chapter  3
22 Pages

Husserl and Wittgenstein on Description and Normativity

WithDaniel Dwyer

This chapter shows how the two thinkers both became gradually aware of what they were striving for in descriptions, just as they were getting clearer on an anti-naturalistic aim of their philosophical descriptions. It discusses a general Husserlian account of perceptual normativity and compares it with a Wittgensteinian notion account of how certain non-arbitrary norms are embedded in linguistic practices. The chapter examines the importance of Husserl's turn toward a genetic phenomenology, a turn which highlights the intersubjective character of a description of norms that is not altogether unlike Wittgenstein's notion about how norms are operative in linguistic practices. An inadequate conception of philosophy that both Husserl and Wittgenstein oppose is one that invokes naturalistic explanations to account for the meaning of philosophical terms. The description of possible ways in which the world could unfurl and in which our linguistic practices could change is not entirely unlikeHusserl's notion of imaginative variation.