The Erosion of Certainty

Silvia Lanzetta


This paper gives an account of the eroding action operated by Wittgenstein on the
concept of ‘certainty’. Wittgenstein’s difficulties in totally refusing Moore’s
‘common-sense’ certainty and in leaving the Tractarian reminiscences behind engender
ambiguities in his discourse. Yet, all the dichotomies that seem to stem from
Wittgenstein’s opposition between scientific certainty and certainty as
unquestionable sureness will prove, in the end, onlyapparent. The certainty of Über
Gewissheit is polymorph, and the title that Wittgenstein’s executors gave to the
collection of his last notes is ineluctably poly-sense.


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; uncertainty; sense data; perception; experience; introspection; epistemology; skepticism; knowledge; incommensurability; post-modernism

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