This book approaches classic epistemological problems from a contextualist perspective. The author takes as his point of departure the fact that we are situated beings, more specifically that every single moment in our lives is already given within the framework of a specific context in the midst of which we understand ourselves and what surrounds us. In the process of his investigation, the author explores, in a fresh way, the works of key thinkers in epistemology. These include Bernard Bolzano, René (...) Descartes, Gottlob Frege, Edmund Husserl, Immanuel Kant and Ludwig Wittgenstein, but also contemporary authors such as Stewart Cohen, Keith DeRose, David Lewis, Duncan Pritchard, Ernest Sosa and Charles Travis. Some of the topics covered are attributions of knowledge, the correspondence theory of truth, objectivity and subjectivity, possible worlds, primary and secondary evidence, scepticism, transcendentalism and relativism. The book also introduces a new contextualist thought-experiment for dealing with moral questions. Contextualism has received a great deal of attention in contemporary epistemology. It has the potential to resolve a number of issues that traditional epistemological approaches cannot address. In particular, a contextualist view opens the way to an understanding of those cognitive processes that require situational information to be fully grasped. However, contextualism poses serious difficulties in regard to epistemic invariance. This book offers readers an innovative approach to some fundamental questions in this field. (shrink)
This paper outlines the major topics addressed in my book Description of Situations: An Essay in Contextualist Epistemology, anticipates some possible misunderstandings and discusses issues that warrant further investigation.
Ludwig Wittgenstein é unanimemente reconhecido como um dos pensadores mais marcantes do século xx, tendo influenciado decisivamente o debate filosófico da contemporaneidade. Apoiando-se não nas edições clássicas mas no espólio do autor, problematizando a formalidade sui generis característica daquele, esta obra propõe-se acompanhar o evoluir do pensamento wittgensteiniano, nos seus diferentes planos, determinando a metodologia que o vai definir, enquanto possibilidade concreta de compreensão da visão filosófica que lhe subjaz. Ao indagar toda a trajectória reflexiva que se estabelece entre o (...) anúncio inaugural do Tractatus e o do livro que no princípio dos anos 30 é projectado em contraposição àquele mas que nunca será concluído, Lógica, Ética, Gramática assume, na verdade, um carácter propedêutico, pretendendo lançar as bases para uma nova leitura da «segunda» filosofia wittgensteiniana, crítico-geneticamente definida em relação à «primeira». Este livro interessará, assim, a estudantes e investigadores de várias disciplinas filosóficas, nomeadamente Epistemologia, Ética, Filosofia da Linguagem, Lógica e Metodologia Filosófica, onde os apuramentos de Wittgenstein são incontornáveis, bem como a todos aqueles que trabalham em Filologia ou Teoria da Literatura. (shrink)
To what extent is the form of our life fixed, i.e. is there a form of life or forms of life? How does this bear on the nature of experience? These are two Wittgensteinian questions in need of clarification. Wittgenstein on Forms of Life and the Nature of Experience sheds light on a much exploited but rarely analysed topic in Wittgenstein scholarship while addressing central themes of contemporary philosophy. Bringing together essays from some of the leading scholars in the field, (...) the book concentrates on Wittgenstein’s concept of Lebensform(en), and more specifically its evolution in the author’s thought until his death in 1951. (shrink)
This article presents an edition of unpublished notes by Sraffa on Wittgenstein’s “Blue Book”, written about 1941 and housed at Trinity College Library, Cambridge. The article includes an introduction to the relationship between Sraffa and Wittgenstein and concludes with an interpretation of various philosophical issues addressed in the notes, namely that of solipsism. Various connections between the “Blue Book” and the Philosophical Investigations are traced.
In this paper I begin by scrutinizing classic approaches to the question of agrammaticality, with a particular focus on Frege and the early Wittgenstein, and try to show that a further step is needed in order to adequately address this topic. I then focus on the later Wittgenstein’s treatment of nonsense-poems and claim that the failure of the Philosophical Investigations as a book is actually connected with Wittgenstein’s recognition that philosophy should be written under the form of poetry. The therapeutic (...) consequences of this view are discussed in connection with Deleuze’s comments on Melville and with Read’s comments on Sass, which offer very different views of agrammaticality. (shrink)
This paper explores the epistemological problem of holding something to be true while building on Wittgenstein’s later philosophy. I claim that it was Frege’s criticism of psychologism in logic that gave a boost to Wittgenstein’s reflections on this issue, an issue that already occupies a central place in Kant’s theory of knowledge. I shall endeavour to show that Wittgenstein’s considerations on rule-following and the systematic character of belief not only make evident the shortcomings of Frege’s explanation of how the mind (...) works but also take a step forward in overcoming the flaws of Kantian epistemology. The later Wittgenstein, I argue, goes further than Kant in the recognition that truth cannot attain more objectivity than the expression of our holding for true, but this does not mean endorsing any subjectivism. (shrink)
Sixty years after its first edition, there is an increasing consensus among scholars that the work posthumously published as _Philosophical Investigations _represents something that is far from a complete picture of Wittgenstein’s second book project. G.H. von Wright’s seminal research on the _Nachlass_ was an important contribution in this direction, showing that the Wittgenstein papers can reveal much more than the source of specific remarks. This book specifically explores Wittgenstein’s _Philosophical_ _Investigations_ from the different angles of its originary conceptions, including (...) the mathematical texts, shedding new light on fundamental issues in twentieth century and contemporary philosophy. Leading authorities in the field focus on newly published or hitherto unpublished sources for the interpretation of Wittgenstein’s later work and a Wittgenstein typescript, translated for the first time into English, is included as an appendix. (shrink)
O tradicional problema do conhecimento do singular mantém-se hoje em dia: o impasse assinalado por Aristóteles prevalece na maioria das ciências actuais que lidam precisamente com casos particulares, contingentes, imprevisíveis, que escapam ao enquadramento nos modelos categoriais. Este Colóquio sobre O Estatuto do Singular constituiu um desafio para todos aqueles que em diversas áreas filosóficas e científicas se enfrentam com a necessidade de repensar modelos e estratégias aplicáveis ao caso prático, à decisão, à acção, à inovação, à invenção; noções como (...) o incerto, o provável, o casual, o frequente, o diferente, o imprevisível - exigem um novo modo de pensar e uma revisão das formas típicas da racionalidade. O tópico convocou, além da filosofia, uma ampla gama de domínios: desde as ciências e artes médicas, a biologia, até ao direito e às ciências humanas e sociais, passando também pela literatura e a arte. O que se pretendeu foi apresentar uma sinopse de diferentes olhares e perspectivas sobre um ponto de mira comum: «o estatuto do singular» foi o leit motiv para abrir um horizonte de pensamento e de diálogo profícuo e abrangente. (shrink)
In this paper, I first introduce the main motivations for the internalism/externalism dichotomy in epistemology and explore different accounts of epistemic justification, mostly externalist, arising from Dretske’s relevant alternatives theory of knowledge, namely the reliabilism of Goldman and Nozick, the contextualism of Cohen and DeRose, which is governed by fallibilist standards, and Lewis’ version of contextualism, to which infallibilist standards apply. I then argue that Wittgenstein critically anticipates many of these strategies and tries to avoid such a dichotomy by assuming (...) a form of infallibilism which is neither internal nor external. After introducing the idea of a Wittgensteinian hinge epistemology and how it responds to the problem of epistemic justification and to the particular challenge posed by radical scepticism, I defend the view that infallibility is logically unavoidable when we realize that we are always trapped in one language-game or another, even if we constantly switch between language-games. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Notes on Contributors -- Introduction: The Wonders of the Jungle -- A Data-Base Aided Analysis on Tractatus Writing and on its Rubber-and-Pencil Amendments -- Wittgenstein's Coded Remarks in the Context of His Philosophising -- Wittgenstein at Work: Creation, Selection and Composition of Remarks -- Wittgenstein's Lectures on Personal Experience -- The Whewell's Court Lectures -- Tracing the Development of Wittgenstein's Writing on Private Language -- Robinson Crusoe Sails Again: The Interpretative Relevance of Wittgenstein's Nachlass -- Concepts (...) and Concept-Formation in Wittgenstein's Manuscripts of the Late 1940s -- Towards a Re-Evaluation of the Philosophical Investigations -- Culture and Value Revisited -- The New Bergen Electronic Edition and Web-based Collaborative Wittgenstein Research -- Appendix: Wittgenstein's 1938 'Preface' to the Philosophical Investigations -- Index. (shrink)
In this introductory piece I summarize the aims and contents of the special section on Wittgenstein and Applied Epistemology, which consists of a selection of papers presented at the 6th Symposium of the International Ludwig Wittgenstein Society that took place at the Nova University of Lisbon in 2017. After explaining the sense in which “applied epistemology” is here employed in connection with Wittgenstein’s thought, brief comments are made on papers by Natalie Alana Ashton, Anna Boncompagni, Marco Brusotti, Michel Le Du, (...) Andrew Lugg, Sofia Miguens, Constantine Sandis, Genia Schönbaumsfeld, and Vicente Sanfélix Vidarte and Chon Tejedor. (shrink)
ABSTRACT This review discusses Uffelmann’s thesis that Wittgenstein’s conception of grammar underwent important changes in the different phases of his philosophizing. I claim that if we do not accentuate the shifts in approach and terminology that naturally exist in Wittgenstein’s thought, we can see that grammar and logic go hand in hand all along the way, from the Tractatus to the very end, and that grammar was simply a mode he found to conceive of logic in a completely different way (...) from what Frege and Russell did. (shrink)
This book symposium comprises a précis of Nuno Venturinha’s Description of Situations: An Essay in Contextualist Epistemology together with four critical commentaries on different aspects of the book by Marcelo Carvalho, João Vergílio Gallerani Cuter, Marcos Silva and Darlei Dall’Agnol, and the author’s replies.
Cet article vise à examiner la critique wittgensteinienne d’Héraclite et des idées de ce dernier selon lesquelles « tout coule » et « on ne peut entrer deux fois dans la même rivière ». Dans la première section, j’examinerai les sources et les interprétations traditionnelles de ces idées. Dans la seconde section, je discuterai le lien établi par David G. Stern entre les remarques de Wittgenstein sur l’image de la rivière et l’étude qu’il a faite de Platon à partir de (...) 1931. Dans la troisième section, je m’attacherai aux notes sur Héraclite antérieures à 1931 et je les relierai à la question d’un langage phénoménologique. Puis, dans les sections quatre et cinq, je critiquerai le portrait que dresse Hintikka de Wittgenstein en phénoménologue et je fournirai une analyse approfondie de la phénoménologie de Wittgenstein. Enfin, dans la sixième section, je tenterai de faire une synthèse de l’ensemble et de porter un nouveau regard sur la dernière philosophie de Wittgenstein.The aim of this paper is to focus on Wittgenstein’s criticism of Heraclitus and his ideas that « everything flows » and that « one cannot step into the same river twice ». In the first section, I review the sources and the traditional interpretations of these ideas. In the second section, I discuss David G. Stern’s association of Wittgenstein’s remarks on river imagery with his study of Plato after 1931. In the third section, I scrutinize the pre-1931 notes on Heraclitus and link them to the question of a phenomenological language. Then, in sections four and five, I criticize Hintikka’s portrait of Wittgenstein as a phenomenologist and provide an in-depth analysis of Wittgenstein’s phenomenology. Finally, in section six, I attempt to draw everything back together and take a fresh look at Wittgenstein’s later philosophy. (shrink)
This paper contains a historical introduction and an edition of a hitherto unpublished manuscript of Wittgenstein's that was found among G. H. von Wright's materials kept in Helsinki. The document concentrates on British anti-Nazi propaganda and was written in 1945. Wittgenstein's criticism of this kind of propaganda, such as that promoted by Robert Vansittart, is also present in other sources of this period belonging to both the _Nachlass _and the correspondence.
This paper explores central themes of Duncan Pritchard’s epistemology intimately related to the Wittgensteinian idea of a “hinge epistemology”. The first section calls attention to the eminently empirical character of our “hinges”. The second section focuses on Pritchard’s notion of “arational hinge commitments”, more specifically his distinction between the pair “über hinge commitments”/“über hinge propositions” and the pair “personal hinge commitments”/“personal hinge propositions”. The third section brings to the discussion Timothy Williamson’s view of “inexact knowledge” and examines another pair of (...) notions introduced by Pritchard, namely “antiskeptical hinge commitments”/“antiskeptical hinge propositions”. I conclude with a reevaluation of the diagnosis made by Pritchard that, confronted with a sceptical scenario, our “epistemic angst” can be surpassed if we follow Wittgenstein’s teaching in On Certainty about the “structure of rational evaluation”, but that an “epistemic vertigo” can never be ultimately dispelled. My argument is that in a moral scenario there is no room for vertigo. (shrink)
This paper explores Wittgenstein’s lifelong interest in music. The first part offers an overview of the various authors mentioned throughout Wittgenstein’s corpus, particularly in the posthumous publications Culture and Value and Movements of Thought. The second part specifically examines some of Wittgenstein’s remarks on Beethoven focusing on the peculiar religious realism that Wittgenstein attributes to Beethoven’s work. Recent interpretations put forward by Matthew Lau and Béla Szabados are discussed. It is argued that these commentators fail to address the religious basis (...) of Wittgenstein’s admiration for Beethoven. (shrink)