No puedes tropezarte con el mismo argumento dos veces: Wittgenstein y los argumentos filosóficos


  • Daniel H. Cohen Department of Philosophy, Colby College, Maine, United States
  • George H. Miller Division of Humanities, The University of Maine at Farmington, Maine, United States


Arguments are everywhere in philosophy, but almost nowhere do they actually succeed in demonstrating conclusions, resolving differences, or any of the other things arguments are supposed to do. For Wittgenstein, arguing about philosophical matters was pointless. This conclusion follows immediately from his views on the nature of argument, the nature of philosophy, and argument’s place in philosophy. Even as his views on those subjects changed significantly, the conclusion appeared unchanged. However, since arguments partially define their conclusions, seemingly identical conclusions from different arguments may differ greatly, especially when the arguments are of entirely different kinds. The arguments in the Tractatus and the Investigations are rarely explicit, and sometimes hard even to recognize as arguments. Both works attempt in different ways to help the reader to a deeper understanding of language by way of “more perspicuous representations.” We argue that in both works, these “more perspicuous representations” imply that arguing about philosophical matters is pointless. However, given the significant differences in style and strategy manifested in the two texts, it means very different things to say that a representation is “more perspicuous”. As a consequence, to say that philosophical argumentation is pointless means one thing when said in the context of the Tractatus, and something different when placed in the context of the Philosophical Investigations. In this paper, we will support this view