Maria Balaska

What’s ethical about the running-up against paradox?

November, 2021 TBC

@ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Meeting details TBC

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www.mariabalaska.com/papers/

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Balaska, M. (2019). Wittgenstein and Lacan at the Limit: Meaning and Astonishment (1st ed. 2019 edition). Palgrave Macmillan. Cite


Abstract

There can be an air of elusiveness around ethics in the early Wittgenstein. This elusiveness is the result of various different facts about his earlier work: the remarks on ethics are sparse despite a sense that ethics is very much the point of his work (certainly the point of the Tractatus according to him); ethics is often treated as synonymous with religion and aesthetics; ethics is presented by Wittgenstein as elusive in the sense that it seems to be connected to the inexpressible or to a certain limit to expression -in the Tractatus we read that ethics cannot be put into words (TLP 6.421) and in the Lecture on Ethics and the Conversations with Waismann we read that ethics is connected to the limits of language, the running-up-against them.
I wish to offer here what I am tempted to call an existentialist reading of Wittgenstein’s ethics, and I will do so by focusing my attention to the remarks where ethics is connected to a limit of expression. My aim is twofold: to provide an interpretation of those puzzling remarks and to illuminate the character of the connection between ethics and limit by paying attention to some early remarks on existence.


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