2017 Volume 66 Pages 129-
Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations（hereafter PI）is known for
its dialectic style. Wittgenstein, as a therapist, makes his interlocutor reflect on
his own wording. Several studies have been conducted regarding Wittgenstein’s
interactive style. However, little attention has been given to a conflict between
Wittgenstein and his interlocutor. They often talk past each other. Wittgenstein
gets irritated at his interlocutor’s reaction. The interlocutor complains that
Wittgenstein’s advice is irrelevant. The question why Wittgenstein describes the
conflict in a positive way remains unanswered.
The key to solving the problem is to consider the interlocutor’s perspec tive. I will answer the question through an examination of the interlocutor’s reaction towards Wittgenstein’s advice. First, I will examine in detail the therapy of PI §§191─195. In these sections, Wittgenstein not only points out that the interlocutor’s expressions lack a concrete example and context in which we could use them, but also offers objects of comparison in which Wittgenstein makes his interlocutor reflect on his own wording. However, the interlocutor does not receive Wittgenstein’s offering in a straightforward manner. Second, I will investigate the interlocutor’s reaction in PI §195. I suggest that the interlocutor seems to realize the analogies between objects of comparison and his own expressions but refuses to admit such analogies are tenable. If my explanation is true, the question why Wittgenstein describes the conflict in a positive way can be answered.
Finally, I will reconsider the reason why Wittgenstein positively describes the conflict by focusing on the readers’ point of view. I assert that Wittgenstein encourages us to scrutinize our foundations of thought.