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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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Conclusion: Original Finitude

Conclusion: Original Finitude

(p.223) Conclusion: Original Finitude
Groundless Grounds

Lee Braver

The MIT Press

This chapter discusses the idea of limits or finitude, a topic at the foundation of much of Wittgenstein’s and Heidegger’s thought. Focusing on language rather than thought, and on what language can say while leaving what it cannot unspoken, helps Wittgenstein avoid the trap of transgressing these limits in the act of tracing them. By setting the limits to all possible language, logic implicitly contains a mystical sketch of the world as a limited whole, allowing Wittgenstein to have his indefinable cake and define it too. This search for a definitive knowledge that allows us to glimpse the innermost, crystalline structure of logic, language, existence, and thought all at once is both philosophy’s origin and its original sin. Wittgenstein’s later work aims to correct the frame of mind that inspires such a project.

Keywords:   limits, finitude, language, thought, limited whole, world, definitive knowledge

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