As I have found myself thinking fairly regularly over the past few years, the best description of Philosophical Investigations is: it decreates philosophical problems. (I borrow the notion from Weil.) Wittgenstein teaches his readers what philosophical problems are and how readers should treat them. Wittgenstein’s revolution in philosophy–and he is a revolutionary figure, whose revolution we have still rightly to measure and deservingly to inherit–is not just an overthrow of the previous understanding of philosophical problems that is meant to result in, well, quiet, at least after the dust clears, a stillness, in which nothing philosophical stirs. This would be a revolution aimed at ending philosophy, punkt. Nothing on the hither side of what ended, only the overthrown stuff on the yonder side, now reduced to stone and rubble. But that is not the revolution. That is not decreation–decreation is a passage from the created into the uncreated, not from the created into nothingness. The revolution does aim at ending philosophy of a sort, philosophy fueled by a particular understanding of philosophical problems, but that is not to be the end of philosophy, punkt; it is only to be the end of that sort of philosophy, the yonder sort. On the hither side, the hither sort: philosophy pursued as the decreation of philosophical problems, philosophy as involving constant self-overcoming. The sort of philosophy that Wittgenstein does, and he does do philosophy, not just attack those who do it, goes on–and on. –Philosophically, things change. But they do not just end. No. Philosophy has not been dammed up or damned down. No. (“riverrun, past Eve and Adams, from swerve of shore to bend of bay…”)
(As noted, I borrow the notion of `decreation’ from Simone Weil. I explore decreation in Philosophical Investigations briefly in my “Motives for Philosophizing”, Metaphilosophy Vol.40, No. 2, April 2009, pp. 260-272, as well as in my essay, “Philosophical Remarks” in Ludwig Wittgenstein: Key Concepts, and in my essay, “Metaschematizing Socrates”, in the forthcoming Hamann and the Tradition. Only the first of these employs Weil’s notion explicitly. The second two beat about in the bushes neighboring the notion. I am still working through the consequences of my use of it).