Wittgenstein Workshop: Gilad Nir "The Riddle of Transformation and the Nature of Philosophical Truth"
Friday, October 11, 2019 at 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Albert and Vera List Academic Center, D906 6 East 16th Street , New York, NY 10003
There are intellectual challenges that can neither be resolved by the discovery of missing pieces of information nor by construction of better arguments. What is called for in such cases is not mere persuasion, but a form of intellectual transformation. Wittgenstein sought to respond to the problems of philosophy along similar lines. But the need for the notion of intellectual transformation arises in other contexts, as well, including the context of moral progress, which Cora Diamond explores in her recent work. Various philosophical difficulties stand in the way of embracing the idea that transformation has any role to play when it comes to questions of truth and of value. In particular, it seems that we must either bracket the psychological, historical and anthropological perspectives which the notion of transformation opens up, or else succumb to some form of relativism. My aim in this paper is to show how Wittgenstein and Diamond chart a middle course between these two extremes.
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