What Makes Life a Lie? Love, Truth and the Question of Context

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Abstract

Wittgenstein suggested that considering the context in which a word or sentence is used may help show the limitations of some ways of setting up a philosophical problem. In this article, I explore the role this suggestion may have in moral (philosophical) reflection, through a consideration of a literary example taken from Jeanette Winterson’s novel, Written on the Body (2001). Using the example to elucidate ways of speaking in love that seem to embody an important truth and ways of acting and thinking that appear to be a denial of that truth, I discuss and attempt to show how different ways of attending to context may reveal the moral dimensions of this language use. I also consider one point at which attention to context seems to come to a halt and when acknowledging what is ethically significant seems to demand something different from us.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-116
JournalSATS
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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