Wittgensteinian anti-anti realism: One 'anti' too many?

(2015)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Wittgenstein attached overarching personal importance to questions of moral value. Yet his written treatments of ethics are brief and obscure, while his views on language have had a strong, albeit intermittent and diffuse, influence on analytic moral philosophy. His remarks on ethics seem to be totally at odds with realist and cognitivist accounts. Both the Tractatus and 'A Lecture on Ethics' maintain that ethics transcends linguistic expression, and later remarks seem to point in the direction of a communal variant of expressivism and relativism. Nevertheless, Wittgenstein’s philosophy of language was invoked in the 1980s by Oxford philosophers like John McDowell and Sabina Lovibond against the still prevailing non-cognitivist mainstream. These ‘anti-anti-realists’ maintained that, from a Wittgensteinian perspective, all indicative sentences, including moral ones, make claims to truth. My article discusses this proposal, historically, exegetically, and substantively. Anti-anti-realism (AAR) chimes with Wittgenstein’s deflationary account of truth. But that account is not committed to the conclusion that all propositions that can be called ‘true’ or ‘false’ have the same semantic status. Indeed, anti-anti-realism is at odds with Wittgenstein’s view that the similarity in linguistic form disguises logical differences between moral and descriptive propositions.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,202

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Anti-realism and logic: truth as eternal.Neil Tennant - 1987 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Wittgenstein, dreaming and anti-realism: A reply to Richard Scheer.William Child - 2009 - Philosophical Investigations 32 (4):329-337.
Understanding Anti-Realism.Andrew Joseph Cortens - 1995 - Dissertation, Syracuse University
Anti-Realism in the Philosophy of Mind.Carolyn G. Hartz - 1985 - Dissertation, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Two Arguments for Global Anti-Realism.Ihsan Dogramaci - 2002 - Dissertation, Columbia University
Wittgenstein and moral realism.Patricia H. Werhane - 1992 - Journal of Value Inquiry 26 (3):381-393.
Moral anti-realism.Richardn D. Joyce - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Making up the truth.Steven L. Reynolds - 2009 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 90 (3):315-335.
Global anti-realism.James-O. Young - 1987 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47:641-647.

Analytics

Added to PP
2015-12-22

Downloads
69 (#227,621)

6 months
18 (#125,972)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references