In this paper, I examine Wittgenstein’s earlier treatment of the relation between normativity and ethics. I argue that Wittgenstein’s philosophical method shapes his approach to metaphysics and the self and this, in turn, shapes his approach to ethics. The paper is divided into three parts. In Part 1, I examine Wittgenstein’s philosophical method in the Tractatus. In Part 2, I argue that exposure to the views of Schopenhauer, Russell and Mach shapes the evolution of Wittgenstein’s thinking on the self, leading him to reject restrictive (metaphysical) solipsism and to endorse a non-restrictive (philosophical) notion of the subject. In Part 3, I bring out the intimate connection that exists between Wittgenstein’s approaches to philosophical method, the self and ethics in the Tractatus. I argue that, for Wittgenstein, dissolving restrictive solipsism is ethically transforming: this dissolution retunes our dispositions to think and speak in a manner that reflects a greater clarity in our understanding of our place in the world – a clarity of understanding that is, in and of itself, ethically valuable.
|Title of host publication||Wittgenstein and Normative Inquiry|
|Editors||Mark Bevir, Andrius Galisanka|
|Place of Publication||Netherlands |
|Publisher||Brill Academic Publishers|
|Publication status||Published - 30 Jun 2016|
|Name||Studies in Moral Philosophy|