Routledge Philosophy GuideBook to Wittgenstein and On Certainty
Routledge – 2015 – 340 pages
Series: Routledge Philosophy GuideBooks
Ludwig Wittgenstein is arguably the most important philosopher of the twentieth-century. In On Certainty he discusses central issues in epistemology concerning the nature of knowledge and scepticism. The Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Wittgenstein and On Certainty introduces and assesses:
This GuideBook is essential reading for all students of Wittgenstein, as well as those studying epistemology and philosophy of language. It considers the place of On Certainty, Wittgenstein's final work, in his late philosophy. On Certainty addresses a neglected category of propositions discovered by G.E. Moore; for Wittgenstein they make up a "world-picture", and challenge his career-long view that there is a clearly-defined category of empirical propositions. The GuideBook offers a dynamic interpretation of world-picture propositions, as subject to transformation and yielding alternative world-pictures. It relates them to On Certainty's critique of scepticism, developing Wittgenstein's critique of the sceptic's challenge as self-undermining. Its combative yet therapeutic interpretation of On Certainty locates within an opposition between Kantian and Humean naturalistic standpoints. It offers a critique of quietism, and of the "resolute reading" of nonsense, and concludes by showing how On Certainty is a classic within a humanistic conception of philosophy, essentially open to a range of interpretations.
"This unique and highly readable introduction sets Wittgenstein’s late text in its historical context and emphasises enduring themes running through his later philosophy. Using recent work on On Certainty, Hamilton provides his reader with a clear exposition of the work’s major themes, facilitating further engagement." – Bernhard Weiss, University of Cape Town, South Africa
1. Wittgenstein's philosophical development 2. Enduring Wittgensteinian motifs in On Certainty 3. Reading On Certainty: text and work 4. Synopsis of On Certainty 5. Moorean common sense 6. Wittgenstein's account of Moorean propositions 7. Wittgenstein's idea of a "world-picture" 8. On Certainty in the context of 20th century epistemology 9. Moore's "proof of an external world" 10. Responses to scepticism: arguments against moore 11. Responses to scepticism: arguments against the sceptic 12. Interpreting On Certainty 13. Wittgensteinian Kantianism versus Wittgensteinan naturalism 14. Influence and implications. Index
Andy Hamilton teaches Philosophy at Durham University, UK. His books include Aesthetics and Music (2007), and The Self in Question: Memory, the Body and Self-Consciousness (2013). He also teaches aesthetics and history of jazz at Durham, and contributes to The Wire magazine.