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Social Inquiry After Wittgenstein and KuhnLeaving Everything as It Is$
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John Gunnell

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231169400

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231169400.001.0001

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Wittgenstein on the Moon

Wittgenstein on the Moon

Certainty, Truth, & Value

(p.199) 7 Wittgenstein on the Moon
Social Inquiry After Wittgenstein and Kuhn

John G. Gunnell

Columbia University Press

This chapter explores Wittgenstein's On Certainty as an entry into the problem of judgment as it is evident in the social and human sciences and their search for grounds of empirical and ethical evaluation and prescription. The argument here, however, is there are no such general answers. Both Wittgenstein and Kuhn state that making judgments is easy, but signifying them always comes down to persuasion within and between social practices. The chapter looks at Wittgenstein's earliest work Tractatus—its criticisms and relationship to his later work, particularly the discontinuities between Tractatus and the Investigations, which Wittgenstein himself stressed. The rest of the chapter analyzes how Wittgenstein's ethics and values serve as basis for a critical evaluation of what is referred to in the social and human sciences as normative theory and inquiry.

Keywords:   Ludwig Wittgenstein, On Certainty, problem of judgment, Thomas Kuhn, Tractatus, Wittgensteinian ethics, normative theory

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