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Musil, Wittgenstein : l'Homme du possible

Abstract : In the fourth chapter of "The Man without qualities", Robert Musil presents his main character, Ulrich, as endowed with a « sense of possibility» : "Whoever has it does not say, for instance : Here this or that has happened, will happen, must happen; but he invents : here this or that might, could or ought to happen. If he is told that something is the way it is, he will think : well, it could probably just as well be otherwise. So the sense of possibility could be defined outright as the ability to conceive of everything there might be just as well, and to attach no more importance to what it is than to what is not." (The Man without qualities, §4). ln a general way, on studies this sense of possibility, in its various applications, in relation with Wittgenstein's conceptual remarks. ln the theoretical field, the Interpretation of Musil's PhD on Mach allows to think that, by comparison with the scientific method, the sense of possibility is the ability to think not only all the real possibilities, but also the conceivable possibilities, by contrast with induction and research of causes. ln the field of the conduct of lite, the philosophical reading of the novel allows to think that the sense of possibility is not the solution but the expression of the problem of the right life. Finally, in the last part, one relates the sense of possibility to the development of utopias, of men and lifes conceivable but not necessarily possible by virtue of reality.
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Submitted on : Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 11:24:14 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 4:00:50 AM
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  • HAL Id : tel-00839117, version 1



Pierre Fasula. Musil, Wittgenstein : l'Homme du possible. Philosophie. Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, 2013. Français. ⟨NNT : 2013PA010554⟩. ⟨tel-00839117⟩



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