The Concept 'Horse' Paradox and Wittgensteinian Conceptual Investigations: A Prolegomenon to Philosophical Investigations, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Concept 'Horse' Paradox and Wittgensteinian Conceptual Investigations

A Prolegomenon to Philosophical Investigations, 1st Edition

By Kelly Dean Jolley


126 pages

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In The Foundations of Arithmetic, Gottlob Frege contended that the difference between concepts and objects was absolute. He meant that no object could be a concept and no concept an object. Benno Kerry disagreed; he contended that a concept could be an object, and that therefore the difference between concepts and objects was only relative. In this book, Jolley aims to understand the debate between Frege and Kerry. But Jolley's purpose is not so much to champion either side; rather, it is to utilize an understanding of the debate to shed light on the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein-and vice versa. Jolley not only sifts through the debate between Frege and Kerry, but also through subsequent versions of the debate in J. J. Valberg and Wilfred Sellars. Jolley's goal is to show that the central notion of Philosophical Investigations, that of a 'conceptual investigation', is a legacy of the Frege/Kerry debate and also a contribution to it. Jolley concludes that the difference between concepts and objects is as absolute in its way in Philosophical Investigations as it was in The Foundations of Arithmetic and that recognizing the absoluteness of the difference in Philosophical Investigations provides a beginning for a 'resolute' reading of Wittgenstein's book.


'In this fascinating and demanding study, Kelly Jolley uses the history of Frege’s notorious concept horse paradox� to illuminate Wittgenstein’s conception of philosophy as a form of therapy. Jolley’s careful study of responses to the paradox sheds light on the nature of philosophical perplexity and the power and form of the Wittgensteinian response to such perplexity. Jolley also builds a persuasive case for the continuity both of Frege’s influence on Wittgenstein and of Wittgenstein’s concern with a therapeutic response to philosophical problems. This is a book which should command the attention not only of scholars of Frege and Wittgenstein, but also of anyone interested in the nature of conceptual analysis and investigation.' Michael Kremer, University of Chicago USA ’Jolley's book is a deceptively thin volume, and a deceptively unassuming one. For all that its contents may be intimidating to non-philosophers, it's worth taking the time to read, and to read carefully, for its target is nothing less than the nature of structured thought itself.’ Metapsychology online

About the Author

Kelly Dean Jolley is Chair of the Department of Philosophy, Auburn University, USA.

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