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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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The Whole Hurly-Burly of Human Actions

The Whole Hurly-Burly of Human Actions

(p.81) 3 The Whole Hurly-Burly of Human Actions
Groundless Grounds

Lee Braver

The MIT Press

In this chapter, the author attempts to recover the holistic and engaged understanding that defines our behavior primarily and for the most part, but which gets covered up by reflection. The majority of the history of philosophy has considered atomism, in some form or other, to be the default ontology. It has been largely believed that objects are what they are because of their own intrinsic nature, gaining only superficial features from whatever relationships into which they happen to enter. On the other hand, Heidegger and later Wittgenstein embrace holism, according to which an object or word derives its nature and meaning from its place within a network, all other members of which likewise draw their sense from their interrelationships. This framework eliminates atomistic determinacy: If meaning is established by its context, then altering this context changes meaning.

Keywords:   engaged understanding, behavior, reflection, atomism, default ontology, intrinsic nature, superficial features, holism, meaning, context

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