A Pragmatist Conception of Certainty: Wittgenstein and Santayana

Guy Andrew Bennett-Hunter

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The ways in which Wittgenstein was directly influenced by William James (by
his early psychological work as well his later philosophy) have been thoroughly explored and charted by Russell B. Goodman. In particular, Goodman has drawn attention to the pragmatist resonances of the Wittgensteinian notion of hinge propositions as developed and articulated in the posthumously edited and published work, On Certainty. This paper attempts to extend Goodman’s observation, moving beyond his focus on James (specifically, James’s Pragmatism) as his pragmatist reference point. It aims to articulate the affinity between Wittgenstein’s thought on the topic of certainty and that of the neglected
pragmatist thinker, George Santayana.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-157
Number of pages12
JournalWittgenstein and Pragmatism: A Reassessment, special issue, European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 26 Dec 2012


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