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5.2.Jolley Beginning

5.2.Jolley Beginning

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Published by: B Rhie on Oct 27, 2010
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02/07/2013

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the pluralist
Volume
5
, Number
2
Summer
2010
: pp.
105–140
 
105
©
2010
by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Mensurable Confusion? Wittgenstein’s Meter-Stick and Beyond
kelly dean jolley 
 Auburn University 
I certainly find it easier to recognize the deep continuities within Wittgensteins thought, than the real nature of the contrasts: oneonly comes to recognize these for what they are after prolongedengagement with the two works.—R. M. White,
Understanding Wittgenstein
 
23
Introduction
heather gert has offered
a reading of 
Investigations 
§§
46
50
. Herattention devolves primarily on the notorious
standard meter 
paragraph of §
50
. Important to her reading is her conviction about what it is from the
Tractatus 
that is being criticized and about how it is being criticized.I believe Gert’s reading of the passage is mistaken. Gert fails to get fully into focus what is happening in the distance, in the
Tractatus 
, and she failsto get into focus what is happening nearby, in
Investigations 
§§
46
50
. Herfailures to get these happenings into focus seem to be the result, in part, of amisunderstanding of Wittgensteins philosophical method, of his metaphilo-sophical remarks. Her failures also seem to be the result, in part, of a prephilo-sophical conviction about the standard meter, of what is supposedly obviously true of it.My article runs beyond Gert’s. I say this by way of warning, but not(much) by way of apology. My interest in Gert’s article is, so to speak, largerthan Gert’s article itself. While Gert’s article is, in a way, the subject of thisarticle, I am primarily interested in her article as exhibitory of a number of confusions about Wittgenstein’s philosophizing. So, I often widen my focus,examining more than Gert’s article itself. This means that I may, on occa-sion, give Gert’s minutiae less than the central place in what I say, and that Imay, again on occasion, attribute a generic view to Gert without sorting outin full detail the specific view she holds. Of course, I intend my attributionsof a generic view to be correct. Since Gert expends a lot of energy providing

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