Sunday, June 3, 2007

Wittgenstein's Ear

While we're on the topic of philosophy, I would like to mention Wittgenstein and shall quote Wikipedia below.
Casey Serin needs to meditate On Wittgenstein's account, language is inextricably woven into the fabric of life, and as part of that fabric it works relatively unproblematically. Philosophical problems arise, on this account, when language is forced from its proper home and into a metaphysical environment, where all the familiar and necessary landmarks and contextual clues are absent. Removed, perhaps, for what appear to be sound philosophical reasons, but which leads, for Wittgenstein, to the source of the problem. Wittgenstein describes this metaphysical environment as like being on frictionless ice[citation needed]; where the conditions are apparently perfect for a philosophically and logically perfect language (the language of the Tractatus), where all philosophical problems can be solved without the confusing and muddying effects of everyday contexts; but where, just because of the lack of friction, language can in fact do no actual work at all. There is much talk in the Investigations, then, of “idle wheels” and language being “on holiday” or a mere "ornament", all of which are used to express the idea of what is lacking in philosophical contexts. To resolve the problems encountered there, Wittgenstein argues that philosophers must leave the frictionless ice and return to the “rough ground” of ordinary language in use; that is, philosophers must “bring words back from their metaphysical to their everyday use.”

4 comments:

Akubi said...

OT, but I spent the day going through boxes of old crap at my parents house and came across a book I adored (but completely forgot about) as a kid: _Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day_. It begins with an image of an irritated kid in PJ’s with the following:
I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there’s gum in my hair and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on my skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
I’ve kept all of the Gorey books and Suzuki Beane, but this was a new find. One I completely forgot about. The kid kept wanting to move to Australia. I recall that and Iceland and Russia and Venus and Japan and Mars and Ireland, etc. Last Oz being Wyoming...

Akubi said...

This painting was also in a pile of old crap from a decade or so ago.

PMSPMS™©® said...

I'm the FIRST to say I struggled wit these posts. I had to google to even understand who Wittgenstein is and even now could not repeat what I read lucidly....

Cheers.

Akubi said...

PMSPMS™©®,
The first and perhaps the only;).