Call for papers - Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del Linguaggio

Vol. 12, N. 2/2018: Wittgenstein: language, practical knowledge and embodiment

Edited by Annalisa Coliva

Deadline: 30.06.2018

This special issue of RIFL is devoted to the re-contextualization of Wittgenstein's ideas regarding the nature of our linguistic competence and abilities at large, in the light of recent developments in the philosophy of mind, such as the raise of the enactivist program (Hutto, Myin, Noë) and the development of a usage-based theory of language acquisition (Tomasello). Central to these approaches is the idea, proposed by Wittgenstein in On Certainty, that at the bottom of our language games is a practice ("In the beginning it was the deed", writes Wittgenstein in On Certainty, quoting Goethe). Some interpreters, have taken this to mean that our basic certainties, on which our language games hinge, are ultimately non-propositional, but enacted in our everyday practices. The implications of these ideas for our understanding of language, language acquisition, and other human abilities, such as for instance reading, are enormous. In particular, these ideas have been taken as a start for a thorough anti-representationalist program, in the philosophy of mind, but also in linguistics and in developmental psychology, capable of challenging dominant views in each of these areas, championed, for instance, by Fodor in the philosophy of mind, by Chomsky in linguistics and by Gopnik in developmental psychology. At the same time, this topic connects with reflections at the interface between epistemology, the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind, regarding the nature of these abilities. Namely, if they have to be considered, ultimately, as specimens of propositional knowledge, as Chomsky and more recently Williamson and Stanley have maintained, or whether they are irreducibly practical, as Ryle and Wittgenstein, as well as enactivists nowadays maintain.

We invite contributions on the following topics:

  • the nature of linguistic competence;

  • practical vs propositional knowledge;

  • abilities and skills;

  • reading;

  • situated and embodied cognition;

  • action and perception;

  • memory;

  • the later Wittgenstein's conception of linguistic abilities.

Submissions may be in English, French, Italian and Spanish. Abstract in English of no more than 250 words is required for all manuscripts submitted. Each manuscript should have title and 5 keywords in English. Submissions must be prepared for blind review. The author’s name, the institutional affiliation and the title’s paper must be placed in a separate file. Manuscripts must be sent as Microsoft Word file (.doc or .rtf) to:

Instructions for authors:

Max length:
40000 characters (including spaces) for articles (including the references) and reviews;
20000 characters (including spaces) for interviews;
10000 characters (including spaces) for specific paper review.

Submission deadline: June 30, 2018
Issue publication: December 2018