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The University of Southampton
PhilosophyPart of Humanities

Research Group: Wittgenstein and Early Analytic Philosophy

Currently Active: 

We have research strengths in all aspects of Wittgenstein's thought, including his early, late and transitional works, his philosophy of language, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of religion, and metaphilosophy, and on the relations between Wittgenstein's thought and the work of Frege, Russell, Husserl, Heidegger, Kierkegaard, and later 20th century philosophers such as Quine and Davidson.

Among the many events we have hosted examining Wittgenstein's thought, we hosted in 2010 two major international conferences: Self and Others in Wittgenstein and Contemporary Analytic Philosophy, supported by the Analysis Trust, the Aristotelian Society, the British Society for the History of Philosophy and the Mind Association; and Wittgenstein and Aesthetics, which was the third annual conference of the British Wittgenstein Society. In 2011, we celebrated the 60th anniversary of the publication of the Philosophical Investigations with the postgraduate conference, Wittgenstein after Sixty Years, and in 2012 we hosted a postgraduate master-class on Wittgenstein and Issues in Contemporary Philosophy.

Current Research Student Profile: Kristen Jeffs

"The principal focus of my PhD is to further clarify Wittgenstein's suggestion, explicated by Dr Schönbaumsfeld in her A Confusion of the Spheres, that there is an inherent ethical dimension to philosophical reflection: that there is no firm wedge to be driven between one's character and the character of one's philosophical thought; that wrestling with philosophical problems has as much to do with the will as of the intellect; and that clearing up conceptual confusion is an aspect of "work on oneself". Specifically, I aim to clarify this ethical dimension by relating it to Wittgensteinian diagnoses of the conceptual confusions that plague our reflection on the integrated notions of human rational freedom, responsibility, and debt to authority. This focus, therefore, corresponds also to the Wittgensteinian methodology at the heart of John McDowell's work. As a supplement to this research, I am stimulated by the links between character and intellect portrayed in Dostoevsky's fictional works. I also have an interest in the implications of Wittgenstein's philosophy for our understanding of religion (and, in particular, the work of the late Dewi Phillips)."

A Confusion of the Spheres by Genia Schӧnbaumsfeld.


Book cover
A Confusion of the Spheres








The Enchantment of Words by Denis McManus

Book cover
The Enchantment of Words
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