Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

“Can the Concept of God Exist in a Perfectly Logical Language?” Baraka, Wittgenstein, and the Hermeneutics of Counter-Enlightenment

“Can the Concept of God Exist in a Perfectly Logical Language?” Baraka, Wittgenstein, and the... This article looks at the influence of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s early philosophy of language on the Black Arts Movement. Amiri Baraka’s essay / prose poem “Expressive Language” ends with a quotation from Wittgenstein: “Can the concept of God exist in a perfectly logical language?” The problem is that Wittgenstein never wrote this. In tracking the meaning of Baraka’s pseudo ascription, this essay situates Baraka’s early work in the context of midcentury philosophy of language and the linguistic turn. It argues that Baraka’s extensive engagement with the form and thought of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus is crucially important in Baraka’s narration of his conversion from Beat bohemianism to Black nationalism. Baraka’s argument with Wittgenstein anticipates the concerns of a debate that occurred several years later between Hans Gadamer and Jürgen Habermas. Reading “Expressive Language” and Baraka’s poetry and autobiographical writing alongside the exchanges of the Gadamer-Habermas debate, the essay argues that Baraka’s writings challenge the identification of critique with progressive politics that informs the work of Habermas and Paul Gilroy. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Literature Duke University Press

“Can the Concept of God Exist in a Perfectly Logical Language?” Baraka, Wittgenstein, and the Hermeneutics of Counter-Enlightenment

Comparative Literature , Volume 74 (1) – Mar 1, 2022

Loading next page...
 
/lp/duke-university-press/can-the-concept-of-god-exist-in-a-perfectly-logical-language-baraka-qiQ05DQM7w
Copyright
Copyright © 2022 by University of Oregon
ISSN
0010-4124
eISSN
1945-8517
DOI
10.1215/00104124-9434550
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article looks at the influence of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s early philosophy of language on the Black Arts Movement. Amiri Baraka’s essay / prose poem “Expressive Language” ends with a quotation from Wittgenstein: “Can the concept of God exist in a perfectly logical language?” The problem is that Wittgenstein never wrote this. In tracking the meaning of Baraka’s pseudo ascription, this essay situates Baraka’s early work in the context of midcentury philosophy of language and the linguistic turn. It argues that Baraka’s extensive engagement with the form and thought of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus is crucially important in Baraka’s narration of his conversion from Beat bohemianism to Black nationalism. Baraka’s argument with Wittgenstein anticipates the concerns of a debate that occurred several years later between Hans Gadamer and Jürgen Habermas. Reading “Expressive Language” and Baraka’s poetry and autobiographical writing alongside the exchanges of the Gadamer-Habermas debate, the essay argues that Baraka’s writings challenge the identification of critique with progressive politics that informs the work of Habermas and Paul Gilroy.

Journal

Comparative LiteratureDuke University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2022

References