Scepticism and Later Wittgenstein

Priyambada Sarkar


Wittgenstein’s remarks on skepticism in On Certainty have eluded its commentators for
years. On the one hand Wittgenstein seems to offer a critique of Moore’s refutations
of skepticism, on the other hand he seems to confer a special status to those very
propositions with which Moore combated skepticism. We find Wittgenstein offering
arguments against skepticism on the one hand; on the other hand some of his own
remarks in On Certainty openly embrace relativism, the most troubling form of
skepticism in epistemology. Hence the problem is: How to interpret Wittgenstein? Was
he a skeptic or a non-skeptic? If we treat him as a skeptic, he obviously faces the
charge of being inconsistent in On Certainty; if a non-skeptic, certainly those
paragraphs with skeptical overtones pose a serious problem for commentators. In this
paper an attempt will be made to offer a way out of this dilemma.


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; skepticism; I know; hinge proposition; framework

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