Understanding Wittgenstein's On Certainty

Research output: Book/ReportBook


On Certainty is the last of the three great works that stake out the turning points of Wittgenstein's philosophy. As Avrum Stroll writes, On Certainty is 'a philosophical masterpiece comparable to the Tractatus and the Investigations' (Wittgenstein, 2002). And yet it has received nothing like the attention and recognition of the other two, and is only recently moving towards centre stage in Wittgenstein scholarship. Understanding Wittgenstein's On Certainty offers a smooth, consistent reading of a work whose genius lies in its revolutionary elucidation of the nature of our basic beliefs, as nonepistemic, nonpropositional certainties which manifest themselves in our ways of acting. In finding his way to this achievement, Wittgenstein manages to expose the impotence of philosophical scepticism, and to dissolve the incommensurability between mind and action. On Certainty counters what generations of philosophers have maintained, by showing that certainty is attainable, but that it is not a 'knowledgeable' notion. Understanding Wittgenstein's On Certainty is an in-depth study devoted exclusively to Wittgenstein's last work, and will prove of invaluable assistance to scholars and students of Wittgenstein, in philosophy, psychology, sociology and anthropology.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages264
ISBN (Print)9780230535534
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Wittgenstein, On Certainty, epistemology


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