Wittgenstein, Psychological Self-Ascriptions and the Moral Dimension of Our Inner Lives

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The aim of this chapter is to open the question of this pervasiveness of the moral by arguing for the impossibility of delimiting the moral in one specific case, that of psychological self-ascription. The first part presents two views of the relationship between nature and morality found in forms of scientific and relaxed naturalism. In the main part, I argue, first, that psychological self-ascriptions are in most cases not to be understood on the standard model of observation and descriptions, but rather as expressions of thoughts and feelings already present for us. And in the second, I contend that psychological self-ascriptions therefore always involve elements of endorsement and responsibility, which means that they are ways of situating ourselves morally in relations to others.

Ludwig Wittgenstein Psychological self-ascription Scientific naturalism Relaxed naturalism Responsibility
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMoral Foundations of Philosophy of Mind
EditorsJ. Backström, H. Nykänen, N. Toivakainen, T. Wallgren
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication date2019
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-18491-9
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-18492-6
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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