Abstract:In this paper, I present Wittgenstein’s remarks on the structure of reason, drawing on the notions of “hinges” he developed in On Certainty. I then outline some of the unpalatable relativistic consequences that can be extracted by Wittgenstein’s epistemological views. Then, developing the similarities between Wittgenstein’s treatment of “hinges” and his views on metrology and religious beliefs, I aim to show that his remarks on the structure of reason, once correctly understood and developed, can help us to block rather than license relativistic conclusions. I argue that following Wittgenstein’s views on epistemology, we should be able to dismiss all the cases of apparent unsolvable disagreement between communities committed to radically different worldviews; this is so because, once seen in the light of his conception of the structure of reason, these disagreements are either solvable, as they are based on lack of knowledge and can thus be solved through education and training, or are mere pseudo-problems that stem from misguided comparisons between constitutively different language games and are thus the result of a misleading way of representing the nature and aim of our epistemic practices.
Wittgenstein-Studien – de Gruyter
Published: Feb 21, 2018
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