Research seminar; Martin Kusch: Wittgenstein's "On Certainty" and Relativism

THE RESEARCH SEMINAR IN PHILOSOPHY meets on Thursdays from 16 to 18 in the department seminar room (Siltavuorenpenger 20 A, 2nd floor, room 222), unless stated otherwise. The meetings are open for all. Papers may be available on the home page of the research seminar (

Current program:

12. 2. Viktor Li (University of Toronto):"Modernity as White Mythology: Habermas's Theory of Social Evolution" or "Rationality and Loss: Habermas and the Recovery of the Pre-modern Other."

19.3. (16.15-18.15) Sirkku Ikonen and Jussi Backman: The Cassirer-Heidegger Debate at Davos: 80 Years After
   Sirkku Ikonen: From Ideas to Ideals: Cassirer's Critical Idealism
   Jussi Backman: After Idealism: Heidegger and the Kantian Legacy

23.4. Martin Kusch: Wittgenstein's On Certainty and Relativism
This paper focuses on the question whether On Certainty (=OC) leans towards epistemic relativism. In order to defend a (qualified) positive answer, I review the existing negative replies; suggest distinguishing between different forms of epistemic relativism; highlight relativistic tendencies in Wittgenstein's pre-OC writings; and outline OC's "well-structured synopsis" of cases in which an individual or a group denies or doubts one of our common-sense certainties.

The seminar is open for all, including students. Welcome!