Extending Hinge Epistemology

Extending Hinge Epistemology

Edited by Constantine Sandis & Danièle Moyal-Sharrock

Anthem Studies in Wittgenstein

The essays in this volume present new voices and challenges within hinge epistemology. They explore new applications and directions of hinge epistemology, particularly as it relates to the philosophy of mind, society, ethics, and the history of ideas.

Hardback, 236 Pages


June 2022

£80.00, $125.00

  • About This Book
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About This Book

Hinge Epistemology is a new branch of philosophy inspired by Ludwig Wittgenstein’s view in On Certainty, that 'the questions that we raise, and our doubts, depend on the fact that some propositions are exempt from doubt, are as it were like hinges on which those turn' (OC 341). Hinge Epistemology is rapidly becoming one of the most exciting areas of epistemology and Wittgenstein studies. In connecting these two fields it brings a revived energy to both, opening them up to fresh developments. The essays in this volume extend the subject in terms of both depth and breadth in the following ways: 

(i) Fastening the hinges: In the opening essays of the book, proponents of the three major perspectives on the nature of hinge certainties strengthen their views, often by virtue of response to one another. These are followed by essays presenting new voices and challenges within hinge epistemology.

(ii) Opening the door: The second half of the book explores new applications and directions of hinge epistemology, particularly as it relates to the philosophy of mind, society, ethics, and the history of ideas. 


‘Edited by two leading authorities on Wittgenstein’s philosophy, this volume further extends and consolidates the burgeoning research programme on ‘hinge epistemology’. The epistemic lessons to be derived from reflection on the epistemology of certainty are opened out to domains beyond the purely epistemic such as, politics, ideology, the extended individual, etc.’ — Dr. Nigel Pleasants, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Sociology, University of Exeter, UK.

‘Never before have epistemologists been so genuinely interested in Wittgenstein’s later work as in recent years. Extending Hinge Epistemology brings together insightful essays by some of the leading scholars in the field and will be essential reading for anyone seeking to go beyond the mere exegesis of On Certainty.’ — Nuno Venturinha, NOVA University of Lisbon, Portugal.

‘Hinge Epistemology: Fastening the Hinges, Opening the Door provides a further demonstration of the wide-ranging significance of Wittgenstein’s thoughts on knowledge, doubt and certainty for philosophical epistemology and for our thinking about human life more generally. The authors, comprising both established experts in the field and more up-and- coming scholars, develop the approach of hinge epistemology in fruitful ways, bringing out its relevance to multiple areas of human thought and activity, including religion, politics, scepticism and enactivism, as well as considering the extent to which the approach was prefigured in the work of earlier philosophers such as David Hume and Thomas Reid. The volume constitutes a valuable contribution to contemporary epistemology and Wittgenstein studies.’ — Dr Mikel Burley, Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy, University of Leeds, UK.

Author Information

Constantine Sandis is professor of philosophy at the University of Hertfordshire, a founding director of Lex Academic, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Danièle Moyal-Sharrock is professor of philosophy at the University of Hertfordshire and president of the British Wittgenstein Society.


Anthem Studies in Wittgenstein

Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors; Acknowledgements; Introduction: Fastening the Hinges, Opening the Door; Part I Fastening the Hinges, Chapter One Wittgenstein’s Hinge Certainty, Danièle Moyal-Sharrock; Chapter Two Exploring Quasi-Fideism, Duncan Pritchard; Chapter Three Which Hinge Epistemology between Animal, Biscopic and Constitutivist? Annalisa Coliva; Chapter Four Something Animal, Something Unpredictable: On the Difficulty of Finding the Beginning and Not Trying to Go Further Back, Paul Standish; Chapter Five Closure-Based Scepticism and Epistemic Restrictions: A Dialectical Approach to Hinge Epistemology, Xavier Maréchal; Chapter Six ‘Hinges’ of Trust: Wittgenstein on the Other Minds Problem, Jasmin Trächtler; Part II Opening the Door, Chapter Seven Political Hinge Epistemology, Chris Ranalli; Chapter Eight Collective Thought and Collective Trust, Michel Le Du; Chapter Nine Deep Impact: Wittgenstein’s Enduring Enactivist Legacy, Victor Loughlin; Chapter Ten In Defence of a Reidian Moderate View of Our Hinge Commitments, Angélique Thébert; Chapter Eleven Consider the Squirrel: Hume as Hinge Epistemologist, Constantine Sandis; Index


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