Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

On Certainty on the Foundations of History as a Discipline

Hamilton, Andy

On Certainty on the Foundations of History as a Discipline Thumbnail



Wittgenstein had little to say directly on philosophy of history. But some pertinent remarks in On Certainty have received little attention, apart from in Elizabeth Anscombe's short article on Hume and Julius Caesar. That article acknowledges its debt to On Certainty, which responses to Anscombe have failed to recognise. Wittgenstein focuses in On Certainty on apparently empirical propositions that seem to be certainties, but in fact form a rule-like framework for judging. I have called these Moorean propositions, and the present article develops the suggestion that history as a discipline rests on them. The result is a qualification of empiricism in philosophy of history.


Hamilton, A. (2022). On Certainty on the Foundations of History as a Discipline. Topoi, 41(5), 979-985.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 20, 2022
Online Publication Date Dec 3, 2022
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date Jan 4, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jan 4, 2023
Journal Topoi
Print ISSN 0167-7411
Electronic ISSN 1572-8749
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 41
Issue 5
Pages 979-985


Published Journal Article (486 Kb)

Publisher Licence URL

Copyright Statement
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit

You might also like

Downloadable Citations