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Philosophy lecture Thursday on Wittgenstein and seeing

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Dan Wack, a philosopher from Knox College in Illinois, will present a lecture this Thursday (11/8) at 4:30 in Main 304. All are welcome! I will include here an abstract of his lecture:

In section XI of Part II of his Philosophical Investigations, Wittgenstein distinguishes between two uses of the verb ‘to see’. On the one hand, there is a use of ‘to see’ in which one succeeds in seeing in the relevant sense if one is able to describe or reproduce the object seen. On the other, there is a use of ‘to see’ in which one succeeds if one recognizes a resemblance between two objects. In clarifying the relation between these two uses of ‘to see’, I articulate a Wittgensteinian account of perception in which one’s perception is organized and oriented by the demands of what one is going to do. In so doing, I locate Wittgenstein’s account of perceptual knowledge in a longer philosophical tradition of critical physiognomy, in which an person’s movements are seen as revelatory of her intentions, feelings, moods, and character, and show how clarifying relations between perception and understanding in acts of physiognomic judgment helps us resist characteristic philosophical confusion.

Students in Philosophy of Mind should see this as continuous with Dennett’s attempt to understand what seem like “private” mental states as inextricably bound up with public expressions of those states.

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