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PhilosophyPart of Humanities

‘Wittgenstein’ Study Day Event

Lifelong Learning
‘Wittgenstein’ Study Day
10:00 - 16:00
3 May 2014
Avenue Campus Highfield Road Southampton SO17 1BF

For more information regarding this event, please email Lifelong Learning Team at .

Event details

We will be holding a one-day cultural event on Saturday 3 May consisting of a series of short talks led by experts from within Philosophy at Southampton. This thought provoking and inspiring conference will provide you with the opportunity to learn and engage in discussion about Wittgenstein from academics of international distinction.

Ludwig Wittgenstein is one of the most influential philosophers of the last hundred years. He explored a wide-range of philosophical issues - from meaning, mind and mathematics, to religious belief and the nature of philosophy itself.

In doing so, he challenged many widely- and deeply-held assumptions and came to change his own mind on many fundamental issues. But who was this remarkable man, and what can he teach us today?


Professor Ray Monk: Wittgenstein: His life and Work
This talk introduces Wittgenstein's work by placing it in the context of his life and times. Wittgenstein led a particularly interesting life, and, to a greater extent than is usual with philosophers, there is much to be gained from looking at his work in relation to his life. He himself regarded himself to be under two obligations: to think clearly and to live decently. And he considered these to be two sides of the same coin. ‘How can I be a logician,' he once asked, ‘before I'm a human being?'

Professor Denis McManus:  Wittgenstein's Change of Mind: From the Tractatus to the Investigations
Famously, there is an earlier and a later Wittgenstein: one wrote the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and inspired the Vienna Circle; the other wrote the Philosophical Investigations and inspired ordinary language philosophy. The Tractatus and the Investigations are profoundly different in style and are often seen as espousing diametrically opposed views. But just how do these two great philosophers disagree? And how did they come to fall out?

Dr Genia Schönbaumsfeld: Wittgenstein's Conception of Religious Belief: Myth and Reality
The myths surrounding Wittgenstein's conception of religious belief are tenacious and enduring. In the contemporary literature, for example, Wittgenstein has variously been labelled a fideist, a non-cognitivist, and a relativist of sorts. In this talk, I will argue that these conceptions are misguided. Wittgenstein neither attempts to reduce religious belief to the expression of emotional attitudes nor advances an ‘anti-realism' about religious claims.

Dr Daniel Whiting: ‘There can be No Such Thing as Meaning Anything by Any Word.'
According to one of his most influential interpreters, Wittgenstein maintained that ‘there can be no such thing as meaning anything by any word'. But, as the same interpreter notes, the claim seems 'insane and intolerable': for example, by its own lights, there is nothing which could be meant by it! This talk will explore what might lead one to make such a claim and why one might think that Wittgenstein defends it. Finally, we will consider what reflection on these issues might tell us about the nature of language and of philosophy itself.


£31 full rate

£21 loyalty rate (Harbour Lights Members, Friends of Parkes, English Teachers Network, university staff and alumni)

£11 discount rate (students/sixth form & college students and those in receipt of income-based Job Seeker's Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Council Tax or Housing Benefit)

All prices include lunch and refreshments



Please note that prior booking is required for attendance of this event

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