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The Worst Philosopher watch

  • View Poll Results: Worst/most hated/disliked Philosopher
    Marx
    15
    13.16%
    Nietzsche
    15
    13.16%
    Rorty
    0
    0%
    Descartes
    9
    7.89%
    Searle
    1
    0.88%
    Berkeley
    3
    2.63%
    Hegel
    3
    2.63%
    Sartre
    6
    5.26%
    Derrida
    8
    7.02%
    Mill
    0
    0%
    Rousseau
    2
    1.75%
    Leibniz
    5
    4.39%
    Pyrrho
    0
    0%
    Socrates
    8
    7.02%
    Turing
    2
    1.75%
    Dawkins
    37
    32.46%

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    (Original post by Iago)
    Unlikely. Well...maybe, I can't predict alternate timelines...but historically speaking Russell was an important catalyst in a way that Russell wasn't. Not just theoretically speaking, but in terms of practical support and encouragement etc. It was Frege who recommended he go to Russell initially, but Russell took him under his wing from then on. Much to Witt's dissapointment, Frege was baffled by the Tractatus when he finally read it, and couldn't get past proposition 1 - the world is all that is the case. He didn't see what fixed the different senses of the two sides of the tautology - he couldn't even begin to make sense of it. And it speculated that the Tractatus simply wouldn't have got published without Russell's original introduction and endorsement.

    Wittgenstein was pretty terrible at simply interacting with the formal academic world. In his early phase Russell pretty much did that for him.
    Russell was in many ways only a 'springboard' for Wittgenstein and I don't think he even spoke to Wittgenstein again after the publication of the Tractatus. I think its something of a disservice to Wittgenstein's philosophy to say that it wouldn't be acknolwedged without the help of Russell, especially as Russell often didn't like/understand/care to grasp most of what Wittgenstein said on language, logic, ethics and most importantly; religion.

    Although like you say, without Russell's introduction to the Tractatus, it most certainly wouldn't have been published, even with the backing of Wittgenstein's other influential friend - Keynes.
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    (Original post by Iago)
    Well his views shifted around quite a bit. I agree he did dabble in metaphysics, and that he probably shouldn't be considered a positivist in the sense that the core positivists had the complete abandonment of metaphysics as one of their aims, and were more shrill on this point. But he was skeptical towards metaphysics, especially of the oldskool variety, and his style of metaphysical speculation was built on empiricism and the idea of language having a direct, formal, logical relation to empirical data. Him and the positivists both took their cue from Hume's fork, and both saw something amazing in the Tractatus. While his style differed quite a lot from the logicians such as Carnap etc. (he was far more of a traditional philosopher, interested in philosophical history, unlike that new breed of mathematician-logician-scientist-philosopher), I'm not sure how important or fundamental the differences in their views were.

    Though as I said he did skip around a lot, and I'm more familiar with some phases of his work than others.
    The Russell who published the 'Problems of Philosophy' almost certainly wasn't a Positivist

    Good god that book is awful, especially all that hocum about Platonic un-instantiated universals and bundle theory etc.
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    I don't at all mean my claims as a disservice to Wittgenstein's philosophy, which I find consistently superior to Russell's and far more influenced by Frege in the long run - when I say that Wittgenstein might not have made it without Russell I'm making a purely practical observation. Russell was God King of philosophy. Wittgenstein was a very young eccentric engineer not at all adaptable to the academic system. And a nobody in philosophy. I'm not sure he could have succeeded in the way that he did, so early that he did, without Russell's help. This does not mean he necessarily needed Russell's philosophical help.

    I'm praying tribute to Russell as a guy for simply having made this investment, whatever his motives. I'm not paying tribute to his philosophy. And he was very supportive to Wittgenstein in the early years of their relationship. They spoke plenty after the Tractatus - Russell actually had to keep reports on Wittgenstein's later development of thought for interested people at one stage. But yeah, they eventually got quite disillusioned with each other and stopped speaking, though Wittgenstein always held those early years of friendship in high esteem.
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    I'm just going to have to let you off the hook then :p:

    I do agree though, if Russell hadn't agreed to meet Wittgenstein in Cambridge then he would probably just have stuck to building kites.....ahem..... All I meant to point out was that Wittgenstein was increadibly self-assured and driven (who else would travel to meet Frege and the 'God King' of Philosophy only to instantly argue with them without ANY formal training in Philosophy?!) and most probably would have become a renowned philosopher albeit a bit slower, had he not had Russell's backing.

    But then again, as you say, even with Russell's backing, he still found it amazingly difficult to get the Tractatus published!
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    (Original post by Iago)
    Indeed, even with Russell's backing, he still found it amazingly difficult to get the Tractatus published!
    I haven't read it, is that because it's ****?

    I wouldn't dare attempt a Wittgenstein book until I'd mastered the language of philosophy.
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    [QUOTE=Sidhe]
    (Original post by Oddjob39A)

    I haven't read it, is that because it's ****?

    I wouldn't dare attempt a Wittgenstein book until I'd mastered the language of philosophy.
    Well it depends really

    If Wittgenstein was still alive he'd tell you to avoid it and not bother reading it.

    The Vienna Circle would have told you to treat it like the Bible.

    Aademics nowadays will tell you to read it purely out of interest and in order to contemplate its true genius :p:

    I think it is an increadible piece of work in its own right and although not neccessarily always correct; still potentially one of the most infulential pieces of philosophy ever created.

    It consists of seven sentences and in Wittgensteins words, is mainly an 'ethical' treatise.

    TO THIS DAY there is still much head scratching and disagreement as to what exactly he meant when he said it was 'ethical' but I think the general gist is that the Tractatus is trying to 'show' you the way to live.

    It is a very obscure book, when Wittgenstein submitted it for his Phd Viva he told the examineers at the end 'not to worry, I know you won't ever understand it'

    Even thought they didn't really understand it they still realised that it was a 'work of genius' and I think that's true for most people even to this day.

    I wouldn't say you have to have a mastery of the Philosophy of Language to appreciate the Tractatus, just a general awareness of Logic/Meta-logic. (I'm only a second year and I got by well enough!)
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    (Original post by Oddjob39A)

    I think it is an increadible piece of work in its own right and although not neccessarily always correct; still potentially one of the most infulential pieces of philosophy ever created.

    It consists of seven sentences and in Wittgensteins words, is mainly an 'ethical' treatise.

    TO THIS DAY there is still much head scratching and disagreement as to what exactly he meant when he said it was 'ethical' but I think the general gist is that the Tractatus is trying to 'show' you the way to live.
    It's an 'ethical' treatise? I thought the point of the 'ending' was that value, and thus, the most important and profound aspects of being human, were precisely those of which nothing can be said.
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    (Original post by The Solitary Reaper)
    It's an 'ethical' treatise? I thought the point of the 'ending' was that value, and thus, the most important and profound aspects of being human, were precisely those of which nothing can be said.
    Wittgenstein intended the Tractatus to show this so that this very maxim would govern your life i.e. the rejection of 'analytical' metaphysics/philosophy. He even admitted that via this criterion the Tractatus itself is 'useless', all it can really do is 'show' and not 'analyse'

    He was often fond of telling his most able students at Cambridge to get a 'manual' job as he often had done i.e. gardner for Hospitalliar Monks in Austria, Architect, Village teacher etc.

    He also banned any of his students who expressed a desire in studying philosophy from his lectures as the last thing he wanted to do was create more philosophers who 'thought' instead of 'lived'

    This kind of 'ethical' outlook fits in with his view that the only people that will understand what the tractatus is trying to tell them are those who have 'already had these thoughts'

    Thus; the Tractatus is 'ethical' in its nature and thats what Wittgenstein primarily saw it as. Indeed, he often caused huge arguments with people and alienated himself from countless academics who failed to see this.

    What a lot of people get confused with (Including Russell and Frege) is the first proposition; 1. 'The world is everything that is the case'

    Now, I think (given Wittgenstein's tendency towards egocentrism and a peculiar kind of stoicism during the period he wrote this) 'the world' in this proposition means the world of the first person i.e. You/Me 'The world' as we know and experience it from our individual standpoints, but then again, not the Idealists 'my world'. Rather, the 'ethical world' of oneself.

    The Tractatus starts to show its primary ethical nature once you take this sort of idea into account.

    It's confusing I know, but Wittgenstein was never a straightfoward philosopher! Almost all of 'analytical' philosophy and Logical Positivism arose from this kind of crucial misreading of the Tractatus.
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    When can we get the philosophizing Oddjob39A back to discussing philosophy and other general subjects? It seems he is struggling on what philosopher that he does not want to read. Am I wrong?
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    (Original post by CartesianFart)
    When can we get the philosophizing Oddjob39A back to discussing philosophy and other general subjects? It seems he is struggling on what philosopher that he does not want to read. Am I wrong?
    Yeah, everyone doesn't want to read Dawkins.
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    (Original post by Oddjob39A)
    Wittgenstein intended the Tractatus to show this so that this very maxim would govern your life i.e. the rejection of 'analytical' metaphysics/philosophy. He even admitted that via this criterion the Tractatus itself is 'useless', all it can really do is 'show' and not 'analyse'

    He was often fond of telling his most able students at Cambridge to get a 'manual' job as he often had done i.e. gardner for Hospitalliar Monks in Austria, Architect, Village teacher etc.

    He also banned any of his students who expressed a desire in studying philosophy from his lectures as the last thing he wanted to do was create more philosophers who 'thought' instead of 'lived'

    This kind of 'ethical' outlook fits in with his view that the only people that will understand what the tractatus is trying to tell them are those who have 'already had these thoughts'

    Thus; the Tractatus is 'ethical' in its nature and thats what Wittgenstein primarily saw it as. Indeed, he often caused huge arguments with people and alienated himself from countless academics who failed to see this.

    What a lot of people get confused with (Including Russell and Frege) is the first proposition; 1. 'The world is everything that is the case'

    Now, I think (given Wittgenstein's tendency towards egocentrism and a peculiar kind of stoicism during the period he wrote this) 'the world' in this proposition means the world of the first person i.e. You/Me 'The world' as we know and experience it from our individual standpoints, but then again, not the Idealists 'my world'. Rather, the 'ethical world' of oneself.

    The Tractatus starts to show its primary ethical nature once you take this sort of idea into account.

    It's confusing I know, but Wittgenstein was never a straightfoward philosopher! Almost all of 'analytical' philosophy and Logical Positivism arose from this kind of crucial misreading of the Tractatus.
    I thought proposition 1 was basically the set up for the later discussion of solipsism.

    "The world" therefore just refers to the knowable, the 'limited whole' of things that can be spoken about because it is what is the case.

    I'm still not convinced it's 'ethical' anymore than a self-help book or something is, though. To me ethics necessarily entails value, and the Tractatus is scarce on value.
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    (Original post by The Solitary Reaper)
    I thought proposition 1 was basically the set up for the later discussion of solipsism.

    "The world" therefore just refers to the knowable, the 'limited whole' of things that can be spoken about because it is what is the case.

    I'm still not convinced it's 'ethical' anymore than a self-help book or something is, though. To me ethics necessarily entails value, and the Tractatus is scarce on value.
    Wittgenstein didn't like 'solipsism' (edit: at least not in the sense we talk of solipsism, 5.631 The thinking, presenting subject; there is no such thing.5.632 The subject does not belong to the world but is a limit of the world.) As I say, the 'world' in the 'world is all that is the case' is the world of your existence, but that doesn't mean that the only world is your world, it's just the only world that matters.

    Wittgenstein was increadibly unhelpful in divulging why he deemed the Tractatus to be 'ethical' but he stated many times that it was and that that was its main essence, its modus operandi. As I said earlier, he refused to discuss the Tractatus with anyone who did not see it first and foremost as an ethical/mystical treatise - he often simply recited poetry during any meetings which turned to the logicism of the Tractus (he was an increadibly strange person)

    Also, Wittgenstein held that the world did exist of more things than which can be 'knowable' i.e. those things which can only be 'shown' - it's at this point that the Positivists took their leave from the intended sentiment of the text.

    The Tractatus becomes an ethical text once you take into account everything it 'doesn't say'; as Wittgenstein himself pointed out. Indeed, what the Tractatus doesn't say is what he was really trying to bring your attention to, as the Tractatus itself (in his own words) is 'useless' given its own meaning.
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    (Original post by Oddjob39A)
    Wittgenstein didn't like solipsism, as I say, the 'world' in the 'world is all that is the case' is the world of your existence, but that doesn't mean that the only world is your world, it's just the only world that matters.

    Wittgenstein was increadibly unhelpful in divulging why he deemed the Tractatus to be 'ethical' but he stated many times that it was and that that was its main essence, its modus operandi. As I said earlier, he refused to discuss the Tractatus with anyone who did not see it first and foremost as an ethical/mystical treatise - he often simply recited poetry during any meetings which turned to the logicism of the Tractus (he was an increadibly strange person)

    Also, Wittgenstein held that the world did exist of more things than which can be 'knowable' i.e. those things which can only be 'shown' - it's at this point that the Positivists took their leave from the intended sentiment of the text.

    The Tractatus becomes an ethical text once you take into account everything it 'doesn't' say, as Wittgenstein himself pointed out and that is what he was really trying to bring your attention to, as the Tractatus itself (in his own words) is 'useless'
    I'm talking about the discussion of solipsism in the Tractatus, later in the book, which basically posits exactly what you just said...

    Why does 'shown' mean 'unknowable'? As much as "the limits of my language are the limits of my world', I took this to mean what is said and shown by language.

    That's quite cryptic though - the only 'ethical' significance I can give it is, again, as a sort of 'self-help' book. Unless I am missing what is 'shown' by the Tractatus; I suppose it changes the conceptualisation of ethics and aesthetics to something rather more... ethereal... but still.

    Maybe I'm just not cut out for Wittgenstein!
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    (Original post by The Solitary Reaper)
    I'm talking about the discussion of solipsism in the Tractatus, later in the book, which basically posits exactly what you just said...

    Why does 'shown' mean 'unknowable'? As much as "the limits of my language are the limits of my world', I took this to mean what is said and shown by language.

    That's quite cryptic though - the only 'ethical' significance I can give it is, again, as a sort of 'self-help' book. Unless I am missing what is 'shown' by the Tractatus; I suppose it changes the conceptualisation of ethics and aesthetics to something rather more... ethereal... but still.

    Maybe I'm just not cut out for Wittgenstein!
    No-one but Wittgenstein is cut out for Wittgenstein :p: Remeber; you are discussing a text many saw as a hallmark of true genius, Wittgenstein was given a Phd solely on the basis of it, despite never completing a BA, the fact that you can hold a coherent conversation on it is more than enough!

    'Shown' as unknowable refers (as far as I can gather anyway) to things such as logical constructions. You can't analyse them, as any analysis would quickly be reduced to nonsensical utterances, all you can do is represent them i.e. 'show' their forms, symbolically e.g. Russellian Symbolic Logic.

    'Shown' in the context of language is even more cryptic. Again, as far as I can tell (I have yet to study Wittgenstein formally) there is more than what one can speak of i.e. the part of which 'one must remain silent', but this 'area of silence' is that which can only be shown, not analysed, thus the remark about the Tractatus only being able to 'show' its contents to those who have already had similair thoughts - anyone who approaches the Tractatus without such thoughts cannot be 'shown' its true ethical nature and as such; will only encounter the 'useless' part of the text i.e. the part which is written down on paper.

    As I said earlier, Wittgenstein saw the Tractatus as being imbued with a great deal of mysticism - the most important part of the text is that which it does not say.

    Edit: Why does 'shown' mean 'unknowable'? - Unkowable purely in the analytical sense. You cannot know what you have yet to be shown and I can show it to you unless you have seen it yourself.
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    That's why I haven't read Wittgenstien, I have him 20 feet from my hole, but the man scares me because I feel I would never understand him without doing a shed load of research into analytical philosophy. And until I am on that level he is a philosopher I dare not read.

    Rather read Camus, Descartes, Nietszche and Sartre, at least I stand a chance of understanding them, hell even Kafka is understandable in his philosophy although he isn't a philosopher per se.
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    (Original post by Oddjob39A)
    No-one but Wittgenstein is cut out for Wittgenstein :p:

    'Shown' as unknowable refers (as far as I can gather anyway) to things such as logical constructions. You can't analyse them, as any analysis would quickly be reduced to nonsensical utterances, all you can do is represent them i.e. 'show' their forms, symbolically e.g. Russellian Symbolic Logic.

    'Shown' in the context of language is even more cryptic. Again, as far as I can tell (I have yet to study Wittgenstein formally) there is more than what one can speak of i.e. the part of which 'one must remain silent', but this 'area of silence' is that which can only be shown, not analysed, thus the remark about the Tractatus only being able to 'show' its contents to those who have already had similair thoughts - anyone who approaches the Tractatus without such thoughts cannot be 'shown' its true ethical nature and as such; will only encounter the 'useless' part of the text i.e. the part which is written down on paper.

    As I said earlier, Wittgenstein saw the Tractatus as being imbued with a great deal of mysticism - the most important part of the text is that which it does not say.

    Edit: Why does 'shown' mean 'unknowable'? - Unkowable purely in the analytical sense. You cannot know what you have yet to be shown and I can show it to you unless you have seen it yourself.
    Ah, I think that is the main source of our misunderstanding on this point - I took your distinction between "knowable" and "shown" to imply that those things that are shown are fundamentally unknowable.

    Again, the main thrust of the mysticism from my reading, at least, was the sort of humbling conceptualisation of what we are equipped to know and talk about and the boundaries of our understanding; the 'limited whole' thing again, particularly as it relates to value (value constituting a generally very significant part of being human, yet outside of this limited whole).

    EDIT: I just realised we are probably saying the same thing in different words.
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    (Original post by The Solitary Reaper)
    Ah, I think that is the main source of our misunderstanding on this point - I took your distinction between "knowable" and "shown" to imply that those things that are shown are fundamentally unknowable.

    Again, the main thrust of the mysticism from my reading, at least, was the sort of humbling conceptualisation of what we are equipped to know and talk about and the boundaries of our understanding; the 'limited whole' thing again, particularly as it relates to value (value constituting a generally very significant part of being human, yet outside of this limited whole).

    EDIT: I just realised we are probably saying the same thing in different words.
    Well I'm a knowlessman compared to you but isn't that the crux of Wittgenstein's argument?
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    (Original post by Sidhe)
    Well I'm a knowlessman compared to you but isn't that the crux of Wittgenstein's argument?
    To which bit do you refer, good sir? And to be frank, your guess is as good as anyone's.
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    (Original post by The Solitary Reaper)
    To which bit do you refer, good sir? And to be frank, your guess is as good as anyone's.
    :rofl: that's a pretty good point there.

    I refer to nothing because I am too scared to read Wittgenstein. The man was a genius but his works are too esoteric for me to read, given my ability in philosophy. Thus my opinions are invalid, but my fear is valid.
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    (Original post by The Solitary Reaper)
    Ah, I think that is the main source of our misunderstanding on this point - I took your distinction between "knowable" and "shown" to imply that those things that are shown are fundamentally unknowable.

    Again, the main thrust of the mysticism from my reading, at least, was the sort of humbling conceptualisation of what we are equipped to know and talk about and the boundaries of our understanding; the 'limited whole' thing again, particularly as it relates to value (value constituting a generally very significant part of being human, yet outside of this limited whole).

    EDIT: I just realised we are probably saying the same thing in different words.
    As is often the case with Wittgenstein, two people can disagree over him for hours only to find that they are talking about exactly the same thing albeit in different terms :p:
 
 
 
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