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Oehl, Thomas (2020): Wittgenstein on the pictorial roots of referentialism. In: Inquiry - An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy
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In this paper I show that Wittgenstein's explorations of the roots of the 'referentialist idea' sketched in PI #1 reach far deeper than has so far been noticed. I shall reconstruct these philosophical explorations in two major parts: First, some subtleties of the inner structure and wording of #1 are shown which the vast majority of readings, above all Goldfarb's influential one, have failed to account for, which is partly due to a problem in Anscombe's translation. Second, I shall reconstruct these explorations by offering a new reading of PI #38 in the light of the clarifications from the first part. In #38, I claim, Wittgenstein diagnoses and scrutinises a certain illegitimate analogy to spatial relations we are prone to draw, unintentionally and unconsciously, when reflecting on the meaning of words. This analogy amounts to a certain relational and pictorial structure of our pre-theoretic assumptions about meaning. I will conclude with some reflections on the question of whether Augustine's words from #1 are, as Goldfarb and Travis aver, 'innocent'. From my reading it follows that they are not and that Baker's and Hacker's qualification of #1 as the target of Wittgenstein's criticism is correct in its outline.