Wittgensteinian foundationalism

Erkenntnis 55 (3):349–358 (2001)
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Abstract

The idea that there is such a thing as Wittgensteinian foundationalism is a provocative one for two reasons. For one thing, Wittgenstein is widely regarded as an anti-foundationalist. For another, the very word `foundationalism' sounds like the name of a theory, and Wittgenstein famously opposed the advancing of theories and theses in philosophy. Nonetheless, in his book Moore and Wittgenstein on Certainty, Avrum Stroll has argued that Wittgenstein does indeed develop a foundationalist view in his final work, On Certainty. On this basis, Stroll goes on to argue against a number of contemporary views, including forms of relativism and scientism. In what follows I will examine what Stroll calls Wittgenstein's foundationalism (in Section 1) and argue that Stroll's reading of Wittgenstein, though original and interesting, is misguided in important ways and so cannot be used against the views he opposes (in Section 2). Finally, in Section 3, I offer a brief summary of the reading of Wittgenstein that I recommend.

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Duncan Richter
Virginia Military Institute

Citations of this work

¿Tiene sentido hablar de un “tercer Wittgenstein” posterior a 1946?José María Ariso - 2012 - Logos. Anales Del Seminario de Metafísica [Universidad Complutense de Madrid, España] 45:223-242.
Authority and the teacher. By William H. Kitchen. [REVIEW]Gale Macleod - 2016 - British Journal of Educational Studies 64 (1):126-129.

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References found in this work

Moore and Wittgenstein on certainty.Avrum Stroll - 1994 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Faith after Foundationalism.D. Z. Phillips - 1988 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 36 (3):187-189.
Faith After Foundationalism.D. Z. Phillips - 1988 - New York: Routledge.
Faith after Foundationalism.D. Z. Phillips - 1988 - Philosophy 64 (249):419-421.

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