Is Ethics Nonsense?: The Imagination, and the Spirit against the Limit
Date of Issue2015
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
This article examines three exegetical approaches to Wittgenstein: the positivist approach, the ineffability approach, and the resolute approach. After revealing the defects and inconsistencies of the first two exegetical approaches, it adopts the resolute approach and rejects the possibility that a limit may be drawn between garden-variety nonsense and important nonsense. It then proceeds to outline a Wittgensteinian approach to ethics that pertains to the imagination and the spirit. It concludes with an excursus into literary ethics—which is this writer’s main area of interest—and how it might plausibly square with the demands of a Wittgensteinian ethic.
Philosophy and Literature
© 2015 The Johns Hopkins University Press. This paper was published in Philosophy and Literature and is made available as an electronic reprint (preprint) with permission of The Johns Hopkins University Press. The published version is available at: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/phl.2015.0017]. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.