstein's Tractatus. Bearn argues that both books try to resolve our anxiety about the meaning of life by appeal to the deep, unutterable essence of the world.

Bearn argues that as Wittgenstein's and Nietzsche's thought matured, they both separately came to believe that the answer to our existential anxiety does not lie beneath the surfaces of our lives, but in our acceptance--Nietzsche's "Yes"--of the groundless details of those surfaces themselves: the wonder of the ordinary
 

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Contents

SuperficialOut of Profundity Nietzsches Unwritten Birth of Tragedy
1
The Sublime Scaffolding of Logic and Life Wittgensteins Tractatus
35
Superficial Essentialism Wittgensteins Turn from the Sublime
79
The Wonder of Linguistic Meaning Dont Take It as Obvious
119
The Wonder of Existential Meaning Wittgensteins Daybreak
163
The Plain Sense of Things
203
Notes
207
Index
257
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About the author (1997)

Gordon C. F. Bearn is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Lehigh University.

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