Gebruiker:Good Intentions/Wittgenstein

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    Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein ( (26 April, 188929 April, 1951) was 'n Oostenrykse filosoof wie hoofsaaklik gewerk het in logika, die filosofie van wiskunde, die geestesfilosofie en die taalfilosofie.[1] Hy het aansienbare invloed op 20ste eeuse filosofie gehad, veral in die analitiese stroming, waarin hy as een van die groot forste beskou word.

    Voor hy teen ouderdom 62 gesterf het[2] was die enigste boek-lengte stuk wat hy geskryf het die Tractacus Logico-Philosophicus, en sy Philosophische Untersuchungen (Filosofiese Ondersoeke) is kort na sy dood gepubliseer. Beide hierdie werke word hoog aangeskou in analitiese filosofie, al het hulle duidelike verskoue en is die Ondersoeke 'n breking met die filosofie in die Tractacus.[3][4]

    The Tractatus[wysig | wysig bron]

    In rough order, the first half of the book sets forth the following theses:

    • The world consists of independent atomic facts — existing states of affairs — out of which larger facts are built.
    • Language consists of atomic, and then larger-scale propositions that correspond to these facts by sharing the same "logical form".
    • Thought, expressed in language, "pictures" these facts.
    • We can analyse our thoughts and sentences to express ("express" as in show, not say) their true logical form.
    • Those we cannot so analyze, cannot be meaningfully discussed.
    • Philosophy consists of no more than this form of analysis: "Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muß man schweigen" ("Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent").

    Some commentators believe that, although no other type of discourse is, properly speaking, philosophy, Wittgenstein does imply that those things to be passed over "in silence" may be important or useful,[5] according to some of his more cryptic propositions in the last sections of the Tractatus; indeed, that they may be the most important and most useful. He himself wrote about the Tractatus in a letter to his publisher Ficker:

    ... [T]he point of the book is ethical. I once wanted to give a few words in the foreword which now actually are not in it, which, however, I’ll write to you now because they might be a key for you: I wanted to write that my work consists of two parts: of the one which is here, and of everything I have not written. And precisely this second part is the important one. For the Ethical is delimited from within, as it were by my book; and I’m convinced that, strictly speaking, it can ONLY be delimited in this way. In brief, I think: All of that which many are babbling I have defined in my book by remaining silent about it.[6]

    Other commentators point out that the sentences of the Tractatus would not qualify as meaningful according to its own rigid criteria, and that Wittgenstein's method in the book does not follow its own demands regarding the only strictly correct philosophical method.[7] This also is admitted by Wittgenstein, when he writes in proposition 6.54: ‘My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless’. These commentators believe that the book is deeply ironic, and that it demonstrates the ultimate nonsensicality of any sentence attempting to say something metaphysical, something about those fixations of metaphysical philosophers, about those things that must be passed over in silence, and about logic. He attempts to define the limits of logic in understanding the world.

    The work also contains several innovations in logic, including a version of the truth table.

    The work was written in line with a general logicist belief prevalent at the time and made evident by Principia Mathematica that the basic principles of arithmetic are explainable by a complete axiomatic system of logical principles. While Principia Mathematica was in the limelight, Wittgenstein wrote the Tractatus, which was more or less in agreement with these logicist ideas.[verwysing benodig] When the logicist programme was thrown into doubt by Gödel's On Formally Undecidable Propositions of Principia Mathematica and Related Systems, Wittgenstein abandoned this approach.[verwysing benodig]

    Philosophical Investigations[wysig | wysig bron]

    Alongside the Tractatus, Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations (Philosophische Untersuchungen) was one of his two major works. In 1953, two years after Wittgenstein's death, the long-awaited book was published in two parts. Most of the 693 numbered paragraphs in Part I were ready for printing in 1946, but Wittgenstein withdrew the manuscript from the publisher. The shorter Part II was added by the editors, G.E.M. Anscombe and Rush Rhees.

    It is difficult to find consensus among interpreters of Wittgenstein's work, and this is particularly true in the case of the Investigations. Wittgenstein asks the reader to think of language and its uses as a multiplicity[8] of language-games within which the parts of language function and have meaning. As a result of this perspective, many conventional philosophical problems (i.e., what is truth?) become meaningless wordplay.

    The conventional view of the task of the philosopher is to solve seemingly intractable problems of philosophy using logical analysis (for example, the problem of free will, the relationship between mind and matter, what the good or the beautiful or the true consist of, and so on). However, Wittgenstein argues that these problems are, in fact, "bewitchments" that arise from philosophers' misuse of language.

    In Wittgenstein's view, language is inextricably woven into the fabric of life, and as part of that fabric it works relatively unproblematically. Philosophical problems arise when language is forced from its proper home and into a metaphysical environment, where all the familiar and necessary landmarks and contextual clues are absent — removed, perhaps, for what appear to be sound philosophical reasons, but which lead, for Wittgenstein, to the source of the problem. Wittgenstein describes this metaphysical environment as like being on frictionless ice:[9] where the conditions are apparently perfect for a philosophically and logically perfect language (the language of the Tractatus), where all philosophical problems can be solved without the confusing and muddying effects of everyday contexts; but where, just because of the lack of friction, language can in fact do no actual work at all. There is much talk in the Investigations, then, of “idle wheels” and language being “on holiday” or a mere "ornament", all of which are used to express the idea of what is lacking in philosophical contexts. To resolve the problems encountered there, Wittgenstein argues that philosophers must leave the frictionless ice and return to the “rough ground” of ordinary language in use; that is, philosophers must “bring words back from their metaphysical to their everyday use.”

    In this regard, one can see affinities between Wittgenstein and Kant.[10] In the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant argues that when concepts grounded in experience are applied outside of the range of possible experience, the result is contradictions and confusion. Thus the second part of the Critique consists of refutations, typically by reductio ad absurdum, of logical proofs of the existence of God and the existence of souls, and attacks on strong notions of infinity and necessity. In this way, Wittgenstein's objections to applying words outside the contexts in which they have an established meaning mirror Kant's objections to the non-empirical use of empirical reason.

    Three fly-bottles, Central Europe, beginning of the XXth century

    Returning to the rough ground of ordinary uses of words is, however, easier said than done. Philosophical problems have the character of depth and run as deep as the forms of language and thought that set philosophers on the road to confusion. Wittgenstein therefore speaks of “illusions”, "bewitchment", and “conjuring tricks” performed on our thinking by our forms of language, and tries to break their spell by attending to differences between superficially similar aspects of language which he feels lead to this type of confusion. For much of the Investigations, then, Wittgenstein tries to show how philosophers are led away from the ordinary world of language in use by misleading aspects of language itself. He does this by looking at the role language plays in the development of various philosophical problems, to some general problems involving language itself, then at the notions of rules and rule following, and then on to some more specific problems in the philosophy of mind. Throughout these investigations, the style of writing is conversational, with Wittgenstein in turn taking the role of the puzzled philosopher (on either or both sides of traditional philosophical debates), and that of the guide attempting to show the puzzled philosopher the way back: the “way out of the fly bottle.”[11]

    Much of the Investigations, then, consists of examples of how philosophical confusion is generated and how, by a close examination of the actual workings of everyday language, the first false steps towards philosophical puzzlement can be avoided. By avoiding these first false steps, philosophical problems themselves simply no longer arise and are therefore dissolved rather than solved. As Wittgenstein puts it; "the clarity we are aiming at is indeed complete clarity. But this simply means that the philosophical problems should completely disappear."

    Criticism[wysig | wysig bron]

    Obscurantism[wysig | wysig bron]

    Some have criticized Wittgenstein for his position on the limits of language,[12] and his abandonment of empirical explanation for linguistic description in his later works. Friedrich Waismann accused Wittgenstein of "complete obscurantism" because of this apparent betrayal of empirical inquiry.[13] This criticism has been further developed by Ernest Gellner.[14] Frank Cioffi discusses the various senses of obscurantism in Wittgenstein, which he designates as 'limits obscurantism', 'method obscurantism', and 'sensibility obscurantism.'[15]

    Influence[wysig | wysig bron]

    Both his early and later work have been major influences in the development of analytic philosophy. Former students and colleagues include Gilbert Ryle, Friedrich Waismann, Norman Malcolm, G. E. M. Anscombe, Rush Rhees, Georg Henrik von Wright and Peter Geach.

    However, it cannot really be said that Wittgenstein founded a 'school' in any normal sense. The views of most of the above are generally contradictory. Indeed there are strong strains in his writings from the Tractatus onwards which would probably have regarded any such enterprise as fundamentally misguided.

    Wittgenstein has also had a significant influence in the social sciences. Most significantly,[16] social therapy has made use of Wittgenstein's language games as a tool for emotional growth.[17] Psychologists and psychotherapists inspired by Wittgenstein's work include Fred Newman, Lois Holzman, Brian J. Mistler, and John Morss.[verwysing benodig] American anthropologist Clifford Geertz heavily grounded his development of linguistic symbolism in Wittgenstein's work.[verwysing benodig]

    Wittgenstein's influence has extended beyond what is normally considered philosophy and may be found in various areas of the arts.[verwysing benodig] American composer Steve Reich has twice set quotes from Wittgenstein to music. "How small a thought it takes to fill a whole life!" is the basis for Proverb (1995) while the third movement of You Are (Variations) (2004), uses a sentence from Philosophical Investigations: "Explanations come to an end somewhere."[18][19] Reich received a B.A. in philosophy from Cornell University in 1957, having written his thesis on Wittgenstein.[20] Wittgenstein was the last person considered in the final edition of the six-part BBC documentary, "Sea of Faith".

    Bibliography[wysig | wysig bron]

    Works[wysig | wysig bron]

    Important publications[wysig | wysig bron]

    • Logisch-Philosophische Abhandlung, Annalen der Naturphilosophie, 14 (1921)
    • Philosophische Untersuchungen (1953)
    • Bemerkungen über die Grundlagen der Mathematik, ed. by G.H. von Wright, R. Rhees, and G.E.M. Anscombe (1956) (a selection from his writings on the philosophy of logic and mathematics between 1937 and 1944)
      • Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics, translated by G.E.M. Anscombe, rev. ed. (1978)
    • Bemerkungen über die Philosophie der Psychologie, ed. G.E.M. Anscombe and G.H. von Wright (1980)
      • Remarks on the Philosophy of Psychology, Vols. 1 and 2, translated by G.E.M. Anscombe, ed. G.E.M. Anscombe and G.H. von Wright (1980) (a selection of which makes up 'Zettel')
    • The Blue and Brown Books (1958) (Notes dictated in English to Cambridge students in 1933–35)
    • Philosophische Bemerkungen, ed. by Rush Rhees (1964)
      • Philosophical Remarks (1975)
      • Philosophical Grammar (1978)
    • Bemerkungen über die Farben, ed. by G.E.M. Anscombe (1977)

    Later work[wysig | wysig bron]

    • On Certainty — A collection of aphorisms discussing the relation between knowledge and certainty, extremely influential in the philosophy of action.
    • Remarks on Colour — Remarks on Goethe's Theory of Colours.
    • Culture and Value — A collection of personal remarks about various cultural issues, such as religion and music, as well as critique of Søren Kierkegaard's philosophy.
    • Zettel, another collection of Wittgenstein's thoughts in fragmentary/"diary entry" format as with On Certainty and Culture and Value.

    Works available online[wysig | wysig bron]

    1. "Time 100: Scientists and Thinkers". Time Magazine Online. Onbekende parameter |accessyear= geïgnoreer (|access-date= voorgestel) (hulp); Onbekende parameter |accessmonthday= geïgnoreer (hulp)
    2. Give Him Genius or Give Him Death. Article by Anthony Kenny, New York Times
    3. Wittgenstein’s Significance, article by Mark J. Cain, Philosophy Now 2001
    4. Avrum Stroll 20th Century Analytic Philosophy, pp. 113-146, Columbia University Press, 2000 ISBN 0-231-11220-3
    5. Realistic spirit: Wittgenstein, philosophy, and the mind by Cora Diamond, p. 181
    6. Letter from Wittgenstein to Ludwig von Ficker, Bad Modernisms, book by Douglas Mao and Rebecca Walkowitz. October or November 1919, translated by Ray Monk.
    7. The Good Sense of Nonsense: a reading of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus as nonself-repudiating by Danièle Moyal-Sharrock, The Royal Institute of Philosophy, 2007
    8. Philosophical Investigations, §23.
    9. Philosophical Investigations, §107.
    10. Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations: Critical Essays by Meredith Williams
    11. Cf. Philosophical Investigations, §309.
    12. see Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus
    13. Shanker, S., & Shanker, V. A. (1986), Ludwig Wittgenstein: critical assessments. London: Croom Helm, 50-51.
    14. Words and things: An examination of, and an attack on, linguistic philosophy. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979, originally published in 1959.
    15. Cioffi, F. (1998), Wittgenstein on Freud and Frazer. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 183ff, chapter 7 on Wittgenstein and obscurantism.
    16. Sluga/Stern, editors The Cambridge Companion to Wittgenstein, pp. 25-26, Cambridge University Press, 1996 ISBN-10: 978-0521-46591-5
    17. "Post-Graduate Diploma in Discursive Therapies". Massey University School of Psychology. http://therapy.massey.ac.nz/. Besoek op 2008-06-22.  See also: "Social Therapy Group website".
    18. "New York Times interview with Reich".
    19. "First Aphorism from Philosophical Investigations".
    20. "Cornell Chronicle article".