• Fooloso4
    1.1k
    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
    194


    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
    1.1k
    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
    194
    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
    1.1k
    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
    194


    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
    1.1k


    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
    1.1k
    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
    194
    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
    1.1k


    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
    9k
    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
    9k
    And, let us not forget that God is the ultimate solipsist.
  • Pussycat
    194
    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
    194
    And, let us not forget that God is the ultimate solipsist.Wallows

    What do you mean by that, God is not a realist?
  • Wallows
    9k
    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
    194
    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
    9k


    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
    194
    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?
  • Wallows
    9k
    I'd be interested in anyone's take on the interpretation of God in the Tractatus?

    We have encountered in this thread the notion of solipsism, and it being in agreement with pure realism. How do you understand this @Fooloso4 and @Pussycat?

    Thanks.
  • Wallows
    9k
    Here it is again:

    iUSgxri.png
    WvH335D.png
  • Pussycat
    194
    If for God, solipsism and realism are one and the same, then I find it odd that Wittgenstein would say this in the Tractatus, in the part where God is out of context. But just like he says, "God does not reveal himself in the world", the same holds for solipsism, in that it cannot reveal itself in the world, there are neither divine propositions nor propositions that equate solipsism to reality. Also, if all this is correct, then being closer to God means being closer to solipsism.
  • Wallows
    9k
    Also, if all this is correct, then being closer to God means being closer to solipsism.Pussycat

    Yes, solipsism is not an incoherent view in my opinion. The limits of my language are the limits of my world.
  • Pussycat
    194


    Yes, if the "limits of my language are the limits of my world", then solipsism seems inescapable. Have you watched the series "Legion"?

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5114356/
  • Wittgenstein
    191

    But we can still have certainty in the knowledge of mathematics and science according to logical positivists.
    This movement has died but it is nevertheless an intrepretion of tractatus.
    The limits of the world are anything other than these two, as they go into the the region beyond logic and language, such as ethics and metaphysics.
    But this is only possible if we regard objects as something we experience.
  • Fooloso4
    1.1k
    WittgensteinWittgenstein

    Wittgenstein glad you could join us! I thought you were dead. Now you can settle all our disputes.
  • Wittgenstein
    191

    I would like to read some poetry, as I did back then when the Viena Circle troubled me, and misunderstood all l had said or perhaps what l had not said.
  • Fooloso4
    1.1k


    Some have perhaps made too much of this and others too little:

    I think I summed up my position on philosophy when I said: philosophy ought really to be written only as a form of poetry (CV 24).
  • Wittgenstein
    191

    Tractatus is really austere and it is truly a work of art like a sculpture, Wittgenstein left the crystallized part and when l first read Tractatus, I was baffled and only after Knowing that Ramsey and Russell had difficulties understanding it.It had to be the work of a genius and l was comforted.

    Btw, Wittgenstein tries to solve Russell's paradox in the middle of tractatus, he tries to say instead of writing f(f(x)) we should write F(u) : u =f(x) , and if l am not wrong his reasoning is similar to Russell's theory of types in that the argument which the function y=f(x) can take cannot be of same order as the function, so in order to have an argument of first order, we need a function of higher order y'=F(u).But I certainly believe he did not approve Russell's solution and he cannot repeat the same thing, I must have missed something.
  • Pussycat
    194
    Wittgenstein, the Man himself? :lol:

    But we can still have certainty in the knowledge of mathematics and science according to logical positivists.Wittgenstein

    Knowledge of mathematics and science have been somewhat shaken lately.

    This movement has died but it is nevertheless an intrepretion of tractatus.Wittgenstein

    It cannot be a complete interpretation though, since it leaves many things discussed in the Tractatus uninterpreted.

    The limits of the world are anything other than these two, as they go into the the region beyond logic and language, such as ethics and metaphysics.Wittgenstein

    which two you mean?

    But this is only possible if we regard objects as something we experience.Wittgenstein

    Say what?
  • Wittgenstein
    191

    No wonder Wittgenstein was suicidal.
    My goodness, you tried to tear me into pieces.
    Since we are talking about earlier Wittgenstein, this was before Godel came with his incompleteness theorem which by the way, Wittgenstein rejected even in the latter days.He couldn't have meant that when he wrote back then but you can take his wordings differently to get the accurate interpretation.What I meant by certainty was a relative certainty in science compared to absolute uncertainty in ethics,metaphysics ( these 2 ).If you look at Wittgensteins mathematical philosophy, he considered them to be tautologies which do not belong to this world.

    Tbh, it was a complete intrepretation but it had flaws too.
    There are countless ways to read the Tractatus, I dont think any viewpoint is totally wrong.There are flaws and advantages.Can you explain how it is incomplete.

    On the last point, the tractatus talks of states of affairs which are essentially all the possible combinations of objects, and the possibility is written in the objects themselves.We get the picture theory from it and in my opinion, the picture theory favours taking objects as tangible things for lack of better word.He describes somewhere that we cannot think of a geometrical object without space to further elucidate his picture theory.
    How old are you btw, it seems you are older than me.
    If you want to know about my last statement you can check this out.

    http://wab.uib.no/agora/tools/alws/collection-6-issue-1-article-32.annotate
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.