Maybe there was some similar subtle aesthetic/moral motivation that caused Wittgenstein to make the shift?
"To see the world as a limited whole. That is the mystical." This is one of those strange Tractatus lines (many near the end) that suggest what his motives were for writing the book. What he really cared about
were those things whereof we were supposed to be silent. He wanted to escape language, to step outside it and see it as a bounded whole. This is a Rorty-inspired interpretation. As far as I can tell, Davidson makes Wittgenstein's position more explicit. But I know Davidson only through Rorty, who quotes the crap out of em. Witt's later style was not exactly abstract. He stuck to details. This is the medium as the message. Davidson would venture the anti-transcendental abstractions. We can't say ahead of time what sort of things we might or might not be able to say. That sort of thing.
---------- Post added 02-17-2010 at 01:56 AM ----------
Fake picture Evil / useful tools and games Good.
The picture theory did seem to appeal to the anti-wisdom bunch. They wanted to use it against metaphysics. This ties to Heidegger, I think. They wanted to master the medium, to delineate its possibilities. They didn't like
metaphysics. To me, there's a certain Evil in this eagerness to reduce man's expressive possibilities.
Whereas the tool metaphor is friendly. Also it's much more open.
---------- Post added 02-17-2010 at 02:04 AM ----------
I'm not as well versed in Wittgenstein (or philosophy in general) as I should be.
I haven't read much Plato or Aristotle in their own words. Sure, I've read about
them, but most of Plato and Aristotle move too slow for me. I get impatient. Plato's damn demonstrative dialogues. I liked the Symposium, but I generally find fake dialogues that mean to prove something tedious.
I wonder what Aristotle was like as a writer? I love what can be inferred about him. Word has it only his lecture notes survive. Ain't it a shame?
The later Wittgenstein is so stuck on details that most of it bores me. Here and there he will throw down a killer line. Lucky for me he is much quoted. For me, he's as much an interesting character as a philosopher. But then I think biography is a legitimate aspect of philosophy. Just as I think psychology and philosophy are completely inseparable.