Wikipedia states that

It is now not uncommon to hear that Ordinary Language philosophy is no longer an active force. Wittgenstein is perhaps the only one among the major figures of linguistic philosophy to retain anything like the reputation he had at that time.

Are there any new philosophical theories which are taking ordinary language into account? Maybe some of them based on Wittgenstein's theory? Maybe some of them which are challenging it? Or is Ordinary Language philosophy is dead and there are no new theories and only old are simply used in other areas?

  • "Which probably was Wittgenstein's take"? Plenty of online sources on his take are available. And that "ordinary language philosophy" has little to do with what you are describing is apparent even from the linked Wikipedia article. In fact, Wittgenstein's take was that the "unshareability of concepts" is a misconception based on "distorting or forgetting what words actually mean".
    – Conifold
    Sep 26, 2018 at 18:00
  • @Conifold, if it had little to do, does it mean it ought to be this way in the future? Body language, intonation and context have pretty much the same meaning as various words.
    – rus9384
    Sep 26, 2018 at 18:06
  • Are the two middle paragraphs really necessary for your question? I think they are distracting from the main issue.
    – E...
    Sep 26, 2018 at 22:38
  • 1
    @EliranH, probably better now.
    – rus9384
    Sep 26, 2018 at 22:43

1 Answer 1


The question is Do philosophers really think that Ordinary Language philosophy is dead?

The rest of the paragraph cited in the question from Wikipedia suggests it is not dead:

On the other hand, the attention to language remains one of the most important techniques in contemporary analytic thought, and many of the effects of ordinary language philosophy can still be felt across many academic disciplines.

This is different from the state prior to the rise of Ordinary Language philosophy:

Early analytic philosophy had a less positive view of ordinary language. Bertrand Russell tended to dismiss language as being of little philosophical significance, and ordinary language as just being too confused to help solve metaphysical and epistemological problems.

The effects of the earlier focusing on ordinary language are still present.


Wikipedia, "Ordinary language philosophy" https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordinary_language_philosophy

  • Well, I meant not whether results of Wittgenstein's et al. works are used now, but whether new works in the field are produced.
    – rus9384
    Sep 26, 2018 at 16:01
  • Failed philosophers like Russell, who was unable to make sense of philosophy in any language,are best ignored in my not at all humble view. I'm baffled by the idea of doing philosophy in anything other than ordinary language, albeit more care than usual is required for definitions.
    – user20253
    Sep 27, 2018 at 13:09

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