The Philosopher"s Garden: Scepticism within (and from without) Wittgenstein

Fielding, James Matthew (2003) The Philosopher"s Garden: Scepticism within (and from without) Wittgenstein. In: UNSPECIFIED Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society, pp. 114-116.


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I am sitting with a philosopher in the garden; he says again and again "I know that that"s a tree�, pointing to a tree that is near us. Someone else arrives and hears this, and I tell him: "This fellow isn"t insane. We are only doing philosophy.� On Certainty § 467 If philosophy is disease, the sceptic must surely have a terminal case. There seems to be no relief for one so ill. However, in On Certainty Wittgenstein offers us a new way to examine the problem, a new treatment, as it were. As Wittgenstein"s methodology is so uniquely multi-faceted, so too is his attack on the sceptic, and as it has been said before, Wittgenstein has a marvelous capacity, not for solving problems, but dissolving them. We should not therefore be surprised that the die-hard sceptic remains unconvinced by Wittgenstein"s attack; it is not the sort of maneuver the sceptic is used to. Indeed, at times it does not seem like an attack at all. The sceptic must beware however; behind Wittgenstein"s oblique style there lies an assault of such subtlety and caliber that only a master of could deliver it. But really, for all his mastery, for all his philosophical poignancy, how effective is Wittgenstein"s criticism? It is certainly of a very different order than those we have seen in the past, but can Wittgenstein ultimately avoid the charge of "question begging� that have plagued so many before him? The question is somewhat complicated in the case of Wittgenstein, not only by his philosophical position, but also by his methodology.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Scepticism; "On Certainty"; Wittgenstein, L.
Subjects: Philosophie > Philosophische Journale, Kongresse, Vereinigungen > Wittgenstein Symposium Kirchberg, Pre-Proceedings > Kirchberg 2003
Philosophie > Philosophische Disziplinen > Ontologie
Depositing User: Stefan Köstenbauer
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2007
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2011 18:52

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