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Paul Horwich presents an original interpretation of Ludwig Wittgenstein's later writings, arguing that it is Wittgenstein's radically anti-theoretical metaphilosophy--and not his identification of the meaning of a word with its use--that lies at the foundation of his discussions of specific issues concerning language, the mind, mathematics, knowledge, art, and religion. He gives a clear account of Wittgenstein's hyper-deflationist view of what philosophy is, howit should be conducted, and what it might achieve; defends this view against a variety of objections; and examines the application of this view to language and to experience. Horwich's account might appear controversial, but is vindicated by the power and plausibility of the philosophy that results from it.
Paul Horwich is Professor of Philosophy at New York University. His principal contributions to the subject have been a probabilistic account of scientific methodology, a unified explanation of temporally asymmetric phenomena, a deflationary conception of truth, and a naturalistic use-theory of meaning. He has received fellowship support for his work from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He has been on the faculties of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1973-1995), University College London (1995-2000), and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (2000-2005). He has also given courses at UCLA, the CNRS Institut d'Histoire et Philosophie des Sciences et Technique, the University of Sydney, the Ecole Normale Superieure, and the University of Tokyo.