On Wittgenstein on Certainty

Contributions of the Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society 19:320-322 (2011)
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In the preface to On Certainty Anscombe and von Wright say that in 1949 Malcolm suggested to Wittgenstein to think again about Moore’s “Defense of Common Sense” (1925) and “Proof of an External World” (1939). Malcolm himself had written on the issue in “Defending Common Sense” (1949). In the preface to the Philosophical Investigations Wittgenstein quotes Nestroy saying that there is usually very little progress in philosophy. But I think some progress has been made from Moore and Malcolm to Wittgenstein regarding skepticism. There is more awareness of practice and perspective and this opens the discussion in novel ways. But it also gives rise to new problems, in particular of morality and relativity.

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Christian Wenzel
National Taiwan University


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