It seems that today the common opinion is that Wittgenstein "killed" philosophical skepticism with his Philosophical Investigations (PI) and his private language argument.

After PI, the number of skeptical philosophers decreased radically. Nevertheless from what I've heard from a teacher there are skeptics today (even if the number of them is considerably smaller compared to what it used to be).

If some philosophers are skeptics today, how have they justified their skepticism towards the existence of a world (or everyone) after the impossibility of a private language? Or what reasons do skeptics give to reject the argument that claims of a private language is not possible?

  • I think this question could use some additional context and definitions. Philosophical skepticism is the idea that we should require justification before accepting a belief. If you abandon skepticism, then it becomes OK to accept things despite having no justification, including skepticism. I can't imagine this is this concept Wittgenstein "killed" with his PLA, so I'd like an elaboration on what exactly is being argued against.
    – David H
    Nov 21 '14 at 8:17
  • I think you might be overgeneralizing "common opinion". While there aren't many committed skeptics, it may or may not have anything to do with Wittgenstein...
    – virmaior
    Nov 21 '14 at 11:41
  • Also, good luck getting people to agree on what the Private Language argument is or means.
    – virmaior
    Nov 21 '14 at 11:42
  • After P.I, the number of sceptics philosophers decreased radically -> Would be interesting to see statistics on this, lol. Also, it sounds more like you are referring to On Certainty, which was posthumous and although looks to be based on P.I., could not have had the radical impact you are attributing to it. You've also assumed, in the last paragraph, that all contemporary philosophers worship at the altar of Wittgenstein. I don't see how the answer to the question in your title would be any different if you removed "today" from the end. Nov 21 '14 at 13:34
  • It would be a much better question if you could outline briefly Wittgenstein's undercutting of extreme skepticism (he evidently does) and ask what critical responses there are/could be to that. Nov 21 '14 at 13:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.