Bewitched by the Word "Know�

Brenner, William H. (2003) Bewitched by the Word "Know� In: UNSPECIFIED Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society, pp. 58-60.


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You ask me if our friend is in town, I say yes; you ask, "Are you sure?,� I reply, "I know it – I just installed him in our guest room!�—What if you're mistaken?—One can't be making a mistake about something like that!---So you"re claiming infallibility?—Saying "I can't be making a mistake" was just a way of saying "I know ...�; I wasn"t alleging a ridiculous "justification� for my claim!---But only the infallible possession of truth really justifies a claim to knowledge.— The "I know ...� is just an instrument with a limited, practical purpose -- a purpose which the following expansion of the "builder's language" helps to bring out: The number [of building stones] is sometimes estimated, sometimes established by counting. Then the question arises "Do you believe there are as many stones as that?,� and the answer "I know there are – I"ve just counted them.� But then the "I know� could be dropped. If, however, there are several ways of finding something out for sure, like counting, weighing, measuring the stack, then the statement "I know� can take the place of mentioning how I know. [Wittgenstein 1969, sec. 564]

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Belief; Knowing; External World; Wittgenstein, L.
Subjects: Philosophie > Philosophische Disziplinen > Epistemologie, Wissenschaftstheorie, Naturphilosophie
Philosophie > Philosophische Journale, Kongresse, Vereinigungen > Wittgenstein Symposium Kirchberg, Pre-Proceedings > Kirchberg 2003
Philosophie > Philosophische Disziplinen > Sprachphilosophie
Depositing User: Stefan Köstenbauer
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2007
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2011 18:52

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