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Adam O'Neill

"On Wittgenstein's Relation to Kohler"

Senior Supervisor: Martin Hahn

Second Reader: Tom Donaldson

Wednesday, August 7, 2019 | 12 noon | WMC 5602

Abstract is below. A copy of the paper can be viewed at the general office front counter.


I investigate Wolfgang Köhler’s relevance to Wittgenstein’s writings on the philosophy of psychology. I draw upon Wittgenstein’s “Philosophy of Psychology—A Fragment”, excerpts from his posthumously published manuscripts, and secondary literature on Wittgenstein’s relation to Köhler. Through comparing Wittgenstein’s words—along with the arguments given by his commentators—with Köhler’s psychological project, I show that, if Wittgenstein presents arguments against Gestalt psychology, they are either unsuccessful or so broad that they target all of psychology. I conclude that, if we agree with Wittgenstein’s philosophy of psychology, we have no reason to specifically reject Gestalt psychology over any other psychological theory.