• Antony Nickles
    568
    The ways in which we picture the world is a prominent feature of both the Tractatus and PI. In the later work, however, he rejects the notion that logic is the a priori transcendental condition that makes representation possible.Fooloso4

    It is a "picture" that held him captive in the Tract. He does not reject a condition, he rejects pictures; that there is a single framework we have, or could change, or get out of, such as that of "representation", the picture of a correspondence between word and world (and thus a separation between them), as if words were all names of things. As a single picture, our world can be seen either as fact or value, the world or our feelings, truth or opinion. My point is that the desire for this pingeon-holing hides the meaningful (different) ways everything is connected in all our realms.

    And this is the difference between meaning as referrent and meaning as importance. But it is not what is important to me (until it is), but what matters in the history of our culture with each thing, its criteria (its grammar). With a fact, what is important to us is the scientific method: that if we separately do an experiment (competently), we will come to the same result (that it doesn't matter who I am). With ethics, what we do is important because it creates who we are, and the result hangs on the relationship between you and I.

    Culture and history are not the whole of what he is getting at. Again, the importance of the "possibility of phenomena" and new ways of seeing things. "Logic as grammar" means that it is an activity. Language changes as a form of life changes.Fooloso4

    Seeing things in a "new way" is not changing to another set of glasses (#103), it is remembering our ordinary ways, apart from, say philosophy's desire for purity, which hides the ordinary from us. The conditions of a thing must be actively unearthed, but this is not a change to the form of that part of our lives, as, say, an apology or pointing (though that is not to say our human life never changes, nor those forms never come to an end).
  • Fooloso4
    3.7k
    He does not reject a condition, he rejects picturesAntony Nickles

    He is talking about "a" picture, not picturing or representations in toto.

    A main source of our failure to understand is that we don’t have an overview of the use of our words. - Our grammar is deficient in surveyability. A surveyable representation produces precisely that kind of understanding which consists in ‘seeing connections’. Hence the importance of finding and inventing intermediate links.
    The concept of a surveyable representation is of fundamental significance for us. It characterizes the way we represent things, how we look at matters. (Is this a ‘Weltanschauung’?)
    (PI 122)

    A surveyable representation, an übersichtlichen Darstellung , (alternatively translated as perspicuous representation), a representative overview is said to be of fundamental importance. For it is from this vantage point that we see connections between things, how they relate to each other.

    The fundamental importance of an übersichtlichen Darstellung is something that Wittgenstein will continue to develop. He is no longer concerned with the Tractarian question of the conditions for the possibility of representation, but rather with the ways in which representation, how we picture things, is how we look at them, and can both stand in the way of and lead to new ways of seeing connections.

    Seeing things in a "new way" is not changing to another set of glasses (#103), it is remembering our ordinary waysAntony Nickles

    He concludes this passage by saying:

    It never occurs to us to take them [the glasses] off.

    A new way is not a matter of replacing one pair of glasses with another. The alternative is not limited to our "ordinary ways".

    What a Copernicus or a Darwin really achieved was not the discovery of a new true theory but a fertile point of view. (CV 18)Fooloso4

    Copernicus and Darwin rejected the ordinary ways.
  • Antony Nickles
    568
    a representative overview is said to be of fundamental importance.Fooloso4

    Representation was the wrong word; what I was talking about was a picture, like meaning as correspondence (word to world). I agree that a broad view and seeing connections are part of Witt's ethic, but this is different than a picture, which I would equate with a theory. Also, when I said that we could not "get out of" a picture, what I meant is that that there is not some world or reality with which we would have some direct connection (or not).

    He is no longer concerned with the Tractarian question of the conditions for the possibility of representation, but rather with the ways in which representation, how we picture things, is how we look at them, and can both stand in the way of and lead to new ways of seeing connections.Fooloso4

    I think here I agree and would hope we are on the same terms now at least. I equate "the conditions for the possibility of representation" as the requirements we project--among other things, the desire for purity--which we are constantly drawn too, rather than something he is "no longer concerned with".

    "107. The more narrowly we examine actual language, the sharper becomes the conflict between it and our requirement. (For the crystalline purity of logic was, of course, not a result of investigation: it was a requirement)."

    In this way, we do not get outside of that temptation. To leave it open is to realize we cannot settle into some general, universal, justified answer or framework; we constantly have to work in each case we become lost, which I would agree is:

    to see connections between things, how they relate to each otherFooloso4

    That science has frameworks (paradigms, as Kuhn says) is part of its grammar, not part of how the rest of the world works (or a measure of it), but, as I said, what, say, doing justice is, may change over time, may die off, as a way of our lives with each other. We may come to the end of its criteria, and it is not ensured in the same way science is, but science is an "ordinary way"; it has its criteria just like ethics does. Part of the point of the PI is to put them on even ground, that science does not have a corner on truth ("truth-value, say "facts" corresponding to "reality"), but that they are just different. An excuse for my actions is a particular form of life that can come off or not, however uncertain the outcome compared to science.
  • Fooloso4
    3.7k
    ...but this is different than a picture, which I would equate with a theory.Antony Nickles

    You may equate a picture with a theory, but that is not how Wittgenstein used the term. In the Tractatus a picture represents a state of affairs. He has a theory of how this is possible, but a picture or representation and how is able to do that are two different things. In PI he rejects this theory but picturing remains important.
  • Antony Nickles
    568


    Well it appears the use of "picture" that I am focused on is not the only way in which Witt uses that word in the PI (there are more than 300 instances). A lot of the time he is talking about actual pictures (like paintings); at other points it is a mental image (picturing something to yourself); and, during his discussion of aspects, he creates the terms "duck-picture" and "rabbit-picture" to differentiate the two aspects of the "duck-rabbit" picture. However, there is a sense of "picture" which is what I am trying to make clear--what hides the ordinary from us (what is in plain view).

    A summary of the relevant quotes below is that this kind of "picture" (I emphasize "Picture" in bold) is what we "want" (have a reason to desire) or are "tempted by"; at times he says which "suggests" or "forces" or "obtrudes" a particular use of a concept on us, blinding us to other uses, creating a "conflict" in us; or that we "exert" ourselves to "construct" or "conjure up" for, as examples: creating "reality" (#59); taking away our responsibility (#222); fixing a sense "unambiguously" making the ordinary seem "muddled" (#426); and, mostly, imagining that the world is hidden from us (#92)(including the other).

    The reasons and process of this picture-creating, this intellectualizing of our everyday lives, is the subject of the Investigations (starting with Augustine's vision of language as only naming). "[A picture] must be explored if we want to understand the sense of what we are saying. But the picture seems to spare us this work: it already points to a particular use. This is how it takes us in." P. 184. We "convince" ourselves for reasons we do not yet understand (p. 223), that we must gain perspective on, learn to avoid, working to humble ourselves to the world (#426).

    "'A name signifies only what is an element of reality. What cannot be destroyed; what remains the same in all changes.'—But what is that?—Why, it swam before our minds as we said the sentence! This was the very expression of a quite particular image: of a particular picture which we want to use." #59

    "We see component parts of something composite (of a chair, for instance). We say that the back is part of the chair, but is in turn itself composed of several bits of wood; while a leg is a simple component part. We also see a whole which changes (is destroyed) while its component parts remain unchanged. These are the materials from which we construct that picture of reality" #59

    "Other illusions come from various quarters to attach themselves to the special one spoken of here. Thought, language, now appear to us as the unique correlate, picture, of the world." #96

    "The picture of the cube did indeed suggest a certain use to us [a box], but it was possible for me to use it differently [as a triangle prism, which is also a cube]" #139

    "What was the effect of my argument? It called our attention to (reminded us of) the fact that there are other processes, besides the one we originally thought of, which we should sometimes be prepared to call "applying the picture of a cube". So our 'belief that the picture forced a particular application upon us' consisted in the fact that only the one case and no other occurred to us. " #140

    "The line intimates to me the way I am to go." — But that is of course only a picture. And if I judged that it intimated this or that as it were irresponsibly, I should not say that I was obeying it like a rule." #222

    "The impression that we wanted to deny something arises from our setting our faces against the picture of the 'inner process'. What we deny is that the picture of the inner process gives us the correct idea of the use of the word "to remember". We say that this picture with its ramifications stands in the way of our seeing the use of the word as it is." #305

    "One is tempted to use the following picture: what he really 'wanted to say', what he 'meant' was already present somewhere in his mind even before we gave it expression." #334

    "But here we are constructing a misleading picture of 'intending', that is, of the use of this word. An intention is embedded in its situation, in human customs and institutions." #337

    "Instead of "imaginability" one can also say here: representability by a particular method of representation. And such a representation may indeed safely point a way to further use of a sentence. On the other hand a picture may obtrude itself upon us and be of no use at all." #397

    "When as in this case, we disapprove of the expressions of ordinary language (which are after all performing their office), we have got a picture in our heads which conflicts with the picture of our ordinary way of speaking." #402

    "In numberless cases we exert ourselves to find a picture and once it is found the application as it were comes about of itself. In this case we already have a picture which forces itself on us at every turn, but does not help us out of the difficulty, which only begins here." #425

    "A picture is conjured up which seems to fix the sense un-ambiguously. The actual use, compared with that suggested by the picture, seems like something muddied." #426

    "While I was speaking to him I did not know what was going on in his head." In saying this, one is not thinking of brain-processes, but of thought-processes. The picture should be taken seriously. We should really like to see into his head. And yet we only mean what elsewhere we should mean by saying: we should like to know what he is thinking." #427

    "The picture of the special atmosphere forced itself upon me; I can see it quite clear before me—so long, that is, as I do not look at what my memory tells me really happened." #607

    "If the picture of thought in the head can force itself upon us, then why not much more that of thought in the soul?" p. 178

    ""The mind seems able to give a word meaning"—isn't this as if I were to say "The carbon atoms in benzene seem to lie at the corners of a hexagon"? But this is not something that seems to be so; it is a picture." p. 184

    "What this language primarily describes is a picture. What is to be done with the picture, how it is to be used, is still obscure. Quite clearly, however, it must be explored if we want to understand the sense of what we are saying. But the picture seems to spare us this work: it already points to a particular use. This is how it takes us in." p. 184

    ""I cannot know what is going on in him" is above all a picture. It is the convincing expression of a conviction. It does not give the reasons for the conviction. They are not readily accessible." p. 223
  • Fooloso4
    3.7k
    However, there is a sense of "picture" which is what I am trying to make clear--what hides the ordinary from us (what is in plain view).Antony Nickles

    As I understand it, what is at issue is the status of a mental picture. It is not as if he is arguing for the elimination of mental pictures, but that a picture does not settle the matter. A picture may lead us astray, but a picture may also represent a "fertile point of view". The mental pictures we construct must be investigated not eliminated. They too are part of our ordinary way of seeing things.

    Added: It is not pictures but the picture of something hidden that he rejects.
  • Antony Nickles
    568
    As I understand it, what is at issue is the status of a mental pictureFooloso4

    I did not mean a "mental picture", which would just be us picturing something to ourselves, which, as he says, is analogous to a picture like a painting. All those quotes are about a picture in the sense of a theoretical framework; as if an assumption like a map that already determines all the relationships between the different paths. A "point of view" in the PI is not a cohesive theory; it is an attitude, in the sense of an inclination, a disposition. He is trying to get us to look beyond our own nose, as when we are inclined to give up on someone (#217), treat them as merely an object of knowledge rather than a person making a moral claim on us (P. 223), than someone with a soul (p. 178). This is not looking at them through a framework, it is being in a position towards them, in response to them.

    It is not pictures but the picture of something hidden that he rejects.Fooloso4

    Leaving aside a seemingly fruitless argument about pictures (or not), I agree that the picture of something hidden concerns Witt. It comes up in many forms: a reality our words might correspond to, something inside me or something inside the other, and the ordinary criteria we use every day. But I would suggest we look further than treating this like an ontological argument--as if the point was: there cannot be a private language!--or some alternative to that serving the same purpose. This hidden world is the kind of picture that we are tempted or forced to. His question is, why? What compels the interlocutor to ask the questions he does? demanding satisfaction of what? It is not that something is hidden; it's not even: what hides it? The question is what is it about us that creates the picture of something hidden? And the answer is our desire for crystalline purity, of knowledge that is certain enough that we will know right from wrong (abdicating responsibility for choosing), that we will not be surprised or accused by others, that we will have justification sufficient to satisfy our disappointment with the world and ourselves.

    I guess my point in saying that he abandons pictures was more to mean that he is not replacing the picture of something hidden with another picture (that we need only look at the outside of things) and the important part is that the desire remains, our need for certainty still threatens to overwhelm the ordinary criteria which do not provide the answers, justification, and solution to our skepticism. It will always be "difficult to remind oneself" of the ordinary "for some reason" (#89); and that reason is that we would rather take the straight road to certain knowledge. (#426)
  • Fooloso4
    3.7k
    I did not mean a "mental picture", which would just be us picturing something to ourselves, which, as he says, is analogous to a picture like a painting. All those quotes are about a picture in the sense of a theoretical frameworkAntony Nickles

    In his later work he blurs the lines between seeing and saying, seeing and thinking. Seeing is active, conceptual, constructive. Language reflects this. A mental picture might be analogous to a painting, but it may, in other cases, be closer to a map or diagram or schematic or blueprint. It enables us to visualize something in a sense that is related to but is not the same as the painted image. It can make connections that are not apparent in the painting.

    Consider the various senses of "I see". What does it mean to visualize something? There is here a variety of things that have a family resemblance that extends to a theoretical framework.

    A "point of view" in the PI is not a cohesive theory; it is an attitude, in the sense of an inclination, a disposition.Antony Nickles

    (I once read somewhere that a geometrical figure, with the words "Look at this", serves as a proof for certain Indian mathematicians. This looking too effects an alteration in one's way of seeing.) (Zettel, 461)

    The question is what is it about us that creates the picture of something hidden? And the answer is our desire for crystalline purity, of knowledge that is certain enough that we will know right from wrong (abdicating responsibility for choosing), that we will not be surprised or accused by others, that we will have justification sufficient to satisfy our disappointment with the world and ourselves.Antony Nickles

    The presupposition is that the world is intelligible. But the world of our ordinary experience is messy and does yield to our understanding. One response to this is that the truth of things is hidden and must be uncovered. Another is a form of skepticism that I think Wittgenstein accepts. In On Certainty he quotes Goethe:

    In the beginning was the deed. (402)

    Language did not emerge from some kind of ratiocination. (OC 475)

    A language game is an extension of primitive behavior (Z 545)

    Instinct first reason second (RPP 689)

    The difficulty is to realize the groundlessness of our believing. (OC 166)

    Added: There are different forms of skepticism, some of which he clearly rejects.
  • Antony Nickles
    568
    The presupposition is that the world is intelligible. But the world of our ordinary experience is messy and does yield to our understanding. One response to this is that the truth of things is hidden and must be uncovered.Fooloso4

    I'm not sure where you are finding that Wittgenstein assumes that the world is intelligible, or whether that is your prerequisite. I would agree in the sense that we have a responsibility to make ourselves and our claims about the world understandable to others; that people have a tendency to duck their role by claiming a poverty of language or to reserve a personal mysteriousness.

    With that said, I would point out that if the claim is that the entire world is intelligible, that misses the fact that our world is not entirely subject to knowledge. Not that it is therefore unintelligible, but that there is more to the world than knowing it, i.e., information, being certain, catalogued ahead of an event of time, etc. The most glaring example would be the claim and necessity of action, including within the moral realm (what do we do?).

    Thus the conclusion that the "the world... does [not, I assume you meant] yield to our understanding" is a misapprehension, perhaps caused by the desire and presumed requirement for knowledge (certainty) to be the only guide and standard. This forced picture leads us to condescend to our ordinary (other) ways of the world (criteria other than knowledge) as being "messy" or, historically, emotive, rhetorical, illogical, etc. The fear of our lives outside knowledge is that we do not have the same exactness, predetermination, foundation, consistency, etc. In the face of this fear, we project a world that is entirely knowable (Plato, Kant) but is only (as yet perhaps) hidden or not intelligible. Thus we save the world (as knowledge) by putting it beyond our reach (vision). Cavell calls this "living our skepticism".

    It is in investigating this picture that Wittgenstein is claiming that our ordinary criteria are sufficient and that they are open to us, that the world is not removed or closed off. "...we are not striving after an ideal, as if our ordinary vague sentences had not yet got a quite unexceptionable sense, and a perfect language awaited construction by us." (#98)
  • Fooloso4
    3.7k
    I'm not sure where you are finding that Wittgenstein assumes that the world is intelligible, or whether that is your prerequisite.Antony Nickles

    The presupposition of intelligibility is neither Wittgenstein's nor mine. It is behind the notion of something hidden. If the world does not yield to our intellect then it must be because there is something hidden from us.
  • Antony Nickles
    568
    If the world does not yield to our intellect then it must be because there is something hidden from us.Fooloso4

    This is the very fixation that I have been discussing this whole time, which Wittgenstein investigates in the PI (though starting out we “do not yet see how it occurs”, see below). “We want to say that there can't be any vagueness in logic. The idea now absorbs us, that the ideal 'must' be found in reality. Meanwhile we do not as yet see how it occurs there, nor do we understand the nature of this ‘must’. We think it must be in reality; for we think we already see it there.” (#10) We try to force certainty onto the world, and when that is not met, we create a hidden world because we require everything must submit to our demand for crystalline pure logic. This is the driving force behind (the “nature of”) this “must”, and it occurs through our projection of a fixed singular means of judgment. The whole point of the PI is to understand this need for a hidden world, and to show that everything we really want is open to view already.
  • Fooloso4
    3.7k
    This is the very fixation that I have been discussing this whole timeAntony Nickles

    I have as well. See my first post:
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/713032
  • Antony Nickles
    568
    “This is the very fixation that I have been discussing this whole time” — Antony Nickles

    I have as well.Fooloso4

    So if we are in agreement, I must have been confused in taking the following as a statement or claim that you are making, rather than a diagnosis of the skeptic’s manifestation.

    If the world does not yield to our intellect then it must be because there is something hidden from us.Fooloso4

    To reiterate my further point, this logical conclusion is forced upon us by our desire to have knowledge take care of everything for us, or be able to claim we are not responsible because something is hidden.
  • Manuel
    2.8k


    It's terminological by now. Descartes discovered things (Cartesian coordinate system) as did Kant with the nebular hypothesis.

    Locke based important parts of his Essay in direct reaction to Newton, so did Hume.

    Do you consider Hume's arguments concerning causality to be explanatory or descriptive? A bit of both?

    Did Plato not anticipate certain aspects of cognitive science in his Meno? This can be argued endlessly.

    Phenomenology is a branch of philosophy dealing, in part, with descriptions. Epistemology attempts to develop theories of knowledge, etc.
  • jgill
    2.4k
    RIP Jackson :sad:
  • Fooloso4
    3.7k
    I’m taking the following as a statement or claim that you are making, rather than a diagnosis of the skeptic’s manifestation.Antony Nickles

    It is a statement about human history.

    The belief that there are hidden things only disclosed to or by the few who are wise is as old as the desire for wisdom. It manifests in different ways.

    Wittgenstein's own search led him to believe he had cracked the code.
  • Antony Nickles
    568
    The belief that there are hidden things only disclosed to or by the few who are wise is as old as the desire for wisdom. It manifests in different ways.

    Wittgenstein's own search led him to believe he had cracked the code.
    Fooloso4

    Yes, I agree that philososphy believed in hidden things (still does). But Wittgenstein did not "crack the code" in the sense of solve the problem. He diagnosed it; he discovered that it is the desire for a particular kind of wisdom (knowledge) that creates the picture of something hidden, and that understanding (describing) the world is actually open to everyone without a special explanation (is not about "knowledge"). What about that, if anything, is a misinterpretation of #126 and the surrounding?
  • Luke
    2.1k
    129. The aspects of things that are most important for us are hidden because of their simplicity and familiarity. (One is unable to notice something - because it is always before one’s eyes.) The real foundations of their inquiry do not strike people at all. Unless that fact has at some time struck them. - And this means: we fail to be struck by what, once seen, is most striking and most powerful. — Philosophical Investigations
  • Antony Nickles
    568
    @Luke brings up an excellent quote that furthers the discussion here through a distinction in the senses of “hidden”. What Witt is talking about is not hidden in the sense of not accessible, unexplained (as philosophy has historically framed it), but hidden in the sense of what we are blind to, and because of ourselves. We do not “notice” our ordinary criteria for, say, what is thinking, because we don’t usually have any need to make explicit what is important in judging it.

    Our failure is that the familiar does not occur to us, and, he says, unless the not-occurring-to-us strikes us as strange, so that we come to understand why we overlook the criteria right before us. His investigation finds that it is because we have fixed our gaze past them to something certain, universal, logical, etc., even if we have to imagine it to be hidden.
  • Luke
    2.1k
    Thanks. Also, I think the point you were making earlier about pictures was Witt's move away from the Picture theory of language (aka the picture theory of meaning) in the Tractatus to his use theory of language/meaning in the Investigations.

    He was still bewitched by "the ideal" (as he refers to it at PI 81-107) when writing the Tractatus. I think that the "picture" you have both been trying to articulate is more of a way of seeing things, or a Weltanschauung, which he mentions at 122 when discussing surveyable representations. That is the point of the duck/rabbit and, one might say, the point of philosophy.

    131. I suddenly see the solution of a puzzle-picture. Where there were previously branches, now there is a human figure. My visual impression has changed, and now I recognize that it has not only shape and colour, but also a quite particular ‘organization’. —– My visual impression has changed — what was it like before; what is it like now? —– If I represent it by means of an exact copy a and isn’t that a good representation of it? — no change shows up.

    132. And above all do not say “Surely, my visual impression isn’t the drawing; it is this —– which I can’t show to anyone.” Of course it is not the drawing; but neither is it something of the same category, which I carry within myself.

    133. The concept of an ‘inner picture’ is misleading, since the model for this concept is the ‘outer picture’; and yet the uses of these concept-words are no more like one another than the uses of “numeral” and “number”. (Indeed, someone who was inclined to call numbers ‘ideal numerals’ could generate a similar confusion by doing so.)
    — Philosophical Investigations, Part II

    Of course, I still disagree with your strong emphasis on morality/ethics. :smile:
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    126. Philosophy simply puts everything before us, and neither explains nor deduces anything.—Since everything lies open to view there is nothing to explain.Jackson

    In the trash can, science and allied fields that are essentially explanations; also in the trash can, rationality and associated subjects that are ultimately deduction-based. Wittegenstein then goes on to reason himself out of reasoning. Nifty moves Wittegenstein - explaining/inferring that explanations/inferences aren't required. Self-refuting or is he talking about the ladder - the one you throw away after you've done climbing to the, well, next level? God knows!
  • Fooloso4
    3.7k
    But Wittgenstein did not "crack the code" in the sense of solve the problem.Antony Nickles

    Of course he didn't! He thought he had but he eventually realized he hadn't. But see below.

    126. For what is hidden, for example, is of no interest to us.

    129. The aspects of things that are most important for us are hidden because of their simplicity and familiarity.

    The idea that something is hidden does not have a single etiology. I have been trying to steer you away from that assumption.

    His investigation finds that it is because we have fixed our gaze past them to something certain, universal, logical, etc., even if we have to imagine it to be hidden.Antony Nickles

    Both Plato and Aristotle say that philosophy begins in wonder. It is, however, the pursuit of philosophy that led to modern science:

    Man has to awaken to wonder - and so perhaps do peoples. Science is a way of sending him to sleep again.(Culture and Value)

    I think it is with regard to this that he says in 126:

    One might also give the name "philosophy" to what is possible before all new discoveries and inventions.

    and in 129:

    we fail to be struck by what, once seen, is most striking and most powerful.

    Seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary.

    Compare what he says in the preface to the Tractatus:

    I therefore believe myself to have found, on all essential points, the final solution of the problems.

    with PI 133:

    For the clarity that we are aiming at is indeed complete clarity. But this simply means that the philosophical problems should completely disappear.

    His desire for complete clarity is not something Wittgenstein rejected after the Tractatus.

    He continues:

    The real discovery is the one that makes me capable of stopping doing philosophy when I want to.—The one that gives philosophy peace, so that it is no longer tormented by questions which bring itself in question.
  • Luke
    2.1k
    Compare what he says in the preface to the Tractatus:

    I therefore believe myself to have found, on all essential points, the final solution of the problems.


    with PI 133:

    For the clarity that we are aiming at is indeed complete clarity. But this simply means that the philosophical problems should completely disappear.


    His desire for complete clarity is not something Wittgenstein rejected after the Tractatus.

    He continues:

    The real discovery is the one that makes me capable of stopping doing philosophy when I want to.—The one that gives philosophy peace, so that it is no longer tormented by questions which bring itself in question.
    Fooloso4

    I don't believe that the later Wittgenstein would consider there to be a "final solution" to the problems of philosophy. That implies that such a solution was awaiting discovery. I believe that the later Wittgenstein considers philosophical problems as perpetually arising and in need of different treatments or therapies.
  • Fooloso4
    3.7k
    I think that the "picture" you have both been trying to articulate is more of a way of seeing things, or a Weltanschauung, which he mentions at 122 when discussing surveyable representations.Luke

    I agree. See my earlier post:
    Surveyable representation - übersichtlichen Darstellung

    That is the point of the duck/rabbit and, one might say, the point of philosophy.Luke

    I take this to be what is meant in 126:

    One might also give the name "philosophy" to what is possible before all new discoveries and inventions.

    I discussed this earlier in this thread

    Here

    and

    Here
  • Antony Nickles
    568
    in 129: "we fail to be struck by what, once seen, is most striking and most powerful."

    Seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary.
    Fooloso4

    I absolutely agree. Instead of wanting some specific criteria, we come to see our ordinary means of judgment and identity and felicity as good enough. We throw out the desire to explain things in order to be certain, to be able to see (describe) the varied rationality that were always there. And, yes, I would categorize seeing the ordinary as extraordinary as a course of action, an ethic @Luke.
  • Fooloso4
    3.7k
    Instead of wanting some specific criteria, we come to see our ordinary means of judgment and identity and felicity as good enough.Antony Nickles

    After absolutely agreeing with me I'm a bit hesitant to raise a note of disagreement:

    What does our ordinary means of judgment mean?
    Are we ordinarily awake to wonder?
    Is it our ordinary means of judgment and identity that leads to new inventions and discoveries?

    Seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary is not for most of us our ordinary way of seeing things

    PI 90. ... our investigation is directed not towards phenomena, but rather, as one might say, towards the ‘possibilities’ of phenomena.

    PI 126. One might also give the name "philosophy" to what is possible before all new discoveries and inventions.
  • Luke
    2.1k
    And, yes, I would categorize seeing the ordinary as extraordinary as a course of action, an ethic Luke.Antony Nickles

    If "an ethic" can be used to apply to any course of action, then I would agree. However, I find that use of the phrase to be excessively general. I don't see the emphasis you put on morality or ethics to be helpful in understanding the later Wittgenstein. If all that emphasis implies is that he advocates the right philosophy or philosophical method, then every (other) philosopher can be viewed in the same way; as advocating the same. But that says nothing about their philosophy. I don't see ethics or morality as being the main (or even a minor) focus of W's work in the Investigations. He uses the word "ethics" only once and does not mention "moral" or "morality" at all. However, I acknowledge his focus is more socially oriented than that in the Tractatus, if that's what you mean.

    A ‘non-bourgeois’ thinker whose profound influence on Wittgenstein’s development dates from this first year back at Cambridge was Piero Sraffa. Sraffa was a brilliant Italian economist (of a broadly Marxist persuasion), and a close friend of Antonio Gramsci, the imprisoned Italian Communist leader. After jeopardizing his career in his home country by publishing an attack on Mussolini’s policies, Sraffa was invited by Keynes to come to King’s to pursue his work, and a lectureship in economics at Cambridge was created specially for him. Upon being introduced by Keynes, he and Wittgenstein became close friends, and Wittgenstein would arrange to meet him at least once a week for discussions. These meetings he came to value even more than those with Ramsey. In the preface to the Investigations he says of Sraffa’s criticism: ‘I am indebted to this stimulus for the most consequential ideas of this book.’
    This is a large claim, and – considering their widely differing intellectual preoccupations – a puzzling one. But it is precisely because Sraffa’s criticisms did not concern details (because, one might say, he was not a philosopher or a mathematician) that they could be so consequential. Unlike Ramsey, Sraffa had the power to force Wittgenstein to revise, not this or that point, but his whole perspective. One anecdote that illustrates this was told by Wittgenstein to both Malcolm and von Wright, and has since been retold many times. It concerns a conversation in which Wittgenstein insisted that a proposition and that which it describes must have the same ‘logical form’ (or ‘grammar’, depending on the version of the story). To this idea. Sraffa made a Neapolitan gesture of brushing his chin with his fingertips, asking: ‘What is the logical form of that?’ This, according to the story, broke the hold on Wittgenstein of the Tractarian idea that a proposition must be a ‘picture’ of the reality it describes.
    The importance of this anecdote is not that it explains why Wittgenstein abandoned the Picture Theory of meaning (for it does not), but that it is a good example of the way in which Sraffa could make Wittgenstein see things anew, from a fresh perpective. Wittgenstein told many of his friends that his discussions with Sraffa made him feel like a tree from which all branches had been cut. The metaphor is carefully chosen: cutting dead branches away allows new, more vigorous ones to grow (whereas Ramsey’s objections left the dead wood in place, forcing the tree to distort itself around it).
    Wittgenstein once remarked to Rush Rhees that the most important thing he gained from talking to Sraffa was an ‘anthropological’ way of looking at philosophical problems. This remark goes some way to explain why Sraffa is credited as having had such an important influence. One of the most striking ways in which Wittgenstein’s later work differs from the Tractatus is in its ‘anthropological’ approach. That is, whereas the Tractatus deals with language in isolation from the circumstances in which it is used, the Investigations repeatedly emphasizes the importance of the ‘stream of life’ which gives linguistic utterances their meaning: a ‘language-game’ cannot be described without mentioning their activities and the way of life of the ‘tribe’ that plays it. If this change of perspective derives from Sraffa, then his influence on the later work is indeed of the most fundamental importance. But in this case, it must have taken a few years for that influence to bear fruit, for this ‘anthropological’ feature of Wittgenstein’s philosophical method does not begin to emerge until about 1932.
    — Ray Monk, The Duty of Genius
  • Antony Nickles
    568


    What does our ordinary means of judgment mean?Fooloso4

    They are our ordinary criteria; how we judge that a thing (or act) is that thing, what matters for it, counts in our culture, etc., and for each thing or act individually (having an opinion, dreaming, reading, intending), rather than the singular standard of whether we can be certain, logical, in everything. The PI is a series of examples of ordinary vs, say, philosophical/metaphysical/math-like criteria.

    Seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary is not for most of us our ordinary way of seeing thingsFooloso4

    I agree (though the second "ordinary" is used differently, in the sense of usual rather than not special). Our everyday criteria do regularly go unnoticed; we are not aware of every implication--not everything matters all the time (there may be no reason for them to). But also, none of us see them all of the time (there is no lasting enlightened vantage or knowledge) this why we are amazed (stunned) at the unexamined implications (grammar) of, say, walking, or, another's pain. There has been no need for it to strike us (an event for philosophy).

    Is it our ordinary means of judgment and identity that leads to new inventions and discoveries?Fooloso4

    Witt is not talking about leading as if caused or guided by. In saying “before” there is the sense of “not until”, as if there is something obstructing us, perhaps a house of cards, and, once reduced to rubble, it prepares the ground for profitable labor. But also that philosophy is limited to a different work, done apart, before.

    Are we ordinarily awake to wonder?Fooloso4

    If we are struck by the ordinary, we are in a state of awe, but the sense of wonder you are thinking of seems like a curiosity, for discovery.
  • Antony Nickles
    568
    If "an ethic" can be used to apply to any course of action, then I would agree.Luke

    But the Pi does not only morally implore us to take certain actions, but to do so in the name of our betterment, not only in thinking, understanding, teaching; in being rigorous, clear, deliberate, honest, fair; but in learning about our responses to our human condition (our separateness), our fears, our desires, our blindness. But the Pi also uncovers our ethical obligation in the groundlessness of our world and the limitations of knowledge. To treat someone as if they have a soul; that it is not our knowledge of another’s pain, but our response to it that matters.

    This is not a traditional moral philosophical theory or just a set of ethical principles because it subsumes the is and ought, the in and out, etc. What I would think is relevant here is that the discussion of explanation vs description and hidden vs plain-view shows our part in ontology, or desires for epistemology, and thus our moral part in philosophy, to be better people, do better.

    Witt is not taking the same problems and answering them with a different thing, he’s not abandoning the problems, it is not just seeing the problems differently, it is a new way, a larger you, a changed world.
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