Wittgenstein’s anti-scientistic worldview
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Wittgenstein’s anti-scientistic worldview book
This chapter outlines ways in which Wittgenstein's opposition to scientism is manifest in his later conception of philosophy and the negative attitude he held towards his times. The later Wittgenstein drew a firm distinction between philosophy and science. He held that philosophy is an entirely a priori discipline concerned only with dissolving philosophical problems. Spengler exerted a strong influence on Wittgenstein's negative appraisal of the Zeitgeist. Wittgenstein held a vehemently negative attitude towards his times. Originally scientism wasn't pejorative. Coined in roughly the mid-nineteenth century, the term acquired a pejorative use in the early twentieth century, something to the effect of excessive belief in the power of science. The arguments of the chapter can be broken down into three claims. First, that Wittgenstein's anti-scientism plays an important role in his later conception of philosophy. Second, in his negative cultural outlook. Third, that Wittgenstein's anti-scientism provides a means of understanding the relation between these two areas of his thought.