(2012) Wittgenstein's Razor

Danièle Moyal-Sharrock


Lecture in Bergen 2012, Sep. 11. Action, in Wittgenstein, is at the origin of thought and language. That is, it has regained its rightful place in the description of our human mindedness – a place usurped by an inflated intellect and brain, in the form of content, propositions, representations, traces, or intelligent neurons. This, it is claimed, makes of Wittgenstein the first 'enactivist'. After briefly surveying the various ways in which Wittgenstein emphasizes the primacy of action in his account of mind, language and action, I pause on his 'enactivization' of basic beliefs and memory. I hope thereby to give an idea of how Wittgenstein's razor has pared off some of the excess in epistemology and philosophy of mind, while stressing that his enactivism is not anything added but rather what is left when our superfluous, unsubstantiated, explanation-hungry enhancements have been erased from the straight-forward picture of human action and cognition.


philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; 20th century philosophy; enactment; On Certainty; memory; action; non-propositionality

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