The study of education and consequently its application as a means for social change owes more than we might think to the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein. His work makes no direct attributions to pedagogy yet traverses many of the same fundamental questions of language, philosophy, and behaviour. Wittgenstein’s philosophy seeks to elucidate the ways philosophers make discursive sense, and quite often their insistence on nonsense. The purpose of his work is to highlight the method by which we can make this understanding explicit through language, a method which is inherently dialogic and therefore educational. The later work of Wittgenstein which he laid out in various notes and papers, eventually becoming The Philosophical Investigations (1953) is in many ways entirely opposed to that of his earlier magnum opus Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921). Such an about turn has left many admirers and scholars of Wittgenstein’s work either confused or patently tribal as to which constitutes his true thought process. Here I will seek to cover both in relation to any pedagogical lessons we can learn from his work.
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