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"It was Wittgenstein's habit to record his thoughts in sequences of more or less closely related 'remarks' which he kept in notebooks throughout his life. The editor of this collection has gone through these notebooks in order to select those 'remarks' which deal with Wittgenstein's views abou the less technical issues in his ...
"It was Wittgenstein's habit to record his thoughts in sequences of more or less closely related 'remarks' which he kept in notebooks throughout his life. The editor of this collection has gone through these notebooks in order to select those 'remarks' which deal with Wittgenstein's views abou the less technical issues in his philosophy. So here we have Wittgenstein's thoughts about religion, music, architecture, the nature of philosophy, the spirit of our times, genius, being Jewish, and so on. The work is a masterpiece by a mastermind."—Leonard Linsky
Posted April 28, 2005
This is Wittgenstein´s least interesting book, being only random notes dealing with art, music, religion and other areas of culture, taken from his notebooks over the course of his life. But W is never dull and its a measure of the awe in which he is held that such a book was even published. I can´t imagine anyone publishing such a book by anyone else,--certainly no philosopher. Anyone who is interested should go to nearly any of the other works(but NOT the Tractatus!)- but be forewarned, W may seem very shallow but if you jump in you may never stop swimming)! Although I´ve never seen anyone say so, W can be regarded as a pioneer in cognitive psychology, though all of his research was thought experiments and introspection into the relations between language, thought and reality. Perhaps nobody ever approached his talent for describing the mind at work. I picked out a few comments that happened to survive the culling( to remove all the meatiest items for other works) and which seemed to me of general philosophical interest. ``There is no religious denomination in which the misuse of metaphysical expressions has been responsible for so much sin as it has in mathematics.`` ``People say again and again that philosophy doesn´t really progress, that we are still occupied with the same philosophical problems as were the Greeks. But the people who say this don´t understand why is has to be so. It is because our language has remained the same and keeps seducing us into asking the same questions. As long as there continues to be a verb ´to be´ that looks as if it functions in the same was as ´to eat´ and ´to drink´, as long as we still have the adjectives ´identical´, ´true´, ´false´, ´possible´, as long as we continue to talk of a river of time, of an expanse of space, etc., etc., people will keep stumbling over the same puzzling difficulties and find themselves staring at something which no explanation seems capable of clearing up. And what´s more, this satisfies a longing for the transcendent, because, insofar as people think they can see `the limits of human understanding´, they believe of course that they can see beyond these.`` ``Philosophers often behave like little children who scribble some marks on a piece of paper at random and then ask the grown-up ´whats that?` It happened like this: the grown-up had drawn pictures for the child several times and said `this is a man´, ´this is a house´, etc. And then the child makes some marks too and asks `whats this then?´ ´´ A curious analogy could be based on the fact that even the hugest telescope has to have an eyepiece than the human eye.´´ ´´The power of language has to make everything look the same, which is most glaringly evident in the dictionary and which makes the personification of time possible: something no less remarkable than would have been making divinities of the logical constants.`` ``Philosophers who say ´after death a timeless state will begin´, or: ´at death a timeless state begins´, and do not notice that they have used the words ´after´, and ´it´and ´begins´ in a in a temporal sense and that temporality is embedded in their grammar.`` ´´The queer resemblance between a philosphical investigation and (perhaps especially in mathematics) an aesthetic one. (E.g., what is bad about this garment, how should it be, etc.). ´´Unshakeable faith(E.g., in a promise). is it any less certain than being convinced of a mathematical truth? -But does that make the language games any more alike?´´ ``Nothing is more important for teaching us to understand the concepts we have than to construct fictitious ones.`` ``It´s only by thinking even more crazily than philosophers do that you can solve their problems.`` ``Ambition is the death of thought.``
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