Wittgenstein on Understanding Other Cultures

In: Grazer Philosophische Studien

In this article I discuss Wittgenstein's view of what is involved in understanding other cultures. I show that he is not committed to cultural relativism, as some of his critics argue. As he sees it, the real differences between cultures do not involve any fundamental conceptual, epistemic or other barriers that would make it impossible for us to understand and criticise other cultures. Shared forms of life and man's natural history provide a foothold for us when we attempt to understand other cultures.

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