Volume 90, Issue 2, Spring 2016
Asymmetries in Thinking about Thought
Anscombe and Wiggins
My essay is concerned with two kinds of case of asymmetries in thinking about thought. If one says that there is nothing else to think but that so and so, one may mean either that there are no considerations which could make it reasonable to think the opposite, or that to think anything else is to be in a muddle, not really to be thinking anything. A case of the latter sort is important in Elizabeth Anscombe’s criticism of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus, while a case of the former sort is important for David Wiggins’s thought about truth in ethics. After setting out the issues, I examine Anscombe’s view and situate it in relation to ideas of Frege’s and Wittgenstein’s. I then turn to ethics and consider the relation between Anscombe’s view and that of Wiggins.