Wittgensteinian Wood-Sellers: A Resolute Relativistic Reading

Mıon G. F.

International Journal of Philosophical Studies, vol.29, no.3, pp.320-330, 2021 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 29 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/09672559.2021.1936119
  • Journal Name: International Journal of Philosophical Studies
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Periodicals Index Online, L'Année philologique, ATLA Religion Database, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, Philosopher's Index, Religion and Philosophy Collection
  • Page Numbers: pp.320-330
  • Keywords: Wittgenstein, Einstein, relativity, relativism, wood-sellers, Carlo Penco
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.Among Wittgenstein’s thought experiments, the wood-sellers is one of the most controversial. According to an absolutist interpretation, they are meant to show that we cannot transcend our concepts, and that our rationality is the only possible one. In contrast, according to a relativist interpretation, they are meant to expose the parochialism of our concepts and the contingency of our logic. In this paper, I will attempt to move beyond absolutism and relativism, and I will explore the possibility of a relativistic (as opposed to relativist) reading of the wood-sellers. So, like Carlo Penco, I will use Einstein’s theory of relativity in order to throw some light on them. Yet, I will also contend that Penco’s interpretation falls short of a truly relativistic reading of Wittgenstein.