An elucidatory interpretation of Wittgenstein's tractatus: A critique of Daniel D. Hutto's and Marie McGinn's reading of tractatus 6.54

Phil Hutchinson, Rupert Read

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Much has been written on the relative merits of different readings of Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. The recent renewal of the debate has almost exclusively been concerned with variants of the ineffabilist (metaphysical) reading of TL-P - notable such readings have been advanced by Elizabeth Anscombe, P. M. S. Hacker and H. O. Mounce - and the recently advanced variants of therapeutic (resolute) readings - notable advocates of which are James Conant, Cora Diamond, Juliet Floyd and Michael Kremer. During this debate, there have been a number of writers who have tried to develop a third way, incorporating what they see as insights and avoiding what they see as flaws in both the ineffabilist and resolute readings. The most prominent advocates of these elucidatory readings of TL-P are Dan Hutto (2003) and Marie McGinn (1999). In this paper we subject Hutto's and McGinn's readings of TL-P to critical scrutiny. We find that in seeking to occupy the middle ground they ultimately find themselves committed to (and in the process commit Wittgenstein to) the very ineffabilism they (and Wittgenstein) are seeking to overcome.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-29
Number of pages29
JournalInternational Journal of Philosophical Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2006


  • Elucidation
  • Ineffabilism
  • Nonsense
  • Therapy
  • Wittgenstein

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