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By Wittgenstein Ludwig.; Wittgenstein, Ludwig; Cavell, Stanley; Wittgenstein, Ludwig

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Extra info for The claim of reason : Wittgenstein, skepticism, morality, and tragedy

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I have nothing more to go on than my conviction, my sense that I make sense. It may prove to be the case that I am wrong, that my conviction isolates me, from all others, from myself. That will not be the same as a discovery that I am dogmatic or egomaniacal. The wish and search for community are the wish and search for reason. Wittgenstein, in sampling what we say, goes beyond the mere occurrence of the words, in ways that make him unlike other philosophers who proceed from ordinary language; unlike Austin, say.

It is inevitable in such discussions that the question of the "age of consent" or the "age of reason" be raised. The idea is that it is a precondition of consent, on anybody's view of what consent may be, that each individual must give his own and that it cannot be given until the individual is in command of his own mind. The problem is then to specify what "command of one's own mind" consists in. Is it some intellectual or moral accomplishment? Then what is one supposed to know, or be able to use one's reason for?

But when and where is this? Who is to say when? — These are not my problems at the moment. Anyone has as much right or need to say as anyone else; and when one will or must admit the exhaustion of reasons is in each case an empirical question. My problem is rather to see what kind of crossroads this is. When Wittgenstein, or at this stage any philosopher appealing to ordinary language, "says what we say", what he produces is not a generalization (though he may, later, generalize), but a (supposed) instance of what we say.

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