Bakhtin and Wittgenstein on Dialogue as a Methodological Concept and Theme

The concept of dialogue is a central element of Bakhtin’s writings, whereas Wittgenstein’s references to dialogue are generally in the negative vein. However, there does not seem to be another modern philosopher who has actually employed the dialogic method. But Wittgenstein’s dialogic texts also include monologic aspects, such as sensation and private transition. Bakhtin, by contrast, sometimes blurs the boundaries between dialogue in language and dialogue as a criterion for literary value. The article shows how Wittgenstein helps clarify the role of the monological in Bakhtin’s dialogic approach and how Bakhtin can facilitate a better understanding of the dialogicity in Wittgenstein.

Dorit Lemberger

Senior lecturer, Hermeneutics and Cultural Studies Programme, Bar Ilan University

Dorit Lemberger is a senior lecturer at the Hermeneutics and Cultural Studies Programme, Bar Ilan University. She does research in Semantics, Psychoanalysis, literature, and Pragmatics. Her current project is on the relationship between psychoanalytic thinkers, language, and literature.