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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Front. Philos. China    2020, Vol. 15 Issue (1) : 143-159
Wittgenstein’s Peculiar Use of “Internal Relation” in Aspect-Seeing
ZHANG Ligeng()
Institute of Philosophy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing 100732, China
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“Internal relation” is a significant term in both Wittgenstein’s early and later philosophy. The term is used in relation to many problems, including our topic here, “aspect-seeing.” Some scholars have attempted to present a persuasive interpretation of this terminology; however, Wittgenstein’s remarks on “aspect-seeing” somehow thwart their approaches. The obstacle lies in the relata involved: Which terms are connected by an internal relation in the perception of an aspect? In this paper, I review the existing interpretations and present two proposals, one of which is conservative and the other slightly more radical. I argue that Wittgenstein makes divergent use of the distinction between “internal/external relations,” and that this may reveal the potential ambiguities of the words “internal” and “relation.”

Keywords aspect-seeing      internal/external relations      Wittgenstein     
Issue Date: 31 March 2020
 Cite this article:   
ZHANG Ligeng. Wittgenstein’s Peculiar Use of “Internal Relation” in Aspect-Seeing[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2020, 15(1): 143-159.
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