Wittgenstein on the Structure of Justification: Breaking New Epistemological Ground

Caraway, Carol (2003) Wittgenstein on the Structure of Justification: Breaking New Epistemological Ground. In: UNSPECIFIED Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society, pp. 78-80.

[thumbnail of caraway.pdf] PDF

Download (159kB)


I shall investigate Wittgenstein's view of the structure of
justification comparing it to Foundationalism, Holistic Coherentism,
and Contextualism. Remarks in On Certainty
(1969) appear to commit Wittgenstein to each of these
theories, and scholars have attributed each theory to him. I
argue that Wittgenstein's remarks fit neither these theories,
nor a sort of combination theory. Wittgenstein breaks new
epistemological ground.
The issue of the structure of justification arises from the
regress problem. An inferential belief gets its justification
from other beliefs, producing a belief chain. This chain, or
regress, either continues indefinitely or ends. If it continues
indefinitely, then it either goes on forever (Infinitism) or
circles back upon itself (Linear Coherentism)--two problematic
positions I will not discuss. If the regress ends, it
ends in beliefs that are directly or non-inferentially justified.
The regress problem thus delineates three possible structures,
and four possible theories, of justification: an infinite
chain of beliefs (Infinitism), a circular chain of beliefs
(Linear Coherentism), and a finite chain of beliefs (Foundationalism
and Contextualism).

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Justification; Contextualism; Holistic Coherentism; Foundationalism; Moore, G.E.; Quine, W.v.O; 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: Wolfgang Heuer
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2020 14:36
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2020 14:36
URI: http://sammelpunkt.philo.at/id/eprint/2999

Actions (login required)

View Item
View Item