Day: 16 March 2018 (page 1 of 1)


The Proceedings of the BWS 10th anniversary conference on *Wittgenstein in the 21st century* are now available
Papers by

Louise Barrett on primatology,

Michel Bitbol on mathematics & physics,

Peter Hacker on the private language argument,

Daniel D. Hutto & Glenda Satne on philosophy and science,

Sandra Laugier on the social,

Paul Standish on philosophy of education, and

Constantine Sandisin conversation with Richard Harry Robert Harper on Wittgenstein and information technology.

Wittgenstein: Grammar and Nature


Wittgenstein: Grammar and Nature

University of Southampton, Monday 9th July 2018, Highfield Campus, Building 44, Room 1057


Registration deadline: Monday 25th June


About the Event

Wittgenstein’s concept of grammar is agreed to be crucial to his later philosophy and philosophical method, but there has been much controversy about the meaning of this concept and what form a grammatical enquiry can, and should, take. How are we to understand this crucial concept, and how (if at all) can grammatical enquiry solve, or dissolve, philosophical problems and confusions? And how does the notion of grammar relate to Wittgenstein’s overall view of philosophy and philosophical method?

A leading approach to these issues gives central place to the “rules of grammar” governing our ordinary language-games. Some of the questions this approach raises include: do these “rules of grammar” merely describe actual language-use or do they carry some sort of prescriptive power? Wherein lies the authority (if any) of these rules? Are they “arbitrary”, and if so, in what sense?

In addressing these and related questions, the later Wittgenstein seems sometimes to appeal to “very general facts of nature”. Thus the “importance” – and perhaps, therefore, authority – of certain linguistic rules might be understood through their “correspondence” (in some sense) with some such facts. If we take this option, however, questions arise about how this fits with the grammatical approach. What role might facts of nature have in a grammatical investigation? Or does this option take us beyond the limits of pure grammatical enquiry?


Preliminary Schedule


09:30-10:15 Registration, tea and coffee
10:15-11:45 Oskari Kuusela (East Anglia): ‘Logic, grammar, and natural history’
11:45-12:00 Break, tea and coffee
12:00-13:30 Danièle Moyal-Sharrock (Hertfordshire): ‘Wittgenstein’s reality-soaked grammar’
13:30-14:45 Lunch
14:45-16:15 Rachael Wiseman (Liverpool): ‘General facts of nature and acting under a description’

16:15-16:30 Break, tea and coffee

16:30-18:00 Constantine Sandis (Hertfordshire): ‘No picnic: Cavell on rule-descriptions’
18:30 Dinner


Each talk will be followed by a short response by a graduate student and a discussion.

A call for respondents will be sent out soon.



Felix Hagenström

Fionn O’Donovan

Tim Kjeldsen


Registration is free and lunch will be provided on the day, so please state in your email whether you have any dietary requirements. Please also state whether you would like to attend dinner in the evening (this will be at your own expense). Attendance is open to all, but numbers are limited. The deadline to register is 25th June.


This workshop is organised in accordance with the BPA/SWIP good practice scheme.


To register to attend and for further information contact Felix Hagenström at


More detailed information to be circulated soon.