• Fooloso4
    437
    the transcendent or transcendentalPussycat

    Transcendent means to go beyond. Transcendental, following Kant, means the conditions for the possibility of experience, or more generally, the conditions that make something possible. The conditions that make experience possible, according to Kant, are found in the structure of the mind, the a priori categories of the understanding. For Wittgenstein, however, logic as a transcendental condition is not a condition of the mind or understanding. It is the structure of the world and of language, inherent in the simple objects of the world and their names. In what sense ethics is a transcendental condition is more difficult to see. It is clear that, according to Wittgenstein, it transcends the logical limits of the world, and thus the facts of the world. It has nothing to do with the necessity of logic or the accidents of the facts of the world. The transcendental condition of ethics lies in the freedom of the human will and willing in accord with God's will.

    Wittgenstein asks:

    What do I know about God and the purpose of life?

    That my will penetrates the world.
    That my will is good or evil.
    Therefore that good and evil are somehow connected with the meaning of the world.
    The meaning of life, i.e. the meaning of the world, we can call God. (NB 11.6.16)

    To believe in a God means to understand the question about the meaning of life.
    To believe in a God means to see that the facts of the world are not the end of the matter.
    To believe in God means to see that life has a meaning. (NB 8.7.16)
  • Pussycat
    163


    From all the above, I understand that Wittgenstein equates or rather links the meaning of life to God (the meaning of life/world, we can call God), and good willing with being in accord with/doing God's will. No judgement intended, but isn't this what theologians have been arguing for centuries?
  • Fooloso4
    437
    No judgement intended, but isn't this what theologians have been arguing for centuries?Pussycat

    Yes, in some form or other.

    Wittgenstein emphasized the will of God. He understands this as something inexplicable. We cannot say why God wills as he does. There is a link here with the contingency of the world and the idea that things could be other than they are.
  • Pussycat
    163
    So in other words, for Wittgenstein, without God, there is no meaning, there cannot be one, the world is meaningless without God. No God = no meaning, there is God = there is meaning, as simple as that.

    And as long as the will cannot be transformed into actions - because these actions would then be facts, which would mean that they could be described by language, something that Wittgenstein deems impossible (for ethical facts to be part of the world) - then we reach the conclusion that God's will cannot ever be shown in the world, one way or another.
  • Fooloso4
    437
    So in other words, for Wittgenstein, without God, there is no meaning, there cannot be one, the world is meaningless without God. No God = no meaning, there is God = there is meaning, as simple as that.Pussycat

    But W. talks about the meaning of the world, only it is not to be found in the world. (6.41) The world and God are not the same.

    And as long as the will cannot be transformed into actions - because these actions would then be factsPussycat

    One can do what one wills, but your are right, he actions would be facts. Wittgenstein says though that it is not a matter of the consequences of the act in the world. He places the value of the action in the act itself. (6.422)

    then we reach the conclusion that God's will cannot ever be shown in the world, one way or another.Pussycat

    Right, because what happens in the world is a matter of accident. God's will is not a matter of what happens in the world. He says:

    God does not reveal himself in the world. (6.432)

    He goes on to say:

    It is not how things are in the world that is mystical, but that it exists. (6.44)
  • Pussycat
    163


    So if God's will is not concerned or connected with happenings in the world, and since whatever happens in the world is just something contingent and accidental that could also be otherwise, what does really concern this will, where is it focused?
  • Fooloso4
    437


    As far as I can see, on the existence of the world. His view is in this sense similar to Deism. But given his silence on such matters and his mysticism I would not go so far as to posit a theory.

    Edit:

    The comparison with Deism was meant with regard to being hands off. For Deism God is a being. I don't think W. would say that.
  • Fooloso4
    437
    God is how all things stand, how it is all related (NB 1.8.16)

    To believe in a God means to see that the facts of the world are not the end of the matter. To believe in God means to see that life has a meaning (NB 8.7.16)
    — NB
  • Pussycat
    163
    One can do what one wills, but your are right, he actions would be facts. Wittgenstein says though that it is not a matter of the consequences of the act in the world. He places the value of the action in the act itself. (6.422)Fooloso4

    (I'm back, wow time flies, I didn't realise that 2 weeks have passed!)

    But what about the aforementioned act, what could that be, if it is not connected with the facts of the world, and if consequences do not matter? I mean, one can save or take lives, help the poor, the rich or noone at all but oneself, be good to one's parents or ill-mannered, etc, whatever one does, God's will has nothing to do with it, since God's will is not concerned with happenings, whatever happens in the world, this is just something contingent that could also be otherwise, no matter what our will is - if it is, so called, good or bad.

    But if it is such that God is connected with meaning, then I think that the act would have to be that of giving meaning to one's life, to find purpose, to make one's life meaningful, to make it worth and mean something, whatever that may be, and what happens afterwards, as a consequence of this act, this is not related to God's will in any case. And furthermore, a meaning-giving act is something most godly, holy and divine (good willing) that brings about happiness - a hallowing, whereas a meaning-removing act something most ungodly and unholy (bad willing) that brings about unhappiness - a wallowing. Such that the value of the action is in the act itself, like you said, the act being a meaning-creating one, in contrast to a meaning-destructive one, both acting on the ethical plane, and not on the facts of the world. Who would support the notion of a meaningless God anyway? So it would appear that Wittgenstein is telling us that it is God's will to give ourselves a purpose in life, but not specifying which.

    Do you think that we can infer all this much from the text?
  • Fooloso4
    437


    I think he is saying that the purpose is to be found in what is higher, when one sees the world aright from the perspective sub specie aeterni.



    .
  • Wallows
    8.1k
    And furthermore, a meaning-giving act is something most godly, holy and divine (good willing) that brings about happiness - a hallowing, whereas a meaning-removing act something most ungodly and unholy (bad willing) that brings about unhappiness - a wallowing.Pussycat

    Yes, a wallowing of sorts... But, there's something to be said about wallowing, coming from a professional wallower. In that to wallow is to appreciate and prioritize or value what one does already have. The act of endowing meaning onto the world is in some sense solipsistic and egotistical. As if the ant or pig, which we step on or eat, didn't have a personal life of its own, which it might as well have.
  • Wallows
    8.1k
    And, let us not forget that God is the ultimate solipsist.
  • Pussycat
    163
    Yes, a wallowing of sorts... But, there's something to be said about wallowing, coming from a professional wallower. In that to wallow is to appreciate and prioritize or value what one does already have. The act of endowing meaning onto the world is in some sense solipsistic and egotistical. As if the ant or pig, which we step on or eat, didn't have a personal life of its own, which it might as well have.Wallows

    Wallowing was a poor choice of wording, as it generally does not convey what I was trying to say. I thought twice about putting it here, but at the end it seemed to me a good idea, since it rhymes with hallowing, and, well, because of you. But to make things right, lets just say that there are two wallowing principles, the weak and the strong. The weak is the one you describe above, where there is some sense of value, albeit a peculiar one. While in the strong, both meaning and value are absent, the world for the strong wallower is completely void of these two, one's existence is utterly meaningless and pointless, a nihilistic worldview. This feeling and willing I say above that is ungodly and unholy.
  • Pussycat
    163
    And, let us not forget that God is the ultimate solipsist.Wallows

    What do you mean by that, God is not a realist?
  • Wallows
    8.1k
    What do you mean by that, God is not a realist?Pussycat

    No, God is a solipsist. He/She/It literally cannot doubt. God cannot doubt. I can provide an epistemic proof that for any solipsist, epistemically they cannot doubt.
  • Pussycat
    163
    Well, if God started doubting, then we would be fucked, wouldn't we? But I was thinking in terms of the Tractatus, where Wittgenstein says that in solipsism, if it is strictly carried out, then it coincides with pure realism (5.62 - 5.641). Do you think that W. describes God's situation there?
  • Wallows
    8.1k


    I laid out my reasoning here:

    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/290567

    As to the question about solipsism and pure realism, I recall his assertion of transcendental solipsism explained by P.M.S Hacker:

    What the solipsist means, and is correct in thinking, is that the world and life are one, that man is the microcosm, that I am my world. These equations... express a doctrine which I shall call Transcendental Solipsism. They involve a belief in the transcendental ideality of time. ... Wittgenstein thought that his transcendental idealist doctrines, though profoundly important, are literally inexpressible.
    — Hacker, Insight and Illusion, op cit., n. 3, pp. 99-100.

    So, it is the inexpressible and ineffible that we are confronted here with.

    More on the topic:

    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/2614/on-solipsism/p1
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/4076/transcendental-solipsism/p1
  • Pussycat
    163
    yes of course, God is obviously inexpressible anyway, just because we talk about God, doesnt mean we express something meaningful. But do you think that God is also a narcissist, besides a solipsist and an egotist?
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