Black-and-white photograph of philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Against Explanation: Wittgenstein on Frazer

Cost
275.00

Available Section

Offered for
Summer
Section
22U1
Schedule
Day
Thu
Times
09:30 am—12:45 pm
Dates
Type
Discussion
Location
Online
Taught by
Charles Elder
Section Notes

Online registration deadline: Thursday, August 25 at 5 pm CT

One of the few truly great thinkers of the last century, Wittgenstein’s genius is perhaps nowhere more fully on display than in the collection of strange, enigmatic, and provocative comments published under the title, “Remarks on Frazer’s Golden Bough.” For Wittgenstein, it was Frazer’s great error to have believed that one can and should “explain” ancient religious rites and rituals at all, when in fact what they demand, in his view, is something like a “perspicuous representation,” one which allows us to make connections between and among them, as well as to our own deepest needs, dispositions, and aspirations. Students will benefit from a general familiarity with Frazer’s argument (and we supplement the discussion with short excerpts from this text), but the text should be accessible to anyone willing to wrestle with it.

Course Syllabus

Notes

Online registration deadline: Thursday, August 25 at 5 pm CT

Remote courses require you to login to Canvas to access the Zoom Classroom. You will receive an invitation to join Canvas about a week before your course begins. Please visit the Liberal Arts Student Resources page to find step by step instructions for Canvas and Zoom: Online Learning Resources