Wittgenstein and Intellectual Freedom

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • This article investigates the later philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein from the perspective of Intellectual Freedom in librarianship. The article argues that Intellectual Freedom tends to be informed by individualism and linguistic idealism. This in turn limits IF to advocacy rather than social change and thereby supports and maintains the oppressive racial and gender structures of capitalism. Following an outline of the philosophical foundations of Intellectual Freedom, the article investigates Wittgenstein’s challenge to language as an individual faculty and the constraints on the idea of freedom that follows from it. Wittgenstein’s recognition that languages are social conventions put to particular social uses opens up a collective approach to language and Intellectual Freedom conducive to the material transformation of real social conditions.

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  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
  • DOI
  • License
    Attribution 4.0 International
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • S. Popowich. "Wittgenstein and Intellectual Freedom." Journal of Radical Librarianship, Vol. 7 (2021) pp. 1–16.
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