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Keywords:

  • adolescence;
  • adulthood;
  • autonomy;
  • becoming;
  • childhood;
  • conformity;
  • consent;
  • judgments;
  • latency;
  • necessity;
  • philosophy

Abstract: Writing in continuous gratitude to Gary Matthews's wonderful project of rescuing childhood from its disregard, not to say banishment, in professional philosophy, I relate here certain moments in his considerations of early childhood to moments in Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations, which opens with a scene of childhood from Augustine's Confessions, and also to moments in later stages of childhood (as Matthews also significantly indicates) and, beyond that, to adolescent crises and to what I have called philosophy as “the education of grown-ups.” I raise the issue of whether we are to see the “odd” questions of early childhood as proto-science, which will eventually graduate into better science, or as proto-philosophy, which will be continuously elaborated in philosophical investigation. This raises the question of whether philosophy is to be regarded, early or late, as inseparable from science or, as the later Wittgenstein urges, autonomous with respect to science's glamorous advances.