“A Misleading Parallel”. Wittgenstein on Conceptual Confusion in Psychology and the Semantics of Psychological Concepts. After the Philosophical Investigations, except for details, were largely finished in 1945, Wittgenstein, in his final years, undertook an intensive study of the grammar of our psychological concepts and the philosophical misinterpretations we often assign to them. Anyone looking through these extensive collections of philosophical remarks will probably quite often find it difficult to understand which questions Wittgenstein was addressing with individual remarks or groups of remarks and where the philosophical problems lay for which he was trying to find a solution, whether therapeutic or otherwise appropriate.
In the article at hand I do not claim to fathom the full range of Wittgenstein’s thoughts on the philosophy of psychology even in the most general way. Rather it is my intention to shed some light on a diagnosis which he made for the psychology of his time. In part 1 of this paper I would like to provide a brief sketch of what Wittgenstein considered to be the conceptual confusion prevalent in psychology and to suggest why he did not expect the methods of an experimental (natural) science to be successful in solving the problems that concern us in psychology. In part 2 I’ll attempt to analyze how psychological concepts, according to Wittgenstein, might be construed in order to avoid any type of conceptual confusion.
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Majetschak, Stefan: Lebensformen und Lebensmuster: Zur Deutung eines sogenannten Grundbegriffs der Spätphilosophie Ludwig Wittgensteins, in: Volker Munz, Klaus Puhl & Joseph Wang (Hrsg.), Language and World. Part One: Essays on the Philosophy of Wittgenstein (Proceedings of the 32th International Ludwig Wittgenstein Symposion in Kirchberg am Wechsel 2009), Heusenstamm 2010, 265 – 290.
Majetschak, Stefan: Übersicht, übersichtliche Darstellung und Beweis. Bemerkungen zu einigen zentralen Begriffen in der Spätphilosophie Ludwig Wittgensteins, in: Fynn Ole Engler & Matthias Iven (Hrsg.), Große Denker, Leipzig 2013, 105 – 123.
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Moyal-Sharrock, Danièle: Wittgenstein on Forms of Life, Patterns of Life, and Ways of Living, in: Nordic Wittgenstein Review (special issue) 2015.
Rothhaupt, Josef G.F.: Recherchen zu „Teil II“ der Philosophischen Untersuchungen und zur von Wittgenstein erstellten „C-Sammlung“ im Nachlass, in: Wittgenstein-Studien 9 (2018), 155 – 201.
Savigny, Eike von: Wittgensteins „Philosophische Untersuchungen“. Ein Kommentar für Leser, Bd. 1: Abschnitte 1 bis 315, Frankfurt/Main 1988.
The yearbook is designed as an annual forum for Wittgenstein research. Wittgenstein-Studien [Wittgenstein Studies] publishes articles and materials on Ludwig Wittgenstein’s life, work and philosophy and on his philosophical and cultural environment.