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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Front Phil Chin    2008, Vol. 3 Issue (4) : 607-621
Performative contradiction and the regrounding for philosophical paradigms
HAN Donghui
School of Philosophy, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China
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As a unique method of philosophical argument, performative contradiction attracted general attention after the change in direction of pragmatics in the twentieth century. Hintikka used this method to conduct an in-depth analysis of Descartes’ proposition “I think, therefore I am,” providing a proof which is a model in the philosophical history; Apel absorbed performative contradiction into his own framework of a priori pragmatics; and Habermas introduced it into the theory of formal pragmatics and rendered it an effective weapon of debate. Wittgenstein, who had fallen into the trap of performative contradiction in Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, later managed to extract himself from it and indeed used the methodology of performative contradiction to cure the ills of philosophy, making it a general philosophical method. Through analysis of its connotations and classic examples of its use we can see that it is crucial in refuting extreme relativism and skepticism, and hence provides methodological support for a new foundation for philosophical paradigms.

Keywords performative contradiction      Hintikka      Apel      Habermas      Wittgenstein     
Corresponding Author(s): HAN Donghui,   
Issue Date: 05 December 2008
 Cite this article:   
HAN Donghui. Performative contradiction and the regrounding for philosophical paradigms[J]. Front Phil Chin, 2008, 3(4): 607-621.
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