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Wittgenstein’s ladder in Prigogine’s universe*
Volume: 9, Issue 4
What if the postmodernists’ main message about uniqueness and idiosyncrasy of individual humans is taken seriously? What if Wittgenstein’s suggestion about philosophy as the “critique of language” in the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (later TLP, 4.0031) is taken seriously? Then individual humans are placed at the top of the diversity chain of nature in the Prigoginean sense (Prigogine, 1997: 70; Gulbenkian Commission, 1996: 61). The purpose of my text is to show that if we consider the other end of ontology, nominalism1, as only denying the existence of universal concepts, as for example Dieterle (2001) does, we miss the essence of nominalism, i.e., agency, and are still encased in language for the next hundred years. Respectively anti-positivism still needs some substance but it is too often narrowed down to asymmetry of power, i.e., diversity that can actually be seen as the starting point of nominalism. What is claimed is that agency is the essence of both anti-positivism and nominalism. And if so, maybe we can eliminate nonsensical dichotomies and paradoxes sooner or later if we believe Wittgenstein: “language disguises thought” (TLP 4.002)