Honesty, Humility, Courage, & Strength: Later Wittgenstein on the Difficulties of Philosophy and the Philosophical Virtues

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Abstract
What qualities do we need in order to be good philosophers? Wittgenstein insists that virtues of character – such as honesty, humility, courage, and strength – are more important for our philosophizing than the relevant intellectual talents and skills. These virtues are essential because doing good philosophy demands both knowing and overcoming the deep-seated desires and inclinations which lead us astray in our thinking, and achieving such self-knowledge and self-overcoming demands all of these virtues working in concert. In this paper I draw together many of Wittgenstein’s seemingly offhanded remarks on these issues in order to reconstruct his understanding of philosophy’s ‘difficulties of the will’ and the virtues needed to overcome them.
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Archival date: 2019-11-09
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