• TheMadFool
    11.9k
    So, yeah, philosophy is therapeutic since it informs a person on how to deal with reality in the most rational way possible; philosophy, despite being speculative in some respects, ensures that we don't lose touch with reality, something the non compos mentis are awkward at.
    — TheMadFool

    But what about reality needs so much explanation? Arent these thoughts counterproductive to living or achieving satisfaction? I mean, if happiness is what is commonly assumed as most important then, why do we flounder at it so much? Why can't they teach about this in academia?
    Shawn

    The basic idea is to find out how the world works and align one's thoughts/speech/deeds to those discoveries. "Be realistic," the philosopher says and that's both an advice and a warning. Heed it and a good life is almost guaranteed, fail to do so and a world of pain awaits you.

    The reason "...we flounder..." is we're unrealistic, and part of the problem is our imagination which can, in a matter of minutes, create worlds upon worlds of what in religioius circles is known as a better place. These imaginary places are so appealing that we're eager beyond measure to defy the wisdom of the adage, one bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. We then begin to dwell in fantasy because the world is just too dull and miserable, relatively speaking; it goes without saying that such an existence is going to be fraught with danger and a whole lot of suffering.
  • Fooloso4
    2.6k
    ... for all of the understanding's ability is bound up with the way a thing is taken up.Constance

    How a thing is seen and how it is understood, although related, is not the same.

    In other words, because language is an essential part of an object's constructionConstance

    A mechanic might look at a bunch of parts and see how they are connected. She constructs the object both visually and in practice without the use of language.

    This pain in my knee is not language, even though language is what brings this pain to "light".Constance

    Wittgenstein talks a great deal about pain. Toothache is his favorite example. Language does not bring the pain to light. It is an expression of pain. That someone is in pain may be obvious without uttering a word.
  • Constance
    465
    How a thing is seen and how it is understood, although related, is not the same.Fooloso4

    I think this needs some clarity. Seen and understood? Are these not synonyms?

    mechanic might look at a bunch of parts and see how they are connected. She constructs the object both visually and in practice without the use of language.Fooloso4

    You mean, without the explicit use of language. Of course, I don't talk my way through walking down the street. But then, the ordinary course of my apprehending all that is around me is filled with narrative: I see a tree and "familiarity" of the seeing is not like that of a feral child/person (though, there is an issue about this). It is contextualized beneath the surface event.

    Wittgenstein talks a great deal about pain. Toothache is his favorite example. Language does not bring the pain to light. It is an expression of pain. That someone is in pain may be obvious without uttering a word.Fooloso4

    Certainly, but Wittgenstein notoriously refused to talk about ethics because it has this impossible metaethical dimension: the Good and the Bad, not as contingent constructions, but as presuppositionless phenomena. Nothing can be said to penetrate into its meaning. It is not a thing of parts, and I think this is right. But then, it does "speak", unlike, say, the color yellow. The metaethical bad speaks in terms of an injunction: don't bring this into the world!
  • Fooloso4
    2.6k
    Seen and understood? Are these not synonyms?Constance

    When you look at the picture of the duck-rabbit what do you see? The picture does not change but what you see does. This is not a matter of understanding.

    It is contextualized beneath the surface event.Constance

    Right, but that contextualization need not be linguistic. The furniture builder and the arborist may see the tree differently. The contextualization is here not a matter of what is said but of what is done.

    Certainly, but Wittgenstein notoriously refused to talk about ethicsConstance

    And yet, a great deal is now being said about Wittgenstein and ethics.

    The early Wittgenstein was explicit in his identification of ethics and aesthetics. In his Lecture on Ethics he refers to his own experience of absolute value. Here again, he connects ethics to what is experienced. For the later Wittgenstein ethics as well as logic are no longer regarded as transcendental but part of a form of life. How one looks at things and what is seen when one changes the way they are looked at remains central. Just as the meaning of words is related to their use, the meaning of ethics is related to what we do, to how we live, to what is meaningful.
  • 180 Proof
    5.6k
    For the later Wittgenstein ethics as well as logic are no longer regarded as transcendental but part of a form of life. How one looks at things and what is seen when one changes the way they are looked at remains central. Just as the meaning of words is related to their use, the meaning of ethics is related to what we do, to how we live, to what is meaningful.Fooloso4
    :fire:
  • Constance
    465
    When you look at the picture of the duck-rabbit what do you see? The picture does not change but what you see does. This is not a matter of understanding.Fooloso4

    Isn't it? I don't want to quibble about what the understanding "does" but it seems clear that to "see" a rabbit requires a rabbit concept. It doesn't mean that this concept is explicitly learned or that behind the acknowledging, there is some discursive "rabbit" interpretative process, but that the registering of rabbit in the moment of apprehension requires an underpinning of a language culture that talks about rabbits, what they do and look like and so on. even if one were a feral agency, the concept of rabbit would be an historical necessity to the recognition, concept here being exposure to the phonemes of "rabbit" paired with that fuzzy animal. To understand is more than what the optical part reveals, of course. I thought this was your thinking.

    Right, but that contextualization need not be linguistic. The furniture builder and the arborist may see the tree differently. The contextualization is here not a matter of what is said but of what is done.Fooloso4

    Did you say the arborist's contextualization need not be linguistic? This is a scientist whose classificatory speciality is taxonomically complex. How is this not language? Of course, when she reaches for the ax she is not giving a lecture, and these are different matters. But I don't see it as, say, preconceptual, reaching for the ax, for the ax's familiarity is bound up with language in a conceptualized, socialized person.

    The difference for me has to do with one thing language does that simply ready to hand cannot do: philosophy. What does it mean for spirit to posit soul and body, as Kierkegaard put it? To suspend one's cultural heritage in a qualitative leap of affirmation of one's existential condition? This is where "therapy" (the OP) is at its finality: to overcome the human condition altogether, if you will.

    The early Wittgenstein was explicit in his identification of ethics and aesthetics. In his Lecture on Ethics he refers to his own experience of absolute value. Here again, he connects ethics to what is experienced. For the later Wittgenstein ethics as well as logic are no longer regarded as transcendental but part of a form of life. How one looks at things and what is seen when one changes the way they are looked at remains central. Just as the meaning of words is related to their use, the meaning of ethics is related to what we do, to how we live, to what is meaningful.Fooloso4

    His own experience? But I don't see this in the lecture. I'll read it again. I don't think he ever dropped the religious, mysticality of ethics and aesthetics (in Culture and , not did he explicitly take on ethics. I always read him to be saying that metavalue (Tractatus) cannot be affirmed. Language games never undercuts this, but perhaps you know something I don't.
    In Culture and Value he writes, "What is Good is Divine too. That, strangely enough, sums up my ethics.
    ...... the good lies outside the space of facts. MS 107 196: 15.11.1929
    This ws 1929, but I don't think he changed his mind. Added the language games concept, but maintained a healthy distance from putting ethics in theoretical play.
  • Fooloso4
    2.6k
    I don't want to quibble about what the understanding "does" but it seems clear that to "see" a rabbit requires a rabbit concept.Constance

    Wittgenstein' concern is with the fact that it happens, not why it happens. He does not attempt to explain. He is well aware of the pitfalls.

    an underpinning of a language culture that talks about rabbits,Constance

    Wittgenstein often made use of imaginary tribes. Suppose there is a tribe that has never seen a duck or a rabbit, but has seen images of what we call a duck and a rabbit. When they look at an image that combines the two their experience would be the same as ours, seeing first the one image and then the other.

    To understand is more than what the optical part reveals, of course. I thought this was your thinking.Constance

    That is another aspect of it. A tribe that knew nothing of Christianity or Christian iconography would not look at a cross and see what Christians do. What we see is to some extent culturally conditioned. In some cases it is more a matter of context.

    How we see the look on someone's face: is it a matter of understanding the expression? Babies react differently to smiles and sad faces, smiling in return or becoming upset. Adults may react to the look on someone's face as a smile or a smirk or a sneer. Is the response a matter of understanding? Does how we take it or understanding follow from how we respond or determine how we respond?

    Did you say the arborist's contextualization need not be linguistic? This is a scientist whose classificatory speciality is taxonomically complex.Constance

    Yes, but arborist does more than classify. The arborist might see the tree and picture how it should be pruned. How the tree is to be pruned is not a matter of linguistic analysis, although such an analysis can be given.

    The difference for me has to do with one thing language does that simply ready to hand cannot do: philosophyConstance

    Is there more to philosophy than what is said?

    What does it mean for spirit to posit soul and body, as Kierkegaard put it?Constance

    Is your question about what Kierkegaard means or about the terms? Whatever it is he might mean it may not be what someone else might mean.

    To suspend one's cultural heritage in a qualitative leap of affirmation of one's existential condition?Constance

    For some this is meaningful, although perhaps in different ways. For others, a culturally embedded desire for some kind of transcendence.

    to overcome the human condition altogether, if you will.Constance

    What might this mean? To be more or less than human? To rebel against being human? To attempt to escape being human by leaping away? Therapy or denial? Perhaps the leap is to nowhere. Are such challenging questions part of or antithetical to philosophy?

    I don't think he ever dropped the religious, mysticality of ethics and aestheticsConstance

    There is a difference between maintaining an attitude of something mystical and his rejection of Kant's transcendental conditions.

    I always read him to be saying that metavalue (Tractatus) cannot be affirmed.Constance

    Affirmed in what sense? See what he says about the world of the happy man.

    Added the language games concept, but maintained a healthy distance from putting ethics in theoretical play.Constance

    Yes, I agree. It is not a matter of theory. As I said:

    the meaning of ethics is related to what we do, to how we live, to what is meaningful.Fooloso4

    This is not something I have looked at closely, but I think there is a connection between the rejection of a private language and a rejection of the solipsism of the Tractatus. Ethics for the latter Wittgenstein is not about the solipsistic world of the happy or unhappy man. Ethics is not private. It is about what we do and how we live.
  • Constance
    465
    Wittgenstein often made use of imaginary tribes. Suppose there is a tribe that has never seen a duck or a rabbit, but has seen images of what we call a duck and a rabbit. When they look at an image that combines the two their experience would be the same as ours, seeing first the one image and then the otherFooloso4

    Well, not quite the same, for if one grows up in a world where rabbits and ducks have an established presence, and are both brought into poetry, metaphor and irony, and there is a wealth of idiomatic playfulness, and they are witnessed, photographed, etc., then this makes a richer context of meaning. But the richness, the augmentative, and as Kierkegaard would put it, quantitative measure of things really isn't the interesting point, for me. When he talks about the qualitative movement, he refers to what today, by some, is called, pejoratively by Derrida, the metaphysics of presence. Only here does it get philosophically interesting. Here, I claim, really is an encounter with something that "possesses its own presupposition". One has to put away the arguments long enough to actually have such an encounter.

    That is another aspect of it. A tribe that knew nothing of Christianity or Christian iconography would not look at a cross and see what Christians do. What we see is to some extent culturally conditioned. In some cases it is more a matter of context.Fooloso4

    I don't see the difference between cultural conditioned and context. The former is certainly the latter. Is the latter not the former? Can context be free of culture? By the time I am mature enough to ask this question, I am already thoroughly embedded.

    How we see the look on someone's face: is it a matter of understanding the expression? Babies react differently to smiles and sad faces, smiling in return or becoming upset. Adults may react to the look on someone's face as a smile or a smirk or a sneer. Is the response a matter of understanding? Does how we take it or understanding follow from how we respond or determine how we respond?Fooloso4

    Interesting idea: If those very early years conditioning of a counter intuitive sort, and smiles were signs of disgust, e.g., associated with witnessed adult behavior that was negative and smiling, then the smile would have an altogether different meaning. Such things are not fixed, but contingent. It does seem that physical gestures are as arbitrary as language's signifiers. But what is not arbitrary is the mood, the pain or joy, the value experience, in its presence. Put aside the way language makes a thing sit still and be counted, and observe the presence of, say, love, or ice cream, or having one's arm twisted: What IS this presence?
    There is no saying this (though one can refer to it just as much as any other thing) which is why I always thought Wittgenstein right and wrong. The "badness" of a twisted arm is "presented" to us and one cannot talk about pure givenness. (Big argument on this, I know.)

    Yes, but arborist does more than classify. The arborist might see the tree and picture how it should be pruned. How the tree is to be pruned is not a matter of linguistic analysis, although such an analysis can be given.Fooloso4

    I guess I agree with this. as long as it understood that language's relation to that which it is about does not relate apart from what the thing yields descriptively, pragmatically, or whatever is there. Language is always about the world. But there is a question begged here: What is language? I believe language is, just like the pruning of a tree, pragmatic. To say it is more than this is to open up what is NOT language. Love is not language, nor is a twisted arm, nor is desire or yearning, the Good or the divine or the horror.

    Is there more to philosophy than what is said?Fooloso4

    But what is said? In the saying there is more than what is acknowledged; hence, the question.

    Is your question about what Kierkegaard means or about the terms? Whatever it is he might mean it may not be what someone else might mean.Fooloso4

    Is this an important part of it? Take it as a matter of the openness of ideas, which was available to Kierkegaard is ways we obviously share. Then there is my own receptive possibilities, indeterminate, but pressing for understanding. What happens in each of us will never be pinned, and there is a lot of philosophy on this, but the pinning never was about this kind of agreement. Ask better: is what Kierkegaard meant, what Kierkegaard meant? Such questions' analyses throw a wet blanket over all answers. It is, in my thoughts, a red herring that keeps philosophers busy exercising their talents.

    For some this is meaningful, although perhaps in different ways. For others, a culturally embedded desire for some kind of transcendence.Fooloso4

    Yes, I know this. But I am unwilling to throw the matter like confetti into the air. I am taken by Husserl's epoche and the French theological thinking that sees an apophatic, theological turn in this. Michel Henry, for example. There is a lot of Kierkegaard in this, and Husserl provides the "method". I think this is where philosophy finds its end, in both sense of the term.

    What might this mean? To be more or less than human? To rebel against being human? To attempt to escape being human by leaping away? Therapy or denial? Perhaps the leap is to nowhere. Are such challenging questions part of or antithetical to philosophy?Fooloso4

    This question is literally too big to answer. But then: yes, I think being human, comprising all of the institutions and history and evolved concerns and interests, is inherently something to overcome. I think the essential Buddhism and/or Hinduism right. And philosophy leads only to this.

    Not a popular idea at the water cooler in the philosophy department.

    There is a difference between maintaining an attitude of something mystical and his rejection of Kant's transcendental conditions.Fooloso4

    Kant's transcendental conditions? Where he went wrong is here: noumena is meant to be all inclusive, subsuming phenomena, just as eternity subsumes finitude; therefore, to say we are bound to the latter and the former is untouchable is a logical error. My cat IS noumenal as it sits here on the couch.
    To make sense of this is difficult, however. After all, to "see" a thing AS noumenal--what could this mean? But I don't mean to argue this. It would be like arguing Buddhism. Yes, I am saying there is a revelatory dimension to this.

    This is not something I have looked at closely, but I think there is a connection between the rejection of a private language and a rejection of the solipsism of the Tractatus. Ethics for the latter Wittgenstein is not about the solipsistic world of the happy or unhappy man. Ethics is not private. It is about what we do and how we live.Fooloso4

    The latter Witt is not as interesting. I think the private/public discussion not to be close enough to the core question. Why does Witt say in his Lecture that ethical claims are absolutes, value claims absent from the great book of facts. What is it that is absolute? It is value. "In (the world), there is no value, - and if there were, it would be of no value.”
    This matter goes to metaethical Good and Bad. I will only discuss it if you are so inclined.
  • Fooloso4
    2.6k


    I am not sure how you get from the duck-rabbit to the metaphysics of presence in a single paragraph.

    I don't see the difference between cultural conditioned and context.Constance

    Culture is more general, context more specific. Within the same culture there are different contexts. How I see the man in a trenchcoat watching children at the playground might be influenced by reports that there is a pedophile in the area.

    Such things are not fixed, but contingent.Constance

    The baby reaction seems to be hardwired.

    The "badness" of a twisted arm is "presented" to usConstance

    The badness is not presented to us. That seems to be an odd way of talking as if removed from the immediacy of what is happening. A twisted arm hurts. Pain is bad.

    Is your question about what Kierkegaard means or about the terms? Whatever it is he might mean it may not be what someone else might mean.
    — Fooloso4

    Is this an important part of it?
    Constance

    You made the connection between philosophy and language. What the words might mean to someone
    and what he means when he uses the words are not only an important part of it but an essential part.

    Take it as a matter of the openness of ideasConstance

    Are ideas to be so open that they can mean anything and everything?

    I am taken by Husserl's epoche and the French theological thinking that sees an apophatic, theological turn in this. Michel Henry, for example. There is a lot of Kierkegaard in thisConstance

    Does this mean that it is not, as you suggested, a matter of suspending one's cultural heritage?

    Kant's transcendental conditions? Where he went wrong is here:Constance

    The transcendental conditions of the Tractatus are not about where you think Kant went wrong.


    The latter Witt is not as interesting.Constance

    Should we take this to mean you do not find it as interesting?

    I think the private/public discussion not to be close enough to the core question.Constance

    Perhaps the assumption of a core question is symptomatic of the problem. The later Wittgenstein does not attempt to ground things theoretically or absolutely. I think it worth considering whether the notion of epistemological 'hinges' in On Certainty finds its correlate in ethical 'hinges'. For example, murder is wrong. So too, the metaphor of the river and the appeal to relativity theory or the absence of an absolute, fixed ground. In other words, the recognition that ethical standards change over time.
  • Constance
    465
    I am not sure how you get from the duck-rabbit to the metaphysics of presence in a single paragraph.Fooloso4

    The metaphysics of presence is what is denied by your position, and mine mostly, that seeing a duck, and taking up what is before one AS a duck is contextual, contingent, deferential, a thing of parts. The metaphysics of presence takes something to be its own presupposition, with no need to rely on anything but its own presence to affirm that it is.

    Culture is more general, context more specific. Within the same culture there are different contexts. How I see the man in a trenchcoat watching children at the playground might be influenced by reports that there is a pedophile in the area.Fooloso4

    I suppose. One could say within the same context there are different cultures. Say the context is murder. Different cultures have different views.

    The baby reaction seems to be hardwired.Fooloso4

    One would think. But there are societies where family structures of mother, father, brother sister are very confused by our standard. Hard to say really what an infant would do if natural fixtures like smiling were turned on their head at that age. Marx thought we were utterly malleable, could take on any conditioning, and Skinner thought fathers and mothers were conditioned role playing.

    The badness is not presented to us. That seems to be an odd way of talking as if removed from the immediacy of what is happening. A twisted arm hurts. Pain is bad.Fooloso4

    It is the immediacy I have in mind: The pain is immediate, and the twisted arm is incidental. I don't know what pain is, is my point; and I don't know what it is in an extraordinary way: I certainly know the pain, but I can't put the badness of the pain in any totality, that is, context, of usual knowledge, for I can't "see" the badness of the pain. I mean to say, there is something that attends the occasion of pain that is not observable, like a star's light or a mountain's height. the pain exceeds the properties of plain facts.

    You made the connection between philosophy and language. What the words might mean to someone
    and what he means when he uses the words are not only an important part of it but an essential part.
    Fooloso4

    But then there is that whole issue about authorial intent. Kierkegaard's intent, of course, is as plain as mine when I read him. But when I read him, it is my "intent" that receives and understands and interprets. Once I take up meaning, meaning is localized. Not that I cannot speak to others about it, for clearly I can, as did Kierkegaard, but the public world is a tip of the iceberg.

    Are ideas to be so open that they can mean anything and everything?Fooloso4

    But are they so closed they can only mean one thing? My thought is that single ideas are fluid, indeterminate., yet pragmatically functional. I say, look at the rabbit; you look and we are communicatively satisfied. Yet, the occasion is simplistic. Rabbits in my world share with and differ from yours.

    Does this mean that it is not, as you suggested, a matter of suspending one's cultural heritage?Fooloso4

    It means familiarity is suspended, though it is a difficult matter to pin, because when one "does" the phenomenological reduction, all that would otherwise claim the event loses footing. Odd as it sounds, the "presence" of phenomena becomes more deeply manifest.

    The transcendental conditions of the Tractatus are not about where you think Kant went wrong.Fooloso4

    No, not exactly. But both draw a line between what can be meaningfully said and what cannot, and the line separates where logic can and cannot go. Where I think Kant went wrong is clear to me. As to Witt's Tractatus, it is, I say, prohibitive of the same, or close to the same (only analysis can tell) kinds of discussion.


    Perhaps the assumption of a core question is symptomatic of the problem. The later Wittgenstein does not attempt to ground things theoretically or absolutely. I think it worth considering whether the notion of epistemological 'hinges' in On Certainty finds its correlate in ethical 'hinges'. For example, murder is wrong. So too, the metaphor of the river and the appeal to relativity theory or the absence of an absolute, fixed ground. In other words, the recognition that ethical standards change over time.Fooloso4

    But such things changing over time, the relativity of ethical judgments, these are not the core issues. Not is meaning yielded out of language games. Metaethics is the foundational issue in ethics. Here I refer you to Mackie's Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong for the view I oppose. No wait; that's rude if you haven't read it. I can defend my thinking if you wish to go into it.
  • Fooloso4
    2.6k
    The metaphysics of presence takes something to be its own presupposition, with no need to rely on anything but its own presence to affirm that it is.Constance

    What does the metaphysics of presence have to do with seeing the duck-rabbit? What is a duck-rabbit's own presence?

    seeing a duck, and taking up what is before one AS a duck is contextual, contingent, deferential, a thing of parts.Constance

    Right. Seeing is not simply passive reception. What does this have to do with the metaphysics of presence?

    Kierkegaard's intent, of course, is as plain as mine when I read him. But when I read him, it is my "intent" that receives and understands and interprets.Constance

    My intent is to understand the author, to resist imposing the understanding I bring to the text when trying to understand the text. It is never a completed task but one that can begin.

    But are they so closed they can only mean one thing?Constance

    Words have definition, but the boundaries, depending on the word, may be more or less elastic. The term 'geist' it can be translated as spirit or mind or ghost, but when Hegel uses the term we are bound to misunderstand him if we intend Casper the friendly ghost.

    the phenomenological reductionConstance

    The practice itself is part of your cultural heritage.

    Not is meaning yielded out of language games.Constance

    Language games need to be viewed within a form of life. A form of life included but is not reducible to language.

    Metaethics is the foundational issue in ethics.Constance

    The later Wittgenstein eschewed theory. Ethics does not require a theoretical foundation. That is exactly the kind of philosophical assumption he wants to overcome.
  • Constance
    465
    Right. Seeing is not simply passive reception. What does this have to do with the metaphysics of presence?Fooloso4

    Passive reception is misleading. The real question is, once a typical perceptual encounter has been analytically exhausted in terms of all possible predicative aspects, is there not an existential residuum that remains, and can this be acknowledged a such?


    My intent is to understand the author, to resist imposing the understanding I bring to the text when trying to understand the text. It is never a completed task but one that can begin.Fooloso4

    Then I claim you will be disappointed. I suspect the matter goes like this: In trivial matters, like analytic constructions or simple facts like the moonlight being reflected sunlight, agreement is easy, and it is likely there is in my mind a strong analog to what is in my interlocutor's mind as we discuss this or that. This is evidenced by ready agreement and pragmatic contingencies being worked out free of disagreement. I may not have access to the other's world, but agreement makes a compelling case for sameness, and the incidental (yet constitutive if Derrida, or his predecessor, Saussure, have it right) affairs that attend my affirmation would be similar as well. If we talk about numbers succeeding one another, the other's "regionalized" associative matrix about numbers and their sequences would well line up. Agreement here is not absolute, and just because we agree that modus ponens is correct, it doesn't mean we live in parallel worlds on the matter of the terms and their logic. It does mean analogical agreement.
    But understanding complex affairs is a very different matter. Interpretations bound with systems of meaning that are only accessible subjectively are brought into play. The first paragraph of, say, Moby Dick, nay, the very concept of being Ishmael, is massively indeterminate in its connotative meanings (to educated readers) in communicative practice. Kierkegaard? The point is that even if you think you've got it, because you've read Plato in the Greek, and the many many dated references, and Hegel and, well, everything Kierkegaard has read, you will still stand outside what K has in mind. Why is K a Christian? Have you experienced his "long nights of dark inwardness"?
    I will not say that your effort understand the author is for naught at all, but that in the end, you will have understood mostly yourself and your own advanced understanding.
    In philosophy, I never try to understand the intentions of another. That sounds too abstract, good for the classroom perhaps.

    Words have definition, but the boundaries, depending on the word, may be more or less elastic. The term 'geist' it can be translated as spirit or mind or ghost, but when Hegel uses the term we are bound to misunderstand him if we intend Casper the friendly ghost.Fooloso4

    Yes. Sounds like the above. But I go much further it seems. I think of Virginia Woolf: A single line spoken, then the dramatic affair is revealed inwardly. Language made public is the tip of an iceberg.

    The practice itself is part of your cultural heritage.Fooloso4

    This is a difficult matter for me to discuss. The reduction removes cultural heritage. If taken to its logical and existential end, it is revelatory. And matters like how cultures carry meanings, and how these meanings are constructed differently, fall away. I think getting to this point is the purpose of philosophy.

    Language games need to be viewed within a form of life. A form of life included but is not reducible to language.Fooloso4

    Fine. But what is that-which-is-not-reduced?

    The later Wittgenstein eschewed theory. Ethics does not require a theoretical foundation. That is exactly the kind of philosophical assumption he wants to overcome.Fooloso4

    Which is why I don't think about Wittgenstein very much. But it is not theory I am interested in. I am with Kierkegaard in that I think there really is this qualitative leap. Kierkegaard confesses he is no knight of faith. Frankly, I don't think he understood himself all that well because his "positing of spirit" is over intellectualized (the curse of genius is you can't keep yourself from endlessly expressing your genius. Addictive). However, his analysis of time in the Concept of Anxiety is eye opening, but did he really understand the eternal present? I think a meditating Buddhist or Hindu just might.
  • Philofile
    62
    For me it was good medicin. I had severe depressions but they are gone forever now.
  • Fooloso4
    2.6k
    The real question isConstance

    A real question. Your real question. Not the real question.

    I will not say that your effort understand the author is for naught at all, but that in the end, you will have understood mostly yourself and your own advanced understanding.Constance

    This has not been my experience. It remains my understanding, but the more closely and attentively I read and the more I am helped by other more advanced readers, the more I learn and the more my understanding is altered.

    In philosophy, I never try to understand the intentions of another.Constance

    The problem of the author's intention should not close you off to listening to the author. Listening cannot take place when the reader assumes that the author cannot be understood, when the reader assumes that the real questions are the ones she asks, that there are foundations that must be built on rather than toppled.

    That sounds too abstractConstance

    Quite the opposite. It is a matter of practice, of allowing a text to open up, of learning to read a text on its own terms.

    The reduction removes cultural heritage.Constance

    The practice itself is cultural heritage.

    And matters like how cultures carry meanings, and how these meanings are constructed differently, fall away.Constance

    Or perhaps it is being captivated by a picture of liberation. The dream of being free of presuppositions

    But what is that-which-is-not-reduced?Constance

    The activities of life. The experiences of life. Being alive.

    his analysis of time in the Concept of Anxiety is eye openingConstance

    Based on what you said about the inability to understand an author, perhaps you have misunderstood his intent. Or do you think authors write without intent? But it looks like you think you understand him better than he understood himself.
  • Constance
    465
    A real question. Your real question. Not the real question.Fooloso4

    But I do think there is a real question, but is IS a question, not an answer: an openness at the level of basic questions. I think there is a real answer, too, but its substance lies in intuitions that are alien to familiar thought.
    This has not been my experience. It remains my understanding, but the more closely and attentively I read and the more I am helped by other more advanced readers, the more I learn and the more my understanding is altered.Fooloso4

    As I see it, what is shared and what is hidden can be very close, as is illustrated by, say, the politician, who spends so many hours in the public conversation that there little room for truly private thoughts and experiences. Such conversation tends to be factual, statistical, perfunctory, programmatic, and so on. Step away from this agreement, and the world can become very alien, which is a motif of Moby Dick, which I mentioned earlier. This is the beginning of what I would cll enlightenment.

    The problem of the author's intention should not close you off to listening to the author. Listening cannot take place when the reader assumes that the author cannot be understood, when the reader assumes that the real questions are the ones she asks, that there foundations that must be built on rather than toppled.Fooloso4

    Or listening occurs when the reader observes a failing of understanding within, and the ideas presented address this. And I disagree, in a qualified way, about "foundations": Reading others builds foundations, clearly, but in philosophy, these foundations reveal their own finitude, if you will. I mean, the question always remains open in all lines of inquiry when basic questions come to light. One is made to simply continue thinking and resign oneself to the building enterprise, or put it down and allow philosophical insight to do its job, which is disillusionment in foundations. This, I argue, is what Hindus had in mind with jnana yoga, an exercise in apophatic philosophy. After all, it is not ideas we are trying to understand here; it is the world.

    Quite the opposite. It is a matter of practice, of allowing a text to open up, of learning to read a text on its own terms.Fooloso4

    Put it like this and what you end up with is "on its own terms" which sounds apart from your terms. I am saying all "terms" find their mark only in what receives them. Is philosophical knowledge to be treated like information?

    The practice itself is cultural heritage.Fooloso4

    It is discovered IN cultural heritage, true. You could say I am an historical construct made of this heritage and I am inclined to agree. But then: there are two selves, the one so constructed and the one that second guesses all of this in philosophy, and the basic level. This latter self, I argue, is discovered apophatically. As to its nature, it is Other than culture; it is the existential grounding of ethics.

    Or perhaps it is being captivated by a picture of liberation. The dream of being free of presuppositionsFooloso4

    But the confirmation lies in embedded in ordinary experience. There is the metaethical argument, the phenomenological reduction argument (reduction to presence, givenness), the argument based on a general materialism, and others.
    Being free of presuppositions acknowledged as a given within the context of inquiry into basic questions.

    The activities of life. The experiences of life. Being alive.Fooloso4

    But language gives you these utterances. Is there something language gives you that is not language?

    Based on what you said about the inability to understand an author, perhaps you have misunderstood his intent. Or do you think authors write without intent? But it looks like you think you understand him better than he understood himself.Fooloso4

    That is not impossible, to understand what someone writes better than they understand it. Kierkegaard admitted as much when he described the knight of faith as someone beyond his own powers to live in faith beyond principle.
    I want to say that when we look closely at the process of understanding something, it is one's personal resources that are in play. My ability to draw on my interpretive assets gives me the "intent" and when I see things set well together in a given interpretation, I call this right. My position seems to be that the more ideas lack objective prima facie clarity, the less authorial intent is authoritative.
  • Fooloso4
    2.6k
    I do not share what I take to be your revelatory expectations for philosophy.
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