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Wittgenstein’s On Certainty as Pyrrhonism in Action

  • Duncan PritchardEmail author
Chapter
Part of the The Frontiers Collection book series (FRONTCOLL)

Abstract

I want to suggest a way of approaching On Certainty that treats what Wittgenstein is doing in the notebooks that make up this work as manifesting a kind philosophical practice that is broadly Pyrrhonian, at least on one reading of what this involves. Such a reading fits with the general philosophical quietism found in Wittgenstein’s work, particularly in his later writings, and is also supported by independent textual evidence that he was profoundly influenced by Pyrrhonian scepticism. Crucially, however, it also helps to clarify the sense in which the Pyrrhonian sceptical techniques, and hence (I claim) the kind of philosophical quietism that goes along with them, can have an essentially disquieting effect on the subject (which in the sceptical case I dub epistemic vertigo).

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CaliforniaIrvineUSA
  2. 2.University of EdinburghEdinburghScotland, UK

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