Abstract for Kuusela’s Talk

Philosophers have postulated a variety of non-temporal entities and structures as the object of their statements and theories in order to explain the exceptionless generality, i.e. universality, and necessity characteristic of philosophical statements. Examples of such postulates are Plato’s forms, Kant’s transcendental structures, Husserl’s pure essences, Russell’s logical forms, and so on. A simpler and ontologically less costly way of explaining the same can be found in Wittgenstein’s later philosophy. Wittgenstein characterizes the use of philosophical statements as non-temporal, and explains the universality and necessity of philosophical statements in this way, with reference to their use rather than postulated object. This account also promises to solve the notorious problem of the justification of philosophical (metaphysical) claims concerning non-temporal entities and structures. Without putting emphasis on Wittgenstein-exegesis, in my talk I discuss the problem and theoretical merits of the proposed Wittgensteinian account regarding the logical role or function of philosophical statements and their justification.