“Certainty, experience and animality: Wittgenstein’s and McDowell’s conceptions on being in the world”
The following paper proposes an alternative reading of Wittgenstein’s On Certainty from Mind and World, by John McDowell. We will focus on those aspects of their works which we think we need to clarify in order to solve the individual-world relation: the concepts of certainty, animality and experience.
In dealing with the skeptical method some interpretations present certain problems: from a foundationalist picture, we fall into the Myth of the Given: our certainties would be inherited from something unknown which is outside the space of the agent and divides the subject metaphysically in two parts. On the other side, non-foundationalist views leads ourselves to coherentist positions, where our relation with the world seems questioned by the epistemological status: our excercises of spontaneity would run without friction and that kind of risk leaves us without knowing an objective world.
We offer an instance that overcomes these difficulties at making a comparative scheme: we will discuss Wittgenstein’s concepts of experience and animality considering McDowell’s notions of Minimal Empirism and Second Nature. By linking these elements we will help in our reading: we need to clarify how certainties are draw into a normative framework without infringe upon the relation between subject and world.