1st Edition

Ethics in the Wake of Wittgenstein

Edited By Benjamin De Mesel, Oskari Kuusela Copyright 2019
    292 Pages
    by Routledge

    292 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book brings together essays from leading scholars who, rather than taking a strictly exegetical approach, attempt to show how discussions in moral philosophy can benefit from Wittgenstein’s later philosophical work. The essays in this volume make the argument that Wittgenstein’s relevance for moral philosophy depends not only on his views about ethics, but also on the methods he introduces, on his views on the nature of philosophy and philosophical problems, and on the insights into language developed in his philosophy. They also focus on the ‘Wittgensteinian tradition’ in moral philosophy and its relation to more mainstream analytic moral philosophy, addressing how several prominent philosophers use these ideas and methods in their work. Ethics in the Wake of Wittgenstein seeks to answer the following question: Can we apply Wittgenstein’s ways of dealing with problems in logic, philosophy of language, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of mathematics to moral philosophy as well? It will be of interest to Wittgenstein scholars and those working on current debates in moral philosophy, metaethics, and normative ethics.


    Oskari Kuusela and Benjamin De Mesel

    1. Logical-linguistic Method in Moral Philosophy: Resolving Problems from Iris Murdoch and Bernard Williams with Wittgenstein

    Oskari Kuusela

    2. Moral Concepts, ‘Natural Facts’ and Naturalism: Outline of a Wittgensteinian Moral Philosophy

    Edward Harcourt

    3. Boundless Nature: Virtue Ethics, Wittgenstein and Unrestricted Naturalism

    Anne-Marie Søndergaard Christensen

    4. Between Tradition and Criticism: The ‘Uncodifiability’ of the Normative

    Sabina Lovibond

    5. Rule-Following, Moral Realism and Non-Cognitivism Revisited

    Alex Miller

    6. Are Moral Judgments Semantically Uniform? A Wittgensteinian Approach to the Cognitivism - Non-Cognitivism Debate

    Benjamin De Mesel

    7. Truth in Ethics: Williams and Wiggins

    Cora Diamond

    8. Reasons to Be Good?

    Lars Hertzberg

    9. Hitting Moral Bedrock

    Jeremy Johnson

    10. Our Fellow Creatures

    Craig Taylor

    11. Comments on a Contested Comparison: Race and Animals

    Alice Crary

    12. The Ethical and the Political the Dilemma of Winch’s Vere

    Lynette Reid


    Benjamin De Mesel is a Postdoctoral Fellow of the FWO (Research Foundation Flanders) at KU Leuven, Belgium. He is the author of several articles on Wittgenstein and moral philosophy, and of The Later Wittgenstein and Moral Philosophy (2018).

    Oskari Kuusela is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of East Anglia. He is the author of The Struggle against Dogmatism: Wittgenstein and the Concept of Philosophy (Harvard UP, 2008), Key Terms in Ethics (2010), and Wittgenstein on Logic as the Method of Philosophy (2018).