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The Ninth BWS Lecture will be delivered by Professor Paul Standish (Institute of Education, London)

Title: On Being Resolute (see abstract below)

At the University of Hertfordshire, De Havilland Campus, Room R110

Friday 23 November 2012 at 5 pm (a wine reception will follow)

Paul Standish is Professor of Philosophy of Education. He is concerned in his work particularly with questions in ethics and education. Author of the excellent Beyond the Self: Wittgenstein, Heidegger, and the limits of language (Ashgate 1992), Professor Standish is interested in the relation between Analytical and Continental philosophy and the productive tensions of that relation. He is co-editor of the Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Education (2002) and of Stanley Cavell and the Education of Grownups (Fordham UP, 2011).

Abstract: On Being Resolute

A striking feature of Wittgenstein studies over the past decade or so has been debate over therapeutic readings of the texts, especially insofar as these extend backwards to include the Tractatus. “Resolute reading” has become the term of choice for at least some advocates of this view. Opponents of claims of this kind typically take issue not only over questions concerning the continuity of Wittgenstein’s thought but over the nature and possibilities of philosophy itself. Exchanges between the two camps – insofar as they can reasonably be identified in this way – have been lively, engaging, and sometimes insightful, but not always enlightening. To those on the outside, such debates can readily appear overly introspective, and this can muffle the sense of the wider importance of his philosophy. The discussion of Wittgenstein starts from issues that are critical to that importance, but in some respects these are obscured by aspects of the ensuing debate.

My discussion examines the implications of the adoption of the term “resolute” in this literature in the light of the provenance of therapeutic readings. It also turns beyond this towards a consideration of the significance of the virtue the term names for the reception of Wittgenstein more widely. This involves a return to questions regarding language and what it is to follow a rule.

The event is free, but registration is required. Please email

How to get to the conference venue
Bus timetable from/to London
Map of the campus: Parking is complimentary, but you will need a voucher. Simply ask for one when registering for the lecture.

If you would like to become a member of the British Wittgenstein Society, please send an email to stating your affiliation and/or focus of interest in Wittgenstein.

British Wittgenstein Society



Dr Ian Ground, Secretary

The British Wittgenstein Society (BWS)

at the University of Hertfordshire

Department of Philosophy

De Havilland Campus

Hatfield, Herts AL10 9AB



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