Featured in The Map Is Indestructible by O.G. Rose

Certainty Deterrence and Ideology Preservation

O.G. Rose
23 min readNov 21, 2023

Exploring On Certainty by Ludwig Wittgenstein

Photo by engin akyurt

A prime way humans preserve ideology is with “certainty,” and yet we learn in “On Certainty” by O.G. Rose that certainty is mostly impossible, so what’s going on? Well, it might be that “certainty” isn’t so much a term that describes the likelihood that an idea is right, but instead the term might have more to do with how much we need an idea to be right to hold our world together: what we are certain in might have less to do with “what we are confident in” as it does with “that which is too central to be false.” Certainty might reflect an emotional nervousness more than it reflects a product of well-earned investigation, and so central is the idea that we are certain about that we might want the idea “to vanish,” per se, which is to say we want to remove it from focus, for what we focus on is that which we might think about, while what we rarely focus on can avoid being considered (“practically invisible”).

The premises which we are certain about might be those that, if not true, would cause our entire “nest” of premises to collapse, which is to say our entire ideology, “map,” and/or “internally consistent system” which makes possible our entire network of rationality (perhaps unveiling our entire “being true” as false). And it is precisely because this is the case that we are “certain”: our certainty might have no more foundation than the fact that, if what we are certain about wasn’t true, everything we believed would fall apart. This is metaphorically similar to how during the Cold War America was protected by “nuclear deterrence”: since it was the case that if either America or Russia launched a nuke the world would end, there was no reason for anyone to launch one. “Mutually assured destruction” saved us; likewise, “total worldview collapse” might ground certainty.

To be clear and to reiterate: in actuality, as discussed in The Conflict of Mind by O.G. Rose, “certainly” is mostly impossible, whereas “confidence” is very possible. In this work, when we discuss “certainty,” we are asking how it might still exist beyond very general and perhaps meaningless ways (such as “I’m certain that something is thinking something,” etc.)? Mainly, we will explore how certainty is a form of intellectual deterrence, not only in presenting itself as necessary “or else,” but also in that if other people deconstruct my certainty, it also unveils the possibility of their certainty being deconstructed — a realization few will be willing to risk. As a result, people might naturally leave one another alone best they can, until that is they are forced to interact due to Globalization and Pluralism (bringing us to the world described in Belonging Again). Once that occurs, we might search to regain “certainty” by falling into totalitarianism, fundamentalism, or worse.


Audio Summary

The most profound writer on certainty I know of was Ludwig Wittgenstein, and I believe his work On Certainty is invaluable. The book centers around G.E. Moore’s “here is a hand”-argument, and uses Moore’s writing as a springboard for explorations on thought, worldview, and doubt. Moore’s argument is a defense of “common sense” and belief in the external world, and to put it simply, Moore claimed that because I know I have two hands, I know there are two external objects in the world, and that therefore the external world exists. This argument struck Wittgenstein as very important, and it launched Wittgenstein into writing a work that I believe offers great insight into the function of certainty and points to the truth that certainty is ultimately about ideology preservation more than its about “knowing what we know” (certainty is more a defense than a state).

If beliefs are isolated, an idea of deterrence doesn’t make much sense, because the fate of one belief only impacts itself, but if Wittgenstein is right that beliefs are connected, then “certainty as deterrence” becomes possible. Furthermore, we can glimpse why it is philosophy seems to always start a long chain of endless questions (take a dialogue from Plato), where one topic leads to another to another — on and on. Is this just because philosophers like to be difficult? No, it is not philosophers who say “create” these networks and chains of beliefs, but beliefs themselves which are necessarily “net-worked” (“worked into nets”) (which offers a new take on Wittgenstein’s comparison between tradition and spiderwebs). Philosophy simply unveils the true nature of beliefs and ideas, which naturally “seem to be” isolated premises, but in truth there is no such thing as an “isolated premise.” All notions are relational. (All notions are dialectical, alluding to Hegel).

On Certainty by Ludwig Wittgenstein

We tend to take the time to say, “I know (I have a hand),” when we are trying to make a philosophical point: it is not a point we tend to make in “common life,” and yet everyday life is where common sense is used. Moore’s “here is a hand”-argument is hence a defense of common sense in being an argument that wouldn’t explicitly arise in common life (the point of the argument is that the argument isn’t made), which means there is something paradoxical about a defense of common sense using philosophical speech. In a sense, as David Hume understood, so long as a person engages in philosophy, the person will not grasp a defense of common sense, but as soon as the person enters into common life, the person can grasp and practice common sense, finding that common sense functions perfectly well (Nietzsche’s “centipede” comes to mind).

In the “language game” of philosophy, common sense cannot easily be defended, but outside of philosophy in common life, common sense is so undeniable that it hardly needs an argument or defense (we “just use” our hands). And recognizing this quandary and paradox about Moore’s argument, Wittgenstein began exploring what exactly Moore’s argument was all about. Though it seems to be an argument about common sense, since common sense doesn’t really need defense outside philosophy (without risking Hume’s dangerous “heroic ascent”), Wittgenstein concluded that the argument was actually about “the nature of certainty.” To put it another way, Wittgenstein recognized that the “I know” is the most important part of Moore’s assertion that “I know I have a hand.”


Wittgenstein notes that we believe Moore ‘without being able to say how.’¹ The same holds true when it comes to ideas such as ‘my body has never disappeared and reappeared again after an interval.’² This is a premise that we don’t actually know for sure to be true, and yet, all the same, we are “certain” it is true. This strikes Wittgenstein as strange, and he notes ‘the truths which Moore says he knows, are such as, roughly speaking, all of us know, if he knows them.’³ What is the nature of this kind of truth, one in which “we all just know” without really being able to say how we know them? From where does the certainty come from for us to be able to say, “I know,” seeing that we may not actually know?

When it comes to determining what it is true, it is not a single judgment that is made solid to us, but always ‘a totality of judgments.’⁴ Wittgenstein claims that ‘the truth of certain empirical propositions belongs to our frame of reference,’ and likewise recognizes that ‘the truth of certain empirical propositions’ is relative to “the system” (or “totality of judgments”) in which the propositions are located and situated within.⁵ In other words, the “truthfulness” of the propositions are located within a network of truths: outside the network, the same propositions would lack “truthfulness” (every “map” is a “network” and “totality of judgments/positions”). The propositions get their truth-ness precisely from being in the network; any of the propositions that were true in the network might cease to be true outside it, and furthermore, if any of the truths could be removed from the network as false, the entire network might collapse.

If it ceased to be true that “I know I have a hand,” it would also cease to be true that “I know I have a foot,” for with the first can go my entire assurance of the existence of the external world. And once that is gone, everything I learn about history, chemistry, other people, etc. also gives away. Similarly, to give another example: if I’m a Christian, then an entire “network of beliefs” about the world follows (by accepting one belief, I accept many; by stepping into one truth, I step into a network of truths). In believing “Jesus was God,” I then easily believe in the possibility of miracles, the possibility of God entering into history, the distinction between Reason and Revelation, and so on, and even if I don’t believe a particular miracle of Jesus or a particular interpretation of the Bible, at the very lease I am now “open” to them as possible (and thus something which is worthy of mental energy to consider). If I conclude that “being rational” entails “believing Jesus Christ was Lord,” then I am lead from one “being true” (God Doesn’t Exist) into another (God Does Exist), and by stepping into this, what constitutes “being rational” transforms, perhaps “as if” I was never rational at all until now.

Overall, it seems there are some beliefs that cannot be altered without changing many beliefs, and perhaps there are even single beliefs that would shift all beliefs if adjusted. These central and consequential beliefs might be the ones which we are “certain about,” not because we are actually certain, but because the consequences would be too great if they were false (“intellectual deterrence”).


‘ ‘But is there then no objective truth? Isn’t it true, or false, that someone has been on the moon?’ / If we are thinking within our system, then it is certain that no one has ever been on the moon.’⁶ It’s a silly example, but if a rock were to ask another rock, “Has someone ever been on the moon?” the answer would be “Yes,” because “someone” in a system for rocks includes rocks (in a racist society, if a discriminated people visited the moon, their oppressors may say the moon has never been visited by humans). “Is it true or false?” is asked within a system which a person doesn’t and even can’t ask about — according to Wittgenstein, ‘if the true is what is grounded, then the ground is not true, nor yet false.’⁷

‘All testing, all confirmation and disconfirmation of a hypothesis takes place already within a system,’ and systems are ‘the element in which arguments have their life.’⁸ Without systems, “arguments” would just be data, and so there can be no “argument” in a system against that system, for outside a system, arguments cease to be “arguments” (they lose all meaning, all “truth-ness”). Wittgenstein points out that ‘the child learns by believing the adult’; hence, ‘doubt comes after belief.’⁹ This is one of Wittgenstein’s key points: I cannot doubt without belief, and ‘at foundation of well-founded belief lies belief that is not founded,’ belief that cannot be doubted, for without it, there cannot be doubt.¹⁰ Doubt is always faithful (it is fear that is the opposite of faith).

According to Wittgenstein, ‘whenever we test anything, we are already presupposing something that is not tested’; likewise, ‘whenever we [reason] anything, we are already presupposing something that is not [reasoned]’ (an ideology, a “being true”).¹¹ We need grounds for doubt, and so to doubt, we need to accept that which we cannot doubt. Doubt is a function of rationality, and “being rational” requires a “being true.” If we doubted our (nonrational) “truth,” we’d doubt our standard which legitimized our doubt against that “truth” as rational, thus effacing it. When we accept a “truth,” we also accept a “being rational,” and vice-versa, as when we accept “that which we cannot doubt,” we accept “that which makes doubt possible” (the two cannot be separated).

‘When we first begin to believe anything, what we believe is not a single proposition, it is a whole system of propositions. (Light dawns gradually over the whole.)’¹² To put it another way, ‘it is not single axioms that strike me as obvious, it is a system in which consequences and premises give one another mutual support.’¹³ ‘What stands fast does so, not because it is intrinsically obvious or convincing; it is rather held fast by what lies around it.’¹⁴ And as we don’t believe in single axioms, but entire systems, so we don’t doubt entire systems (though that isn’t to say we can’t change our thinking in a way that absorbs one system into another, as will be explained): ‘a doubt that doubted everything would not be a doubt.’¹⁵ Furthermore, defending our “existential stability,” often which axioms we allow ourselves to doubt are those that falsifying would not undermine the whole system. And in this way, doubt also functions in service of “ideology preservation,” for in doubting axioms that are inconsequential to the whole system, I can tell myself (supplied by supposed “evidence”) that I am a “critical thinker” (that I don’t accept anything blindly, even though I’m blind of the forest that’s trees I’m so proud to see clearly).

Realizing we tend to only doubt that which doesn’t threaten our whole system (which provides us with a nonthreatening sense of “critical thinking”) can help us be more skeptical of ourselves, increasing the likelihood that we actually are “critical thinkers” (especially if we grasp that “critical thought” is existential, as argued in “On Critical Thinking” by O.G. Rose). The same holds true if I realize that ‘what I hold fast to is not one proposition but a nest of propositions,’ and that I am certain about that which, if not true, my entire “nest of propositions” would collapse.¹⁶ In other words, if I didn’t “know I had a hand,” I’d have to doubt the external world, and that might undermine everything I thought. Certainty comes from the network of truths, not because it is so much “grounded” in anything I have tested (how can we test by what we define “test?”), but because it is “grounded” in a kind of “deterrence.” I ascent to my “truth” (through my “you”) based on what must be true for everything I believe to be true (and so for me as a “you” to keep being that “you”). In a sense, we are certain because we are threatened, as America was safe because the cost of the Soviet Union launching an atomic bomb was too great. Certainty is “grounded” in threat; certainty is “grounded” in avoiding “the unimaginable.” We are certain something is true that’s falsity would mean nothing true remained.


‘The difficulty is to realize the groundlessness of our believing’: nothing holds it up from “underneath”; rather, other beliefs of ours “hold it up from the side,” per se (like a web).¹⁷ The fact that our systems of belief are “groundless” and consist of “networks” might help us understand how ‘very intelligent and well-educated people believe in the story of creation in the Bible, while others hold it as proven false, and the grounds of the latter are well known to the former.’¹⁸ Very intelligent people who accept different fundamental axioms (different “truths”) can generate different “nests of propositions” that (in lacking any “ground”) cannot be fundamentally doubted. Considering this, the family a person is born into has a significant impact on the orientation of the person’s rationality (though that doesn’t mean what a child learns is necessarily false). A ‘body of knowledge’ is handed down upon the children (all knowledge seems to be a “body of knowledge), one the children will ‘have no grounds for doubting,’ but ‘all sorts of confirmation.’¹⁹ How can this be so if truth is truth? Well, it’s because what we call “truth” is more “groundless” than we like to believe (a reality we might “certainly” hide from ourselves), and whatever “(groundless) truth” we accept, we can develop from it a “being rational” that adequately and convincingly defends it (a defense which we might be “certainly” convinced by).

What can be questioned are the ideas within a given system, but not the assumptions which hold up that system (though that isn’t to say a person can’t “step out of” an entire system all at once, only that a person can’t step out of “some” propositions without stepping out of others). As ‘one cannot make experiments if there are not some things that one does not doubt,’ one cannot develop a system of thought like Conservatism, Liberalism, Christianity, Atheism, INTP-ism, ENTJ-ism, etc. ‘if there are not some things that one does not doubt.’²⁰ To be a Christian, a person can’t really doubt the Existence of God, for a Christian is he or she “who believe in God as Christ.” A person may doubt the whole system of Christianity and consider “stepping out” of that system into another (which isn’t so much an act of “doubt” as it is an act of absorbing one system into another, as will be explained: we must be “entirely empathic” or won’t be at all), but a person can’t doubt a premise like “God’s Existence” without doubting the entire system of all theism. To operate, think, and live within the system of Christianity, the person can’t really doubt God’s Existence, only doubt it in a way that places faith in it (suggesting a useful trick of ideology preservation). Within the “nest” in which doubts and contemplations can be entertained, certain doubts and contemplations aren’t entertained for the sake of making certain doubts and contemplations possible (the critique thus confirms).

‘But might it not be possible for something to happen that threw me entirely off the rails? Evidence that made the most certain thing unacceptable to me?’²¹ Surely such evidence is possible, for don’t people cease being Christian? Certainly, but doesn’t that mean people can doubt fundamental axioms of a system? Indeed, it is true that people stop being Christian or Atheists, but this isn’t because they doubt fundamental premises of a system while holding on to the rest of the system; rather, they question the system at once and as a whole (versus “from within”). To say ‘[d]oubt comes after belief’ isn’t to say a person can’t step out of a system, only that a person can only doubt (what is) within a system by accepting the axioms that maintain the system.²² To put it another, we can’t doubt God’s Existence if we don’t believe God Exists, for there is then no God there to doubt. Strangely and technically, doubting God requires belief in God (a point which suggests Anslem), and so this “doubting belief” may be what leads a person to decide to absorb the Christian system (“Doubting Thomas” believed).

If someone leaves Christianity for Naturalism (for example), please note that those who leave Christianity must not fundamentally doubt the validity of Naturalism (for otherwise the move wouldn’t be made): one system is left while ascribing to the fundamental assumptions of another. At no point does a person leave systems entirely, which means that at no point is a person entirely free of operating upon “what is beyond doubt.” Never does a person “doubt everything”: the person who doubted the fundamental assumptions of Christianity and Naturalism simultaneously would be a person who undermined the assumptions the person needed to doubt Christianity (Naturalism) and the assumptions needed to doubt Naturalism (Christianity). The person would be stuck in place, “no exit.”

Doubting a system and fundamental axioms requires another, (fundamentally) undoubted and/or assumed system. ‘Doubt itself [against Christianity] rests only on [Naturalistic assumptions] beyond doubt’ (and vice-versa).²³ Never does a person doubt everything, just some things; never does a person doubt (all) system(s), just some (of) system(s). Also, if a person doubts Christianity on Naturalistic objections, the person thinks Christianity is actually a “naturalistic phenomenon,” and so the Christian system gets “absorbed” into the Naturalistic system, which is to say it gets absorbed into another set of fundamental assumptions. And so there is always present something that is not doubted: to live is to believe.


As ‘it belongs to the logic of our scientific investigations that certain things are in deed not doubted,’ so it belongs to ideology.²⁴ ‘[…] We just can’t investigate everything, and for that reason we are forced to rest content with assumption. If I want the door to turn, the hinges must stay put.’²⁵ Our “truth” is “the hinges” upon which “the door” of our rationality “turns,” if you will (without a “being true,” which is to say without an ideology, I cannot be rational). And this is precisely why we must be map-creatures naturally inclined toward ideology-preservation, for without ideology (without “hinges”) everything falls apart. In a sense, perhaps I cannot be human if by human we mean “a rational animal.”

To take hinges off a wall, I must remove the door first. In this sense, the door protects the hinges; likewise, my “being rational” protects my “being true.” Rationality protects truth (even if that truth isn’t “the best” and most accurate truth). And since rationality, to function well as rationality, must “appear” to me as “not unfounded,” my rationality that defends my truth must necessarily appear to me as “rational,” even if it is a rationality that “grows out from” a poor “being true.” Considering that to remove the hinges (to remove a “being true”) I must first remove the door, I must find within my “being rational” that which gives me rational reason to think I should remove the door. And yet though rationality may within itself find premises that can be doubted and refined, since rationality must (by definition) appear rational to me, I will never necessarily find within my “being rational” reason to completely do away with it. In other words, I will easily never find reason to remove the door (only paint it or touch it up), and so I will easily never find reason to give myself access to the hinges, making possible their removal. And in this way my rationality forms a seemingly invincible protection to my ideology: my rationality is a perfect defense to protect what isn’t rationally founded. “The hinges must stay put.”

Certainty functions within and through rationality to protect “the hinges of the door,” per se. I become certain that the door doesn’t need to be removed, because I become certain that the door has a valuable and good function (as my rationality will naturally conclude in naturally referring to itself). By using the door, I come to want to keep the door; likewise, by using rationality, I come to be certain that my rationality is rational. Yet there is actually no ultimate and/or foundational reason which is exclusively rational for why I like the door; in the end, I do so perhaps simply because I am used to it. If someone were to ask me why I liked it, I may claim that I like the color, how it looks, and so on, but all this would be “said after the fact” (like doubt coming after belief). These reasons wouldn’t actually perhaps be why I kept the door (though I may claim they are and even convince myself that these are the reasons). In truth, I keep the door because I keep the door: the reasons come after this brute fact, and my use of the door only hides me ever-more from this basic and brute truth. The truth is hidden and yet also justified by the reasons; the reasons come second more than they come first (and yet naturally “present themselves” as having come first — they seemingly must to avoid proving ineffective and arbitrary).

How did I originally decide to pick this door and the corresponding hinges? I perhaps believe I picked them through a process and rationality, but did I really? Wittgenstein notes that we think we have grounds for trusting in textbooks and the scientific method, but really our supposedly “objective” and “hard-earned” grounds are vague and empty. He writes:

‘What kinds of grounds have I for trusting text-books of experimental physics? / I have no grounds for not trusting them. And I trust them. I know how such books are produced — or rather, I believe I know. I have some evidence, but it does not go very far and is of a very scattered kind. I have heard, seen and read various things.’²⁶

Hence, at the end of the day, though I think what I believe is something more than mere belief (something more “certain”), I easily deceive myself (with “certainty,” in fact). I perhaps use the door because I use the door: the foundation is “nonrational” and its reasons something which cannot be reduced to rationality. This doesn’t mean rationality isn’t involved at all, but its involvement is only possible thanks to something “nonrational,” mainly the brute existence and use of the door. How could I be rational without something “given?” And yet rationality is naturally experienced as all we need — and unless we question it (“meta-think”), we will not realize otherwise. But how can we question rationality with anything other than rationality? Would we use a door with loose hinges or no hinges at all? (Some “speculative reason” that seems unreasonable?)


‘[A] system is something that a human being acquires by means of observation and instruction. I intentionally do not say ‘learns.’ ’²⁷ We think we gain a system of ideas through reasoning, but reasoning more so functions to defend our system after we accept it. It “carries” a sense that it came first, but it more so just seems that way by “sleight of hand,” if you will. Really, as Kierkegaard recognized, our system is picked not through rationality but through our “you” (a matter of “high order complexity,” as expounded on in “Experiencing Thinking” by O.G. Rose), and then based on how we choose to see, shape, and define our “you,” we determine what premises we must be certain about to keep our worldview and “you” from collapsing (the premises are defended by a “mutually assured deconstruction”).

‘We know that the earth is round. We have definitively ascertained that it is round / We shall stick to this opinion, unless our whole way of seeing nature changes.’²⁸ Considering this, we seem to establish certainty at the points where changing our view would change on entire worldview (and by extension our entire “you”).²⁹ A function of rationality and certainty is the preservation of the ideology and/or “standard” against which rationality is defined as “true” and against which certainty is defined (perhaps for the sake of deterrence) as “certain.” Wittgenstein suggests that certainty is “groundless,” which begs the question of where certainty comes from: he saw rationality in certainty, and yet certainty wasn’t based on anything rational, even if certainty somehow expressed rationality. Ultimately, a truth I am “certain” of is a truth that is more so a “lynchpin,” which is to say a truth that holds together my entire worldview, and hence my certainty of a truth increases as does its importance. And such a “lynchpin-truth” doesn’t have to be about the whole external world and everything in it: “lynchpins” are truths that “hold up” systems. For example, if it is true that there has been a single miracle in human history, all of Atheism is undermined, so the Atheist will likely be “certain” that there has never been a miracle. Likewise, if it is true that God Doesn’t Exist, then everything the Christian believes about Christ, the Gospel, the meaning of life, etc., will cease to be true, and so the Christian will probably be “certain” that God Exists, as the Capitalist will be “certain” Capitalism reduces poverty, and so on.

We seem certain about what we cannot afford to be false. We are certain not because of a “ground” for our certainty, but because our certainty protects our worldview and “you.”³⁰ It should be stressed that just because we are certain about truths that hold together our worldviews (or you(s)), doesn’t mean those truths are false (maybe they are, maybe they aren’t). Faced with this uncertainty, we can develop a sense of certainty, and distract ourselves (if you will) from the “groundlessness” of this certainty, reminding ourselves that daring to challenge this certainty is to potentially risk “total destruction.” And so “deterrence” can keep us from examining what we are certain about: a sense of “deterrence” can hold us together.

The very strangeness of making a point to say, “I know x,” versus just live “knowing x” suggests a possible nervousness and anxiety, which is to say we might assert certainty when we feel threatened (as a government might act desperate when there is the possibility of a nuclear strike). What are we saying when we take the time to say that we “know?” Why do we take the time to step out of our (lived) “state?” The statement “I know” seems inherently defensive (and do note the long history of philosophical inquiry as a “defense of” or the history of “thesis defense”). In this way, we can see certainty as having something to do with “how we manage relations and encounters” (with others or the world), which means certainty might have more to do with “relations” than it does “grounds” — and yet certainty only functions like we want it to function in relationships precisely because we present it as if it is a claim of a “ground” (to make certainty function like we want in relation, we need to act as if certainty isn’t relational). (Is philosophy always a matter of “relation management,” the sociological?)

The hope of this work is not to undermine every sense of truth, but to show how certainty functions to preserve ideology (through “mutually assured deconstruction”). We commonly think of certainty as a product and result of critical inquiry, when really it might be a product of deterrence (more often than not, perhaps “certainty” impedes critical analysis versus prove a fruit of its labor). If we fail to realize this, we might “overlook” what we are certain about, and consequently miss out on recognizing what we may need to rethink and reexamine. Furthermore, if our “you” is held together by nothing more than what is too dangerous for us to examine, than we might explode on anyone who (intentionally or unintentionally) makes us reconsider those “lynchpin-truths” (as a world of lost “sociological givens” might force upon all of us, as described in Belonging Again). Held together so delicately, we are left in a position to quickly make enemies and to quickly view anyone in our Pluralistic age as a threat. But we are all in this life “groundless” together, not because there is no such thing as truth, but because that truth is ever so hard to know. “Mystery,” then, might be a better basis for life, one we might be able to better know and acquaint ourselves with if we cease thinking of philosophy as “a quest for certainty,” for certainty is the business of ideology, not philosophy. Philosophy is instead about conditioning ourselves so that we might better approach and honor beauty, truth, and goodness, which will ultimately require us to have the capacity to defend what we take a stand for as beautiful, true, and good. Philosophy is to be what we engage in so that we don’t need the certainty of ideology; instead of an impenetrable room in which we are sealed, we instead stand out where we are vulnerable but capable of handling what the world throws at us. Certainty is for those who lack confidence.





¹Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty. New York: First Harper Torchbook Edition, 1972: 12e.

²Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty. New York: First Harper Torchbook Edition, 1972: 15e.

³Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty. New York: First Harper Torchbook Edition, 1972: 15e.

⁴Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty. New York: First Harper Torchbook Edition, 1972: 21e.

⁵Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty. New York: First Harper Torchbook Edition, 1972: 12e.

⁶Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty. New York: First Harper Torchbook Edition, 1972: 17e.

⁷Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty. New York: First Harper Torchbook Edition, 1972: 28e.

⁸Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty. New York: First Harper Torchbook Edition, 1972: 16e.

⁹Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty. New York: First Harper Torchbook Edition, 1972: 23e.

¹⁰Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty. New York: First Harper Torchbook Edition, 1972: 33e.

¹¹Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty. New York: First Harper Torchbook Edition, 1972: 24e.

¹²Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty. New York: First Harper Torchbook Edition, 1972: 21e.

¹³Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty. New York: First Harper Torchbook Edition, 1972: 21e.

¹⁴Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty. New York: First Harper Torchbook Edition, 1972: 21e.

¹⁵Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty. New York: First Harper Torchbook Edition, 1972: 59e.

¹⁶Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty. New York: First Harper Torchbook Edition, 1972: 30e.

¹⁷Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty. New York: First Harper Torchbook Edition, 1972: 24e.

¹⁸Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty. New York: First Harper Torchbook Edition, 1972: 43e.

¹⁹Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty. New York: First Harper Torchbook Edition, 1972: 37e.

²⁰Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty. New York: First Harper Torchbook Edition, 1972: 43e.

²¹Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty. New York: First Harper Torchbook Edition, 1972: 67e.

²²Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty. New York: First Harper Torchbook Edition, 1972: 23e.

²³Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty. New York: First Harper Torchbook Edition, 1972: 68e.

²⁴Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty. New York: First Harper Torchbook Edition, 1972: 44e.

²⁵Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty. New York: First Harper Torchbook Edition, 1972: 44e.

²⁶Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty. New York: First Harper Torchbook Edition, 1972: 79e.

²⁷Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty. New York: First Harper Torchbook Edition, 1972: 36e.

²⁸Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty. New York: First Harper Torchbook Edition, 1972: 38e.

²⁹Our “you” seems to be through which an ideology is picked, and then our “you” becomes shaped and fixated within that ideology: we pick that which we become inseparable from. If anything is something like a “grounding” for our “groundless ideology,” it is our “you,” but once we make that choice, our “you” becomes part of that ideology: it is “pulled up into” that which is “groundless.” In other words, that which makes possible choosing an ideology then seems to vanish into that ideology, making it seem as if there was nothing from where we chose the ideology (and so nothing that would make choosing a “truth” possible). The “springboard” vanishes (as a “standalone entity,” as “outside the network of propositions”) just as soon as the “springboard” is used.

³⁰It is through our “you” that we select a “being true’ (a “truth” is always a “being true”), and once that choice is made, our “you” becomes part of and married to that truth, and so there is no external “ground,” just “us.” In a sense, once we choose our ideology, the “ground” vanishes (and/or “proves not there”) and is “pulled up into” the ideology, which is to say our “you” becomes part of our “truth.” And so there is no ‘ground’ from where certainty comes; rather, we are certain because we must be certain to “be-li(e)ve” and doubt anything at all.




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O.G. Rose

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