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Wittgenstein on the Place of the Concept “Noticing an Aspect”



Seeing aspects is a dominant theme in Wittgenstein's 1940s writings on philosophy of psychology. Interpreters disagree about what Wittgenstein was trying to do in these discussions. I argue that interpreting Wittgenstein's observations about the interrelations between “noticing an aspect” and other psychological concepts as a systematic theory of aspect-seeing diminishes key lessons of Wittgenstein's explorations: these interrelations are enormously complicated and “noticing an aspect” resists neat classification. Further, Wittgenstein invites us to engage in his “placing activity,” and by doing so we are building a skill that is valuable for enabling us to help ourselves when we encounter conceptual difficulties.