Abstract

Ludwig Wittgenstein gave priority to aesthetics over other disciplines due to its invaluable capacities for revealing certain aspects of the nature of human understanding and for guiding our actions toward an ethical life. Although Wittgenstein did not focus on these issues in a systematic way, these worries were present in his philosophy during his lifetime. That is why I use a very wide range of his writings, from the Tractatus to letters and diaries. Aesthetic inquiries can throw light upon the existence of an intransitive understanding--that is, a kind of knowledge that cannot be expressed by language shared by all competent users of a language. I also discuss Wittgenstein’s conception of ethics in order to explain the close relationship that he proposed between ethics and aesthetics. I hope this will clarify why he believed there was so much to learn from paintings, films, music, poems, or novels. I compare works of art and religious belief and how the former can help us to guide our lives as the latter does. I do this while extending the scope and claiming the importance of aesthetic education, given that it can help us to deal with our nature and with our history.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-7809
Print ISSN
0021-8510
Pages
pp. 53-68
Launched on MUSE
2012-08-31
Open Access
No
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