University of Hertfordshire

Two Wittgensteins too many: Wittgenstein's foundationalism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  • D. Hutto
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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Third Wittgenstein
PublisherAshgate Publishing
Publication statusPublished - 2004


In his contribution to this volume, Avrum Stroll makes the assertion that there is ‘a feature of [Wittgenstein's] later philosophy that occurs only in On Certainty. This is a unique form of foundationalism that is neither doxastic nor non-doxastic' (Stroll, this volume, p. 2). He also holds that Wittgenstein’s increased attention to metaphorical language in explicating this foundationalism is yet another feature that sets it apart from the rest of his corpus. I raise doubts about appealing to either of these aspects as a rationale for identifying a third Wittgenstein. I argue that Wittgenstein's commitment to foundationalism – to the extent we should recognise it at all – and his concern with the non-literal are not unprecedented; they are present in his earliest writings.


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