Harrison, P. (2002) 'The Caesura : remarks on Wittgenstein's interruption of theory, or, why practices elude explanation.', Geoforum., 33 (4). pp. 487-503.
This paper aims to bring the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein into contact with the growing interest and concerns over the status of practice, performance and non-representational ‘theory’ within human geography. Drawing predominantly on Wittgenstein’s later work, the aim is to use Wittgenstein’s comments to illuminate how certain presuppositions and idealisations over the nature of understanding and meaning are or have been built into our (social scientific) modes and methods of explanation. Thus Wittgenstein’s work is used as a diagnosis––a diagnosis of how the modus operandi of giving an explanation can, and often does, prevent us from acknowledging the practical and the performative, from witnessing the taking-place of meaning and understanding. The paper carries out this task by focusing first on Wittgenstein’s critique of the role of ‘rules’ and ‘rule-following’ in the construction of social scientific accounts and secondly, through a consideration of the implications of Wittgenstein’s ‘scenic’ style of writing through which he attempts to deconstruct the epistemo-methodological idealisations and representationalist desires of social analysis. The claim here is not that Wittgenstein’s work provides the solution to the problematics which confront us in considering the status (or otherwise) of practice, but rather that his work may provide us with other ways of going-on, ones more sensitive to the eventful, creative, excessive and distinctly uncertain realms of action.
|Keywords:||Performativity, Practice, Non-representational theory, Social explanation, Event.|
|Full text:||Full text not available from this repository.|
|Publisher Web site:||http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0016-7185(02)00032-5|
|Record Created:||07 Nov 2006|
|Last Modified:||20 Aug 2010 12:19|
|Social bookmarking:||Export: EndNote, Zotero | BibTex|
|Usage statistics||Look up in GoogleScholar | Find in a UK Library|