Standpoint, Subjectivity, and Gender: Wittgenstein’s House for His Sister in Vienna, 1926-1928

Whitney Davis (Art History, UC Berkeley)
Thursday, May 3 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, HSSB 6020

Ludwig Wittgenstein’s house for his sister Margarethe (Gretl) Stonborough-Wittgenstein, completed in Vienna in 1928, has often been seen as an expression of his philosophy of language.  More likely, however, it was a subtle exploration of Gretl’s form of life–especially of her art collection–and a recognition of her standpoint in relation to her subjectivity and sexuality.  By the same token, it incorporated Ludwig’s standpoint as well, leading to an irresolvable tension in the reconciliation of the multiple standpoints involved in a Lebensformóa problem at the heart of Wittgenstein’s philosophy of meaning and communication.

Whitney Davis is Professor of History & Theory of Ancient & Modern Art and Director of the Consortium for the Arts and the Arts Research Center.

Sponsored by the Idee Levitan IHC Endowed Lecture Series, and the Department of the History of Art and Architecture

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