Wittgenstein’s Conception of Hypotheses in Chapters XII and XXII of ‘Philosophical Remarks’ and the Function of Language

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Abstract

In this paper, I explore Wittgenstein’s conception of a hypothesis as articulated in Chapters XII and XXII of ‘Philosophical Remarks’. First, I argue that in Chapter XII, Wittgenstein draws on his account of infinity to begin to challenge the view that all hypotheses can be proven by empirical evidence. I then argue that in Chapter XXII that Wittgenstein sharpens this conception of hypotheses claiming that no hypotheses can be verified. Finally, I suggest that Wittgenstein’s conception of a hypothesis relates to his practical view of how language functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-188
Number of pages26
JournalPhilosophical Investigations
Volume44
Issue number2
Early online date2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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