Howard Mounce: Wittgensteinian Transcendent Realism?

Michael Weston


Howard Mounce has published books on moral philosophy (co-authored with D.Z. Phillips), Wittgenstein’s Tractatus, American Pragmatism and David Hume, and articles on a wide range of topics from Zande witchcraft to the smell of coffee, many of which express a debt to the philosophy of Wittgenstein.  Such a bare summary, while suggesting what is true, that Mounce is a thinker who has contributed to a variety of philosophical ar-eas – ethics, metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of religion, and so forth – would fail to indicate a surprising unifying project which becomes increasingly apparent in his writings after the book on the Tractatus: the attempt to show that something like the classical or transcendent realism characteristic of Western philosophy from Plato to the end of the Middle Ages is justified and is in fact the message of Wittgenstein’s later writings.


20th century philosophy; Moral Practices; Mounce Howard; Rorty Richard; Swansea school; The Two Pragmatisms; Wittgenstein Ludwig; application of language; justification; knowledge; language; philosophy; transcendent realism; value

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