Recognizing Targets: Wittgenstein's Exploration of a New Kind of Foundationalism in On Certainty

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Abstract:

Abstract

Bringing the views of Grayling, Moyal-Sharrock and Stroll together, I argue that in On Certainty, Wittgenstein explores the possibility of a new kind of foundationalism. Distinguishing propositional language-games from non-propositional, actional certainty, Wittgenstein investigates a foundationalism sui generis. Although he does not forthrightly state, defend, or endorse what I am characterizing as a “new kind of foundationalism,” we must bear in mind that On Certainty was a collection of first draft notes written at the end of Wittgenstein's life. The work was unprogrammatic, sometimes cryptic. Yet, his exploration into areas of knowledge, certitude and doubt suggest an identifiable direction to his thoughts.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9205.2008.01359.x

Affiliations: Loyola University, New Orleans

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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