Wittgenstein enters the scene

Stig Stenholm

in The Quest for Reality

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199603589
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729270 | DOI:
Wittgenstein enters the scene

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Here this chapter summarizes the life and achievements of Wittgenstein. The chapter traces the philosophical background of his activity, stressing especially the role of Boltzmann. Wittgenstein never became Boltzmann's student but was, obviously, strongly influenced by him. The chapter also contends that the opinions of Boltzmann's were very similar to those of pragmatism, even if it is highly unlikely that Boltzmann knew any works by William James. Here the chapter also summarize the conventional description of Wittgenstein's thoughts, the early and the later ones. There are, in fact, lots of similarities between them: his problems remained largely the same, but the early certainty was replaced by an extensive scepticism and feeling of helplessness in view of the immense problems offered by life and logic. The section is concluded by the discussion on Certainty originating from lectures delivered by the philosopher George Edward Moore.

Keywords: certainty; Moore; Boltzmann; pragmatism; James

Chapter.  16104 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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