Journal of Philosophical Investigations

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD Candidate of Philosophy, University of Tabriz

2 Associate Professor of Philosophy Department, Allameh Tabatabaei University, Tehran


Wittgenstein is a thinker who considers philosophy as generator of mental confusion on the one hand, and on the other hand desires philosopher as therapist. This two- sided attitude to philosophy, begins with Tractatus and then admitting the various therapeutic methods, reaches to the second period of his life. Recently, most of Wittgenstein's positivist commentators have neglected from Wittgenstein's therapeutic approach origins and have only limited this approach in second period of his thought especially to Philosophical Investigations. In this essay, we have tried to clarify this obscurity and to indicate the roots of Wittgenstein's therapeutic approach in Tractatus. Since mentioning "symptom" or symptoms of mental confusion resulting from philosophical thinking and stage of its "diagnosis" is considered as preparations of therapy, we will survey "symptom", "diagnosis" and finally Wittgenstein's therapeutic approach toward philosophy in Tractatus by emphasizing on therapeutic value of clarity and then will point out some reasons causing negligence to Tractatus therapeutic approach. In this way, we will show that from beginning of his philosophical thinking, he has believed in this approach and in Philosophical Investigations has just declared it in the everyday language. In this essay, we will also unveil restriction of Wittgenstein's therapeutic approach to philosophy.


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