Language, Mind, and Value

Language, Mind, and Value

Essays on Wittgenstein

By Severin Schroeder

Anthem Studies in Wittgenstein

This book is a collection of 15 essays on important themes in Wittgenstein’s philosophy, such as linguistic normativity, the concepts of understanding, reasons, and knowledge, questions of value in aesthetics, ethics, and religion.

Hardback, 270 Pages


March 2024

£80.00, $110.00

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About This Book

This book is a collection of 15 essays on important themes in Wittgenstein’s philosophy, divided into three sections. The first section is about philosophy of language, in particular Wittgenstein’s key idea of linguistic normativity: his conception of rules and grammatical propositions.

The second section is mainly concerned with important Wittgensteinian contributions to the philosophy of mind and action: his analysis of sensation language, the concept of understanding and the explanation of human behaviour by reasons, as opposed to causal explanations. There is also an essay on Wittgenstein’s famous discussion of aspect perception, and a critical discussion of the idea of ‘hinge propositions’ drawn from his remarks in On Certainty.

The final section focusses on questions of value, mainly in aesthetics, but also in ethics and religion. In particular, the book gives a detailed account of Wittgenstein’s account of aesthetic judgements as based on a ‘cultured taste’, informed by detailed knowledge of a certain genre of aesthetically interesting objects, a set of conventional rules and a certain consistency. Aesthetics is compared and contrasted with ethics and with psychological investigations. The final essay is on Wittgenstein’s distinctive account or religious belief.


 “Severin Schroeder is one of the leading Wittgenstein scholars of his generation. This collection brings together his best essays on the philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, aesthetics and ethics. They are gems, some of them difficult to access, that substantially advance both our understanding of Wittgenstein’s thought and of its topics. Schroeder manages to clarify and defend even highly controversial Wittgensteinian ideas in an exemplary manner. His limpid prose is an ideal medium for his profound scholarship and acute philosophical thought.” —Professor Hans-Johann Glock, Department of Philosophy, Universität Zürich, Switzerland.

“Schroeder is undeniably one of the leading experts on Wittgenstein’s philosophy, and his expertise is manifest in each of the book’s chapters. Wittgenstein scholars will appreciate the often original and always thoroughly argued interpretations. At the same time, Schroeder’s discussions remain accessible to a wider audience, thanks, in part, to his lucid prose that avoids technical terminology whenever possible.”—Professor Kai Buettner, Universidad del Norte, Colombia.

“Deeply informed by knowledge of Wittgenstein’s writings, these essays constitute a very focused defence of the central strands of Wittgenstein’s later philosophy. Schroeder is superb at articulating and following up the implications of those intertwining strands in a way that adds up to a very crisp and compelling vision of our subject.” —Professor John Preston, Department of Philosophy, University of Reading, UK.

“This is a truly outstanding collection of essays. Schroeder is undoubtedly one of the leading experts on Wittgenstein today. His interpretations are always perceptive, forceful and illuminating. In many of these essays, Wittgenstein’s insights are effectively brought to bear on current philosophical debates.”—Dr. Eugen Fischer, Research Director and Reader in Philosophy, School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies, University of East Anglia, Norwich.

Author Information

Severin Schroeder teaches philosophy at the University of Reading.


Anthem Studies in Wittgenstein

Table of Contents

Preface; Original Places of Publication ; Abbreviations of Works by Ludwig Wittgenstein; Part I Language; 1. Wittgenstein on Grammar, Rules, and Norms; 2. Analytic Truths and Grammatical Statements; 3. Semantic Normativity and Moral Obligation; 4. On Truly and Falsely Not Saying Anything: A Dissolution of the Liar Paradox; Part II Mind, Action, Belief, & Knowledge; 5. Can I Have Your Pain? ; 6. God, Lions, and Englishwomen: Wittgenstein on Understanding People; 7. Reasons, Causes, Dispositions, and First-Person Authority; 8. Moore’s Paradox and First-Person Authority; 9. A Tale of Two Problems: Wittgenstein’s Discussion of Aspect Perception; 10. Farewell to Hinge Propositions; Part III Aesthetics, Ethics, & Religion; 11. Wittgenstein on Aesthetics; 12. ‘Too Ridiculous for Words’: Wittgenstein on Scientific Aesthetics; 13. The Emergence of Wittgenstein’s Views on Aesthetics in His 1933 Lectures; 14. Verificationism in Aesthetics and Ethics; 15.  The Tightrope Walker: Wittgenstein on Religious Belief; Bibliography; Index                         


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