Ludwig Wittgenstein, who died in Cambridge in 1951, is one of the most powerful influences on contemporary philosophy, yet he shunned publicity and was essentially a private man. His friend Norman Malcolm (himself an eminent philosopher) wrote this remarkably vivid personal memoir of Wittgenstein, which was published in 1958 and was immediately recognized as a moving and truthful portrait of this gifted, difficult man. -/- This edition includes also the complete text of the fifty-seven letters which Wittgenstein wrote to Malcolm (...) over a period of eleven years. Apart from the quotations in the Memoir these letters are previously unpublished. They reveal how much friendships mattered to Wittgenstein, and how concerned he was for the health and well-being of his friends. His human qualities become evident; he advises, warns, jokes. and is grateful and affectionate. -/- The volume also features a concise biographical sketch by another leading philosopher who was a friend of Wittgenstein, Georg Henrik von Wright. -/- Much has been published about Wittgenstein since his death, but nothing brings us closer to the man himself than this modest classic of philosophical biography. -/- . (shrink)
This paper compares Wittgenstein's conception of ?objective certainty? with Descartes's ?metaphysical certainty?. According to both conceptions if you are certain of something in these senses, then it is inconceivable that you are mistaken. But a striking difference is that for Descartes, if you are metaphysically certain of something it follows both that the something is so and that you know it is so; whereas on Wittgenstein's conception neither thing follows. I try to show that there is a form of ?scepticism? (...) in Wittgenstein's outlook on the concept of certainty, although it is not the familiar Philosophical Scepticism. The Appendix takes issue with a recent essay by John Cook which argues that the ?hinge propositions? of On Certainty are based on ?the metaphysics of phenomenalism? (shrink)
Descartes' proof that his essence is thinking.--Thoughtless brutes.--Descartes' proof that he is essentially a non-material thing.--Behaviorism as a philosophy of psychology.--The privacy of experience.--Wittgenstein on the nature of mind.--The myth of cognitive processes and structures.--Moore and Wittgenstein on the sense of "I know."--The groundlessness of belief.