Roncaglia on Sraffa and Wittgenstein : Further Comment

Grieve, Roy H (2004) Roncaglia on Sraffa and Wittgenstein : Further Comment. Discussion paper. University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.

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This paper considers whether, as suggested by Roncaglia (1978), there exists, in how they relate to foregoing ideas, a similarity between Sraffa’s approach in the Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities to the theory of value and Wittgenstein’s later linguistic philosophy as expressed in the Philosophical Investigations. McLachlan and Swales (1998) take the view that no such affinity exists. We dispute the McLachlan and Swales assessment on the grounds that, in the works in question, Sraffa and Wittgenstein – each with reference to his own sphere of interest – are, in an analogous manner, denying the possibility of analysing, as previously (neoclassical orthodoxy, the Tractatus theory of language) thought feasible, all problems in economics or linguistics in terms of a single, all-comprehending general theory, and implying or indicating that the appropriate approach is instead to seek to understand economic and linguistic phenomena by analysis which is specific to the problem in hand and which sets that problem within the appropriate social context.