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It is no secret that philosophy has gone out of the marketplace, nor has it shown up recently in the councils of kings. There seems some justified confusion, if not complaint, among an intelligent and educated public that philosophy has become a private matter among academic professionals. Even then, it often seems to reduce to linguistic scepticism or solipsism. This confusion is also felt among some philosophers. It is tied up somehow with both the conviction and disappointment that the domain of philosophy is neither the world nor the mind -- that philosophy is indeed, as an academic majority contend, merely about language. This claim, however, is, if not wrong, at least misleading. I want in what follows to see if I can help to correct, or at least clarify, this view of the relation between philosophy and language. The result may not return philosophy to an over-crowded marketplace, nor to empty palaces, but I hope it will do something to restore conviction among some philosophers that what we are about can and does make a difference to more than ourselves.





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Philosophical Investigations

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Philosophy Commons