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Franken, Florian (2015): Überreden und Überzeugen. Eine Verhältnisbestimmung aus der Perspektive des späten Wittgenstein. In: Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie, Vol. 63, No. 1: pp. 58-86


The word ‘persuasion’ can be used in two different ways. It can either implicate a process of changing someone’s belief or action without any argumentative justification or, to the contrary, indicate that the changes are indeed a result of argumentative discourse. These two different uses are part of a conceptual development in the history of philosophy. Nowadays they are often placed in contrast to each other, whereby persuasion in philosophy as a non-argumentative act is taken as doubtful and even unsound. In the following paper I argue that the two types of processes should not be conceived of as incompatible, taking some notes from Wittgenstein’s On Certainty as an argumentative source. I will show that persuading as a rational practice is based on the possibility of persuasion as a process of inculcation. These processes can help illuminate the notions of good grounds, reasons and persuasion. In contrast to the common perspective, I will show that they are actually the normal case regarding interaction between humans and thus fundamentally provide the possibility of an argumentative practice of giving and accepting reasons. I conclude that the primacy of argumentative persuasion in relation to inculcation needs to be reversed and the common understanding of human beings as genuine rational acting beings needs to be questioned.