HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF LOGIC, 31 (May 2010), 185–192

Book Reviews
K. D. JOLLEY, The Concept ‘Horse’ Paradox and Wittgensteinian Conceptual Investigations: A Prolegomenon to Philosophical Investigations. Ashgate Wittgenstein Studies. Aldershot, UK/Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2007. xii þ 109 pp. £50.00. ISBN-13:978-0-7546-6045-3. Reviewed by JULIET FLOYD, Department of Philosophy, Boston University, 745 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA
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ª 2010 Juliet Floyd This is a concise, thoughtful and unusually well-written book of significant philosophical and literary power. The author argues that the Frege–Kerry exchange over the absoluteness of Frege’s fundamental distinction between concepts and objects – a primary place where emerge the themes of saying versus showing, the ultimate role of a Begriffsschrift, and the temptation to ground distinctions of logic in something other than logic – crucially shaped Wittgenstein’s idea of philosophical method, not only in the Tractatus but also in his later Philosophical Investigations. As Jolley sees it, consideration of Kerry’s attack on the absoluteness of the concept/object distinction and the history of responses to it provide us with a ‘skeleton key’ or primary ‘object of comparison’ for unlocking a major theme in Philosophical Investigations, namely, the distinction between conceptual as opposed to objectual investigations (pp. 80ff), even if the later Wittgenstein departs from Frege in taking the distinction between concepts and objects to be operative only within the context of a language-game. Historians of logic will find this work primarily and purely philosophical: its interest is in an exploration of the idea that, in a certain sense, there are no paradoxes attending the most fundamental logical notions and distinctions. Yet the so-called ‘paradoxes’ are hardly trivial, and they are also not uniquely reconstructible or resolvable mathematically. Instead, philosophical ‘prestidigitation’ is needed to make the appearance of paradox appear and disappear (p. 43). Neither Kerry, nor Frege, nor Jolley, nor Wittgenstein-as-Jolley-reads-him think Kerry unearthed a real paradox deserving of straightforward theoretical or semantical solution (pp. 50, 64, 71): paradoxes are not real in and of themselves, but relative to our own demands and representations. The fundamentality of the attempt to draw a distinction between concept and object emerges only dialectically, through a kind of tenacious faith in the use of apparent paradox. Jolley connects this view with Frege and with Kierkegaard, aiming to provide a compelling train of thought designed to show how strong is the impulse to describe, tame, and rationalize what lies behind the appearance of ‘paradox’ in terms of a categorical theory, and how even in quite sophisticated responses to Kerry there is an underlying temptation to convert the concept/object distinction into a substantial ontological divide between terms and/or entities, when this cannot be stably done. Elucidation, in something like Frege’s sense, is the only route to grappling with fundamental notions. As Jolley sees it, the making to
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