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Groundless GroundsA Study of Wittgenstein and Heidegger$
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Lee Braver

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780262016896

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262016896.001.0001

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What Is a Thing?

What Is a Thing?

(p.53) 2 What Is a Thing?
Groundless Grounds

Lee Braver

The MIT Press

This chapter examines the specific conception of what Wittgenstein sometimes calls “meaning-objects” and early Heidegger calls “present-at-hand objects.” Wittgenstein’s later work is known for its fertility and diversity; however, rereading his work leads one to believe that it is a focused attack on the idea that “the meaning of each word is an invisible body.” Traditional philosophy maintains that what is must be present-at-hand, and what does not let itself be objectively demonstrated as present-at-hand, just is not at all. Heidegger considers this tunnel-vision focus on being as constant presence—and its presupposition of beings as enduring, stable objects—to be the greatest obstacle to understanding the world in the manner in which we actually experience it.

Keywords:   meaning-objects, present-at-hand, fertility, diversity, invisible body, constant presence, beings, stable objects

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