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Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology

Volume 22, Issue 3, 2018

Wittgenstein and Philosophy of Technology

Thomas Raleigh
Pages 447-471
DOI: 10.5840/techne2018122092

Wittgenstein’s Remarks on Technology and Mental Mechanisms

This article provides a survey of Wittgenstein’s remarks in which he discusses various kinds of technology. I argue that throughout his career, his use of technological examples displays a thematic unity: technologies are invoked in order to illustrate a certain mechanical conception of the mind. I trace how his use of such examples evolved as his views on the mind and on meaning changed. I also discuss an important and somewhat radical anti-mechanistic strain in his later thought and suggest that Wittgenstein’s attitude to mechanistic explanations in psychology was ultimately quite ambivalent.