For all that has been said in the preceding chapter, there is still a need to confront openly an important residual issue; that is, the question of whether rejecting the idea of the possibility of an independent stance on our practices, necessarily entails some form of transcendental or linguistic idealism. For example, according to Anscombe’s test, a position constitutes a form of linguistic idealism if it gives a positive answer to the question, ‘Does this existence, or this truth, depend on human linguistic practice?’ (Bloor 1996, p. 356). Some, such as Bloor, propose to make giving a positive answer to this question more palatable by noting that, ‘with an appropriate understanding of “idealism”, there are such elements and very important ones, [which are] are consistent with also seeing Wittgenstein as a naturalistic thinker’ (Bloor 1996, p. 355). But I hold we must not assimilate Wittgenstein too readily into the idealist tradition, even if we are prepared to recognise the subtleties in that family of views that welcome friendly comparisons.
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