Metaphysics is Metaphorics: Philosophical and Ecological Reflections from Wittgenstein and Lakoff on the Pros and Cons of Linguistic Creativity

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In the main bulk of this chapter, I offer a Wittgensteinian take on infinity and deduce from this some Wittgensteinian criticisms of Chomsky on ‘creativity’, treating this as one among many examples of how metaphors, following the understanding of Lakoff and Johnson, following Wittgenstein, can delude one into metaphysics. As per my title, ‘metaphysics’ turns out to be, really, nothing other than metaphorics in disguise. Our aim in philosophy, then, is to turn latent metaphors into patent metaphors. When we do this, the charm of metaphysics evaporates. Or again, its charm, if still felt, is properly contextualised: ‘metaphysics’ becomes at best a kind of accidental or un-self-aware poetry, rather than something like a super- or supra-science.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWittgenstein and the Creativity of Language
EditorsSebastian Sunday Grève, Jakub Mácha
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages34
VolumePart V
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-137-47254-0
ISBN (Print)978-1-349-58073-6
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2015

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