Volume 3 · Number 3 · Pages 221–225
Dualism Still at Work. On Wittgenstein’s Certainty

Sven Grampp

Log in to download the full text for free

> Citation > Similar > References > Add Comment


Problem: A dualistic position faces considerable problems as Mitterer, inter alia, clearly pointed out. Mitterer not only wants to name these problems, but to provide a genuine alternative with his non-dualism. However, this non-dualistic alternative also contains severe problems. Thus this text suggests preferring Wittgenstein’s concept of a pragmatic investigation of language-games to Mitterer’s non-dualism in order to tackle the problems of dualism. Solution: With recourse to Wittgenstein’s pragmatic investigation of language-games, a fundamental problem of dualism can be solved. With the concept of certainty, Wittgenstein succeeds in avoiding an ontological grounding in an independent world – or, as Mitterer would put it, the assumption of a “beyond of discourse.” At the same time, the assumption of an independent world as a concept that provides a basis for our language-games is maintained on an epistemological level. This assumption, however, is not maintained as a phenomenon that requires to be substantiated but as a certainty that is constitutive for language-games and does not need to be substantiated. Such a concept is suitable for preventing epistemological operations such as knowledge, doubt, giving reasons, etc., from being made void, without having to provide an ontological basis for them. Implications: Wittgenstein’s point of view therefore provides an attractive alternative to Mitterer’s non-dualism. By getting rid of the “beyond of discourse,” Mitterer’s non-dualism faces the problem of not being able to explain how we can manage to understand epistemological operations within our language-games without referring to a “beyond of discourse.” From this point of view arises the consequence that it would make sense to analyze language-games from a pragmatic standpoint rather than to keep on honing non-dualistic vocabulary.

Key words: dualism, pragmatic analysis, certainty, skepticism, language-games, Wittgenstein vs. Mitterer


Grampp S. (2008) Dualism still at work. On wittgenstein’s certainty. Constructivist Foundations 3(3): 221–225. http://constructivist.info/3/3/221

Export article citation data: Plain Text · BibTex · EndNote · Reference Manager (RIS)

Similar articles

Vörös S. (2014) The Uroboros of Consciousness: Between the Naturalisation of Phenomenology and the Phenomenologisation of Nature
Weiss M. G. (2013) Non-dualistic Sex. Josef Mitterer’s Non-dualistic Philosophy in the Light of Judith Butler’s (De)Constructivist Feminism
Riegler A. & Weber S. (2013) Non-dualism: A New Understanding of Language
Schmidt S. J. (2008) So Far – From Now On. Josef Mitterer’s Non-dualistic Critique of Radical Constructivism and Some Consequences
Vörös S. & Riegler A. (2017) A Plea for not Watering Down the Unseemly: Reconsidering Francisco Varela’s Contribution to Science


Bertram W., Lauer D., Liptow J. & Seel M. (2008) In der Welt der Sprache. Konsequenzen des semantischen Holismus. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Gabriel G. (1998) Grundprobleme der Erkenntnistheorie.Von Descartes zu Wittgenstein. Schöningh, Stuttgart. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Kober M. (1993) Gewißheit als Norm. Wittgensteins erkenntnistheoretische Untersuchungen in “Über Gewissheit.” De Gruyter, Berlin. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Mitterer J. (1992) Das Jenseits der Philosophie. Wider das dualistische Erkenntnisprinzip. Passagen, Vienna. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Mitterer J. (2001) Die Flucht aus der Beliebigkeit. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Weber S. (2005) Non-dualistische Medientheorie. Eine philosophische Grundlegung. UVK, Konstanz. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Wittgenstein L. (1969) On certainty. Edited by G. E. M. Anscombe & G. H. von Wright. Basil Blackwell, Oxford. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Wittgenstein L. (1971) Philosophische Untersuchungen [Philosophical investigations]. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main. Originally published in 1953. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Wright G. H. von (1986) Wittgenstein. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar

Comments: 0

To stay informed about comments to this publication and post comments yourself, please log in first.