The most valuable discussion about the nature of language that never took place from Wittgenstein to Baldwin via Calvino

Authors

  • Warmhold Jan Thomas Mollema Utrecht University, Nederland

Keywords:

Wittgenstein, Calvino, Baldwin, language, ethics of meaning

Abstract

James Baldwin and Ludwig Wittgenstein were both concerned with what language use is capable of and what the duty of the thinker should be. This essay examines, via Italo Calvino’s ideas on the relationship between writing and world, what the contrast Wittgenstein/Baldwin tells us about the ethics of meaning, Wittgenstein’s ‘leaves everything as it is’ conception of thought is contrasted with Baldwin’s thoughts on racism, language and the duty of the writer. It is concluded that Baldwin drives Wittgenstein’s philosophical position further than Wittgenstein could do himself and that ethically neutral language use is itself a linguistic confusion.

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Published

2023-11-14

How to Cite

Mollema, W. J. T. . (2023). The most valuable discussion about the nature of language that never took place from Wittgenstein to Baldwin via Calvino. European Journal of Language and Literature, 9(2), 192–212. Retrieved from https://revistia.org/index.php/ejls/article/view/6146