Nordic Wittgenstein Review 2019-07-20T22:50:19+02:00 Simo Säätelä Open Journal Systems <p><strong><em>Nordic Wittgenstein Review</em> (NWR)</strong> publishes original contributions on all aspects of Wittgenstein's thought and work.&nbsp;Each issue includes a peer-reviewed articles section, an archival section, and a book review section. In addition, most issues include&nbsp;an invited paper and/or an interview. The journal is published by the Nordic Wittgenstein Society (NWS).</p> <p>eISSN 2242-248X</p> Editorial Note 2019-07-20T22:50:12+02:00 Simo Säätelä <p>A note on the special issue from the editor-in-chief.</p> 2019-07-08T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Introduction: ‘Post-Truth’? 2019-07-20T22:50:13+02:00 Rupert Read Timur Uçan <p>This paper introduces the Special Issue on 'post-truth'. The contributions to this special issue try between them to strike a right balance. To establish how new ‘post-truthism’ really is – or isn’t. To seek a point of reflection on whatever is new in our current socio-political straits. And to consider seriously how philosophy can help. Whether by wondering about the extent to which reason, or truth, may rightly, if one follows Wittgenstein, be viewed in certain respects as a constraint upon thought or opinion. Or indeed by wondering whether we still have a long way to go in approaching truth at all.</p> 2019-07-08T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## The Problem of Domination by Reason and Its Non-Relativistic Solution 2019-07-20T22:50:15+02:00 Oskari Kuusela <p>This paper outlines a solution to what can be called “the problem of domination by reason”, “conceptual domination” or “clarificatorory injustice”, connected with how a philosopher may appear to be in a position to legitimately coerce, by means of arguments, an interlocutor who shares with her a concept or a conceptual system to accept a philosophical characterization of a concept or whatever the concept concerns. The proposed solution is based on a particular interpretation of what Wittgenstein means by agreement in his later philosophy, when he says that philosophy only states what anyone grants to it. Wittgenstein’s view and the proposed solution are characterized by their continued recognition of the value of logic and reason, truth and knowledge, as opposed to attempting to solve the problem by embracing relativism and questioning the value of the logic, reason, truth and knowledge. Relevant kind of disagreements licence no relativistic conclusions, because problems relating to them can be solved without going this far.</p> <p>Keywords: domination, relativism, Wittgenstein, method, agreement</p> 2019-07-08T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Two Forms of Domination by Reason 2019-07-20T22:50:19+02:00 Matteo Falomi <p>In his paper "The Problem of Domination by Reason and its Non-Relativist Solution" Oskari Kuusela describes a problem about our conception of rationality, which he labels the problem of “domination by reason”. This problem has contributed to generate, Kuusela notes, a widespread dissatisfaction with reason, which has resulted in a tendency to discard ideals of rationality altogether. Kuusela, in his paper, provides a response to this dissatisfaction. He argues that Wittgenstein, if we read him correctly, exemplifies a conception of reason that doesn’t incur the problem he indicates. In my&nbsp;response, I&nbsp;suggest a possible extension of Kuusela’s reflections. Domination by reason, as I argue, may also take another form, different from the one recognized by&nbsp;Kuusela. This alternative form is interesting for two reasons. First, those concerned about rationality’s dominance have quite often in mind this latter problem. Second, it is not obvious that the alternative version of the problem can be solved by appealing to the conception of rationality Kuusela locates in Wittgenstein: it could even be argued that such a conception, on a certain construal, may contribute to reinforcing it. I suggest that,&nbsp;if we focus solely on the aspects of Wittgenstein’s method highlighted in Kuusela’s paper, then such methods may be taken to promote domination by reason (in the&nbsp;alternative sense I introduce). There are, however, other aspects of Wittgenstein’s philosophy - most notably, his conception of ethical language - which may help us to dispel this version of the problem.</p> <p>Keywords: Wittgenstein, rationality, modernity, clarification, James Baldwin</p> 2019-06-07T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## What to Do with Post-Truth 2019-07-20T22:50:16+02:00 Lorna Finlayson <p>Recent political developments have made the notion of 'post-truth' ubiquitous.&nbsp; Along with associated terms such as 'fake news' and 'alternative facts', it appears with regularity in coverage of and commentary on Donald Trump, the Brexit vote, and the role – relative to these phenomena – of a half-despised, half-feared creature known as 'the public'.&nbsp; It has become commonplace to assert that we now inhabit, or are entering, a post-truth world.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;In this paper, I issue a sceptical challenge against the distinctiveness and utility of the notion of post-truth. I argue, first, that the term fails to capture anything that is both real and novel. Moreover, post-truth discourse often has a not-fully-explicit political force and function: to ‘irrationalise’ political disaffection and to signal loyalty to a ‘pre-post-truth’ political status quo. The central insight of the speech act theory of J. L. Austin and others – that <em>saying </em>is always also <em>doing</em> – is as indispensable for understanding the significance of much of what is labelled ‘post-truth’, I’ll argue, as it is for understanding the significance of that very act of labelling.</p> <p>Keywords: post-truth, speech acts, Trump, brexit, Austin</p> 2019-07-08T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## What Is New in Our Time 2019-07-20T22:50:14+02:00 Rupert Read <p>Finlayson argues that ‘post-truth’ is nothing new. In this response, I motivate a more modest position: that it is something new, to some extent, albeit neither radically new nor brand new.</p> <p>I motivate this position by examining the case of climate-change-denial, called by some <em>post-truth before 'post-truth'.</em></p> <p>I examine here the (over-determined) nature of climate-denial. What precisely are its attractions?; How do they manage to outweigh its glaring, potentially-catastrophic downsides? I argue that the most crucial of all attractions of climate-denial is that it involves the denier in a kind of fantasised power over reality itself: namely, over the nature of our planetary system, and thus of life itself. Climate-denial pretends to give the denier a power greater than that of nature, including in nature's 'rebellion' against humanity, what James Lovelock calls Gaia's incipient and coming 'fever'.</p> <p>Climate-denial seems to give the denier freedom from truth itself, in the case of the most consequential truth at present bearing down upon humanity. The most crucial of all the attractions of climate-denial is then that it provides would-be libertarians an ultimate freedom. They reject the reality of human-triggered climate-change, in the end, because <em>they are unwilling to be ‘bound’ by anything, not even truth itself.</em></p> <p>Climate-denial has been around for a while, but not for more than 30-35 years or so. I thus suggest that Finlayson is right to be sceptical of the claim that post-truth is radically new and extremely recent, but I suggest that it is <em>relatively</em>new and has been with us for only about a generation or at most two.</p> <p>Keywords:&nbsp;climate-change, climate-denial, libertarianism, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein</p> 2019-07-08T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Pre-Truth Life in Post-Truth Times 2019-07-20T22:50:15+02:00 Joel Backström <p class="western" lang="en-GB" align="justify"><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="color: #1c1c1c;"><span style="font-family: Calibri, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><span lang="en-GB">Clearing philosophical ground for diagnoses of the contemporary ‘post-truth’-problematic, this article discusses the systematic and ineliminable ambivalence of claims to truth in public discourse and collective life generally, where truth cannot ultimately be disentangled from untruth. Truth becomes a problem in the relevant sense only where matters are morally-existentially charged, so that acknowledging truth threatens, e.g., loss of self-respect, and self-deception becomes tempting, individually and collectively. To the extent that our life is marked by injustice and destructiveness, it is necessarily also marked by systematic falsification, a conspiracy to deny the truth about it, about us. </span></span></span></span></span><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="color: #1c1c1c;"><span style="font-family: Calibri, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><span lang="en-GB">C</span></span></span></span></span><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="color: #1c1c1c;"><span style="font-family: Calibri, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><span lang="en-GB">ollective life </span></span></span></span></span><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="color: #1c1c1c;"><span style="font-family: Calibri, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><span lang="en-GB">exhibits </span></span></span></span></span><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="color: #1c1c1c;"><span style="font-family: Calibri, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><span lang="en-GB"> pervasive hostility to interpersonal (moral) understanding, which is repressed through collectively established fake ‘understandings’ and regimes of respectability. The fact/opinion and fact/value distinctions function as defences against understanding, while meaning and truth are seen as things to be </span></span></span></span></span><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="color: #1c1c1c;"><span style="font-family: Calibri, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><span lang="en-GB">determined rather than understood, and the concept of representatability, </span></span></span></span></span><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="color: #1c1c1c;"><span style="font-family: Calibri, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><span lang="en-GB">how things can be made to appear, becomes central. However, standard philosophical views </span></span></span></span></span><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="color: #1c1c1c;"><span style="font-family: Calibri, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><span lang="en-GB">on</span></span></span></span></span><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="color: #1c1c1c;"><span style="font-family: Calibri, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><span lang="en-GB"> truth, meaning and morality render the problematic </span></span></span></span></span><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="color: #1c1c1c;"><span style="font-family: Calibri, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><span lang="en-GB">sketched here</span></span></span></span></span><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="color: #1c1c1c;"><span style="font-family: Calibri, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><span lang="en-GB"> invisible, because they effectively move – as Wittgenstein arguably realised – wholly within the collective perspective that needs to be problematised.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p>Keywords: moral understanding, self-deception, collective life, representation, conspiracy theories, political corrrectness</p> 2019-07-08T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Life and Truth 2019-07-20T22:50:18+02:00 Hugo Strandberg <p class="NWRabstractbio"><span lang="EN-GB">The “post-truth” phenomenon is not primarily a cognitive problem, but a moral or existential problem, a problem of self-deception. But what does this mean? In order to clarify that, two things need to be discussed. First, if the conception of belief is rejected according to which a belief has sense in isolation from the roles it, and the holding of it, plays in our lives, then the problem of self-deception needs to be met as a problem of life. Second, a problem of life is not something that individuals get into all by themselves. In other words, ways of living can be self-deceptive. The task of the text is hence to discuss some of the ways in which truth, belief and self-deception unfold on this non-individual level, specifically on the political one.</span></p> <p>Keywords: post-truth, self-deception, belief, democracy, Simone Weil</p> 2019-07-08T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement##