It is probably uncontroversial to describe Ludwig Wittgenstein as one of the twentieth century’s greatest philosophers. In my less charitable moods I’d be tempted to say that this is rather like being one of Kansas City’s tallest buildings. Still, his vast influence over the philosophies that come after him is undeniable – but I often wonder why.
I’m led to think about Wittgenstein by a few recent comments from Thill, quoting a text called On Certainty. Readers might recall that in my most extensive reading of Wittgenstein to date – looking at the Philosophical Investigations – the main effect he had on my thought was to push me away from his thought and closer to the thinkers he disliked, like Plato and Augustine. But a brief look at On Certainty does even less for my estimation of Wittgenstein as a thinker. Continue reading