Disputatio 8 (9):521-539 (2019)

Authors
Sybren Heyndels
University College Dublin
Abstract
In order to ward off the global threat of a regress of justification, Brandom argues that some claims in our linguistic practices must be treated as “innocent until proven guilty’, i.e. participants must be treated as prima facie entitled when making them. Examples he gives include claims such as “There have been black dogs” and “I have ten fingers”. Brandom calls this idea “the default and challenge structure of entitlement”. In On Certainty, Wittgenstein argues that there are basic certainties (“hinge propositions” or “hinges”) such as “The world existed long before I was born” or “This is a tree” that cannot be meaningfully doubted because they provide the basic frameworks for our language–games in the first place. The aim of this article is threefold. First, it offers an understanding of Brandom’s philosophical project in the light of Wittgenstein’s On Certainty. Secondly, it shows how Brandom may help to elucidate some of the more mysterious passages in Wittgenstein’s “third masterpiece”. Thirdly, it outlines a sketch of a promising solution to an old philosophical riddle.
Keywords Wittgenstein  Brandom  Scepticism  Regress of Justification  Epistemology
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