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2013 | nr 23 | 71 - 98

Article title

Wittgenstein i zagadka Anzelma



Title variants

Wittgenstein and Anselm’s Paradox

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The paper is devoted to the problem of the two paradoxes: the paradox of absolute value in Wittgenstein’s Lecture on Ethics and the paradox of Anselm’s Name of God from the Proslogion. I try to present semantic determinants of the paradoxes as well as similarities of their structures. However, the main part of the article focuses on the solution of Anselm’s paradox given by Cora Diamond, the prominent Wittgensteinian scholar in her paper Riddles and Anselm’s Riddle. Diamond develops extensive comparison of the concept of that than which nothing greater can be conceived and a series of peculiar riddles – she calls the Anselm’s concept the great riddle, since, as in other riddles presented, we cannot deal with it in a usual way. The author shows that what enables us to resolve, say, the riddle of Sphinx, is our obtaining a new way of understanding the words which compose the riddle itself, for the old way will not lead us to the proper answer. However, when it comes to the great riddle we know that we cannot obtain any way of understanding which will enable us to conceive it. This does not mean that the riddle cannot make any sense for us. We can believe that there is a solution (in fact, we have the solution – it has been given to us in the Revelation – but we cannot understand it) so we can treat the great riddle as an euqation which we lack proof but we know there is one. As Diamond calls it, we have the promissory meaning of the riddle. In my opinion the idea of the promissory meaning is an interesting solution of Anselm’s paradox, but I notice that the idea itself is conditioned by religious faith or by something I call the empathic atheism (in short: an attitude which lets atheists take the believers’ point of view).





71 - 98

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