Wittgenstein: Transcendental Idealist?
Weyls (Simon)
Source: Sorites 14, October 2002: 117-121
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

    In Jonathan Lear’s and Barry Stroud’s essay «The Disappearing We,» Lear presents Wittgenstein as transcendental idealist and parallels him with Kant. Stroud, while willing to grant some degree of Kantianness to Wittgenstein, is unwilling to press the parallel as far as Lear does. I will argue that both Lear’s account of Wittgenstein as Kantian, and Stroud’s objections as to the extent to which the parallel can be taken, are fraught with difficulties. I will attempt to show that the difficulties center on what I take to be Wittgenstein’s paradoxical relationship with synthetic a priori judgments. If, like Kant, Wittgenstein holds them to undergird the sciences, then, contrary to what he maintains, he is not entitled to hold that concepts different from the ones we are used to are intelligible. On the other hand, if Wittgenstein rejects them and, consequently, their foundational status, he is committed to either one of two views, both of which he seems to reject — that mathematical statements are revisable in light of empirical facts, or that they are mere tautologies.


Filed electronically with the full edition of Sorites 14

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