SF gets a warm welcome at the British Wittgenstein Society

Yesterday was marked by the Autumn lecture of the British Wittgenstein Society, and Kirsten Dierolf and I were very pleased not only to be invited to the lecture, but also to be included in a special dinner following the event.  The lecturer was Prof Rom Harré (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horace_Romano_Harr%C3%A9) who has added Chair of the LSE’s Centre for the Philosophy of Natural and Social Sciences to his large collection of positions.  At 83 he is remarkably sprightly and presented the 30-strong audience with an hour on his latest work.  This deals with the novel idea of a ‘third Wittgenstein’ promulgated by Daniele Moyal-Sharrock (http://tinyurl.com/yejvoo3 ) and others, that the writings on On Certainty show key further developments from the Philosophical Investigations and may be viewed as a new phase of the philosopher’s thinking.  More on the lecture at http://www.britishwittgensteinsociety.herts.ac.uk/.  A robust thirty minutes of questions and discussion followed.)

Kirsten and I were then invited to join the speakers and committe for an Italian meal, where we discussed many angles on the shortcomings of conventional psychology, the latest development in Rom Harré’s work, the ins and outs of grammatical confusions and much more.  The academics seemed genuinely curious that a Wittgensteinian approach might yield so much in terms of real world results that SF – in therapy, management and other guises – has achieved over the years.  Along with Daniele Moyal-Sharrock herself, I was delighted to meet Prof Dan Hutto (http://tinyurl.com/y8hu66g, also of the Univeristy of Hertfordshire) who has written a number of books including (most recently) Folk Psychological Narratives: The Sociocultural Basis of Understanding Reasons.  The University is requiring all departments to examine and show their impact in the world, and there may be some interesting collaborations in the distance.

All agreed that there is an important movement afoot in the worlds of psychology and philosophy, with a new view coalescing.  Rom Harré mentioned narratology as one name for this.  It all felt like a marvellous start of some important future developments.  We were also very delighted to be taken seriously by the experienced philosophy professionals, give out copies of the SFCT jounal InterAction (http://www.asfct.org/journal.php) and be praised for our paper on The Grammar of Neuroscience (available for download at http://www.asfct.org/documents/journal/2009-05/the_grammar_of_neuroscience.pdf).

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