Wittgenstein on Mathematics and Certainties

International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 6 (2-3):120-142 (2016)
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_ Source: _Volume 6, Issue 2-3, pp 120 - 142 This paper aims to contribute to the debate over epistemic versus non-epistemic readings of the ‘hinges’ in Wittgenstein’s _On Certainty_. I follow Marie McGinn’s and Daniele Moyal-Sharrock’s lead in developing an analogy between mathematical sentences and certainties, and using the former as a model for the latter. However, I disagree with McGinn’s and Moyal-Sharrock’s interpretations concerning Wittgenstein’s views of both relata. I argue that mathematical sentences as well as certainties are true and are propositions; that some of them can be epistemically justified; that in some senses they are not prior to empirical knowledge; that they are not ineffable; and that their primary function is epistemic as much as it is semantic.

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Martin Kusch
University of Vienna

Citations of this work

The Certainties of Delusion.Jakob Ohlhorst - 2021 - In Luca Moretti & Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen (eds.), Non-Evidentialist Epistemology. Leiden: Brill. pp. 211-229.
Is There a Problem of Demarcation for Hinges?Jakob Ohlhorst - 2022 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 12 (4):317-330.

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References found in this work

Philosophical Occasions, 1912-1951.Ludwig Wittgenstein (ed.) - 1993 - Indianapolis and Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company.
Wittgensteinian certainties.Crispin Wright - 2004 - In Denis McManus (ed.), Wittgenstein and Scepticism. Routledge. pp. 22--55.

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