Graduate studies at Western
Inquiry 51 (3):241 – 267 (2008)
|Abstract||Alice Crary claims that “the standard view of the bearing of Wittgenstein's philosophy on ethics” is dominated by “inviolability interpretations”, which often underlie conservative readings of Wittgenstein. Crary says that such interpretations are “especially marked in connection with On Certainty”, where Wittgenstein is represented as holding that “our linguistic practices are immune to rational criticism, or inviolable”. Crary's own conception of the bearing of Wittgenstein's philosophy on ethics, which I call the “intrinsically-ethical reading”, derives from the influential New Wittgenstein school of exegesis, and is also espoused by James Edwards, Cora Diamond, and Stephen Mulhall. To my eyes, intrinsically-ethical readings present a peculiar picture of ethics, which I endeavour to expose in Part I of the paper. In Part II I present a reading of On Certainty that Crary would call an “inviolability interpretation”, defend it against New Wittgensteinian critiques, and show that this kind of reading has nothing to do with ethical or political conservatism. I go on to show how Wittgenstein's observations on the manner in which we can neither question nor affirm certain states of affairs that are fundamental to our epistemic practices can be fruitfully extended to ethics. Doing so sheds light on the phenomenon that I call “basic moral certainty”, which constitutes the foundation of our ethical practices, and the scaffolding or framework of moral perception, inquiry, and judgement. The nature and significance of basic moral certainty will be illustrated through consideration of the strangeness of philosophers' attempts at explaining the wrongness of killing.|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Norman Malcolm (1988). Wittgenstein's Scepticism' in on Certainty. Inquiry 31 (3):277 – 293.
Nigel Pleasants (2009). Wittgenstein and Basic Moral Certainty. Philosophia 37 (4):669-679.
Danièle Moyal-Sharrock (2004). Understanding Wittgenstein's on Certainty. Palgrave Macmillan.
Daniele Moyal-Sharrock & William H. Brenner (eds.) (2007). Readings on Wittgenstein's On Certainty. Palgrave Macmillan.
Elly Vintiadis (2006). Why Certainty is Not a Mansion. Journal of Philosophical Research 31:143-152.
Annalisa Coliva (2010). Was Wittgenstein an Epistemic Relativist? Philosophical Investigations 33 (1):1-23.
Daniele Moyal-Sharrock (2003). Logic in Action: Wittgenstein's Logical Pragmatism and the Impotence of Scepticism. Philosophical Investigations 26 (2):125-148.
Avrum Stroll (1994). Moore and Wittgenstein on Certainty. Oxford University Press.
Tine Wilde (2002). The 4th Dimension. Wittgenstein on Colour and Imagination. In Christian Kanzian, Josef Quitterer & Edmund Runggaldier (eds.), Persons. An Interdisciplinary Approach. Papers of the 25th International Wittgenstein Symposium. Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society.
Danièle Moyal-Sharrock (2007). Wittgenstein on Psychological Certainty. In Danièle Moyal-Sharrock (ed.), Perspicuous Presentations: Essays on Wittgenstein's Philosophy of Psychology. Palgrave Macmillan.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads49 ( #25,810 of 722,947 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #61,087 of 722,947 )
How can I increase my downloads?