Chapter Seven

A. W. Moore

in Points of View

Published in print March 2000 | ISBN: 9780198250623
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598050 | DOI:
 Chapter Seven

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There remains the problem of accounting for the appeal of transcendental idealism. Transcendental idealists themselves may say that there is nothing wrong with the doctrine, but only with the attempt to express it, the point being that it is inexpressibly true: but I argue that this does not extricate them from the trap of self‐stultification. An importantly different proposal, which I derive from the earlier work of Wittgenstein, is this: while we cannot coherently state that transcendental idealism is true we are shown that transcendental idealism is true, where ‘A is shown that x’ is defined as ‘(i) A has ineffable knowledge, and (ii) when an attempt is made to put that knowledge into words, the result is: x.’ I try to indicate how, provided we can make sense of (i) and (ii), this proposal has the threefold merit of: avoiding self‐stultification; being compatible with the incoherence of transcendental idealism; and providing an account of transcendental idealism's appeal.

Keywords: ineffable; knowledge; self‐stultification; transcendental idealism; Wittgenstein

Chapter.  10429 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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