kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jun, 2010 06:11 am
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

Quote:
Even so, the fact that W.'s ideas of philosophy radically changed after the Tractatus shows that one cannot know what the limits of knowledge are.


That is your interpretation. Most philosophers agree that W's dismissal of his Tractatus was epistemologically significant because it re-focussed atttention on language with such adages as "The limits of my language are the limits of my world". W's subsequent investigations of language use were paralleled by Kuhn's analysis of paradigmatic shifts in science, such that "knowing" was seen as "a social activity"( language games) rather than "being in possession of facts".


Why cannot knowing be both a social activity (whatever that comes to) and also being in possession of the facts? Whatever kind of activity it is when I know that Quito is the capital of Ecuador, it remains true that for me to know that Quito is the capital of Ecuador, it has to be true of me that I believe Quito is the capital of Ecuador; that my belief is justified; and that Quito is the capital of Ecuador. How these became true of me is a different issue. The two questions, what must be true of someone for him to know that some proposition is true? ; and what social activity (whatever that may mean) is his knowing? are not exclusive issues. In fact, so far as I can see, they are complementary issues.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jun, 2010 06:34 am
@kennethamy,
Quote:
Why cannot knowing be both a social activity (whatever that comes to) and also being in possession of the facts?

....because unless you go around in a nerd-like state constantly muttering to yourself that "Quito is the capital of Ecuador" you completely fail to understand the significance of the phrase "meaning is use"...."use" is socially defined, including instances of your own internal dialogue.......is your "fact" for a quiz show ?....is your "fact" for a business plan?....is your "fact" to do with the unfair distribution of infrastructure in Ecuador ?......

And .....is it a "fact" that there is a dead fly on my window at specific co-ordinates?...only for those who see this as useful !.....like my wife in conversation with the window cleaner.
de Silentio
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jun, 2010 10:21 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:

Even so, the fact that W.'s ideas of philosophy radically changed after the Tractatus shows that one cannot know what the limits of knowledge are.

Why? What would the change in W. have to do with whether someone can know what the limits of knowledge are, or, for that matter, anything else? How would anyone's investigations into any philosophical questions be affected by Wittgenstein's changes?


Careful, I didn't say that we cannot know what the limits of knowledge are BECAUSE W. changed his philosophical outlook. What I said was that W. is EVIDENCE of the fact that we cannot know what the limits of knowledge are. The point is that W. thought his philosophy was the penultimate answer to all philosophical questions, i.e. he thought he knew what the limits of knowledge were. Then, he went back and changed his mind.

My point is that even when we think we know what the limits of knowledge are, we probably don't, and thinking that we do is a form of arrogance.

If I'm not mistaken, you're question is now rendered inert as you misinterpreted the thesis I was trying to convey. Perhaps the word "shows" was misleading?

@Fresco:

"That is your interpretation. Most philosophers agree that W's dismissal of his Tractatus was epistemologically significant because it re-focussed atttention on language with such adages as "The limits of my language are the limits of my world"."

I wasn't labeling what I said as a significant conclusion of W's philosophy to epistemology. Just saying that W. is evidence that we should tell people what they cannot speak about, because we may not know the "whereof one cannot speak", even though we think that we know.

kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jun, 2010 02:51 pm
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

Quote:
Why cannot knowing be both a social activity (whatever that comes to) and also being in possession of the facts?

....because unless you go around in a nerd-like state constantly muttering to yourself that "Quito is the capital of Ecuador" you completely fail to understand the significance of the phrase "meaning is use"...."use" is socially defined, including instances of your own internal dialogue.......is your "fact" for a quiz show ?....is your "fact" for a business plan?....is your "fact" to do with the unfair distribution of infrastructure in Ecuador ?......

And .....is it a "fact" that there is a dead fly on my window at specific co-ordinates?...only for those who see this as useful !.....like my wife in conversation with the window cleaner.


I don't know about "nerd like states" but I don't see why we cannot ask the question, what are the conditions required for it to be true of some person X that he knows that Quito is the capital of Ecuador? And, in addition, inquire into the social place of knowledge. These are separate issues, and, of course, if you are not interested in the former issue, or if you don't understand it, you are quite free not to address it. It is no requirement of this forum that everyone be interested or understand every issue raised. But I don't think that you should take on yourself the position of being the arbiter of what should be discussed on this forum. What do you think? (And to your question, yes, if there is a dead fly on the floor, then whether of not anyone finds it useful to note this fact, it is still a fact. It may even be a fact that it is not useful to note the fact, but even the fact that it is not useful to note the fact is, nevertheless, a fact. Wittgenstein was, doubtless, a great philosopher, but he is not the arbiter of all thought, and indeed, in his preface to the Investigations he write that he hopes that what he writes will stimulate others to thoughts of their own, but that they will not slavishly follow what he says. But, he adds, that he hardly hopes for that, "in the darkness of these times".
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jun, 2010 03:22 pm
@kennethamy,
I lied about the fly ! Is is a "fact" that there is NO fly ? Wink


kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jun, 2010 03:32 pm
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

What I think is that you here for mostly the sake of argument alone, but to use a favorite phrase of yours from one of the multiple forums you frequent on which you haven't yet been banned, " you know that don't you". I'll let your reputation speak for you in the matter of arbitration.


What I think is that rather than persisting in attacking me, you should attempt to reply to some of my objections and comments. What the point is of your constant stream of abusive ad hominems is more than I can understand. Apparently, it is your surrogate for doing some philosophy. I haven't notice your doing any philosophy, although you appear to confuse the appeal to authority with philosophizing. You would have been more at home in the Middle Ages when the confusion between philosophizing and appealing to authority was rampant. The ironic thing is that while you style yourself a Wittgensteinian, what Wittgenstein despised most was appealing to authority rather than thinking for oneself.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jun, 2010 03:36 pm
@kennethamy,
re-read edited post
Quote:
I lied about the fly. Is it a "fact" that there is NO fly ? Wink
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jun, 2010 04:09 pm
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

re-read edited post
Quote:
I lied about the fly. Is it a "fact" that there is NO fly ? Wink



Of course. "It is a fact that p" means only that p is true. So if you lied, it is true that there is no fly. Which is to say, it is a fact that there is no fly.
0 Replies
 
de Silentio
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jun, 2010 04:36 pm
@de Silentio,
de Silentio wrote:

Just saying that W. is evidence that we should tell people what they cannot speak about, because we may not know the "whereof one cannot speak", even though we think that we know.


Sorry, this should read: "Just saying that W. is evidence that we should NOT tell people what they cannot speak about..."

Big difference! Smile
0 Replies
 
jack phil
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jun, 2010 05:17 pm
Wittgenstein's Lecture on Ethics makes clear what it is he is remaining silent about, i.e. ethical claims. He lead by example, not theory or doctrine. So, his dying statement, "Tell them I had a wonderful life" is relevant.

We see a man, born into the top percentiles of wealth, give away all of his wealth and live ascetically (and did this before the Great Depression). We see a man, excused from the WWI draft for a leg injury, volunteering again and again until he reached the front lines-- were he would have won several badges of courage had his side not lost and him become a POW. After writing the TLP, in which he claimed to have solved all philosophical problems, he went and taught poor, rural school children. He did come back to Cambridge and taught philosophy for a number of years, and wrote several works, but never again published. In WWII, he volunteered as a porter at a hospital, leaving his comfortable Philosophy Chair at Cambridge (it might be noted that he worked until the last day of his life). At some point in his late career, he confessed all of his sins to friends and went back to rural Austria to apologize to his former schoolchildren for being such a harsh teacher. etc., etc., etc.

The TLP is about Ethics. He doesn't tell you how to live, he shows you how well any man can live. But maybe that is too NAZI for some.

As for prop # 7 (Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent), it is only supposed to be a tautology. "Common Sense" as one person called it. Wittgenstein said his remarks probably sound like simple truisms. They are. Hence the whole "What can be said at all can be said clearly", which, combined with prop #7 sums up the whole of the TLP.
mark noble
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jun, 2010 05:59 pm
@de Silentio,
Hi De!

I'll answer this with no prior knowledge of its origin and without reading any posts herein.

If you don't know the subject being discussed, you should hold your tongue.

Let me know if I'm wrong? Please.

Have a brilliant day.
Mark...
de Silentio
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jun, 2010 06:20 pm
@mark noble,
mark noble wrote:

If you don't know the subject being discussed, you should hold your tongue.


I think the quote is more along the lines of: if it is impossible to have knowledge about the subject, then you should not speak about it as if you do have knowledge. Some of the previous posts point this out more clearly.

But, I'll say it again, that's where a quote like this can be troubling. I don't think that someone should ever "hold their tongue" when doing philosophy. Philosophy is about discovery and the only way to discover is to inquire. Now, does that mean that every Tom, Dick, and Harry Philosopher should go around spewing "truths"? Absolutely not, what philosophers should do is critically examine ideas and conclusions. Sometimes this requires verbal retorts that are spoken by someone who is ignorant on the subject but trying to figure it out.

For example, I was discussing some meta-logic topics with a professor of mine and he was getting into some hefty stuff that I really didn't understand. However, at one point he seemed to say something that just didn't jive with me, so I interrupted him and asked him how that was so. The result was that I more or less put my finger on one of the central problems in meta-logic.

To go by your interpretation... I didn't know the subject being discussed and I didn't really know that I had caught onto something substantial. But, I didn't hold my tongue and learned more because of it.

To reiterate my intention in asking the question about jgweed's signature is that I thought some of the less philosophical among us would interpret it the way you had... and as I explain above, that seems like a dangerous interpretation.

Thanks for the reply, Mark. You have a brilliant day also.

kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jun, 2010 06:48 pm
@de Silentio,
de Silentio wrote:

mark noble wrote:

If you don't know the subject being discussed, you should hold your tongue.


I think the quote is more along the lines of: if it is impossible to have knowledge about the subject, then you should not speak about it as if you do have knowledge. Some of the previous posts point this out more clearly.

But, I'll say it again, that's where a quote like this can be troubling. I don't think that someone should ever "hold their tongue" when doing philosophy. Philosophy is about discovery and the only way to discover is to inquire. Now, does that mean that every Tom, Dick, and Harry Philosopher should go around spewing "truths"? Absolutely not, what philosophers should do is critically examine ideas and conclusions. Sometimes this requires verbal retorts that are spoken by someone who is ignorant on the subject but trying to figure it out.

For example, I was discussing some meta-logic topics with a professor of mine and he was getting into some hefty stuff that I really didn't understand. However, at one point he seemed to say something that just didn't jive with me, so I interrupted him and asked him how that was so. The result was that I more or less put my finger on one of the central problems in meta-logic.

To go by your interpretation... I didn't know the subject being discussed and I didn't really know that I had caught onto something substantial. But, I didn't hold my tongue and learned more because of it.

To reiterate my intention in asking the question about jgweed's signature is that I thought some of the less philosophical among us would interpret it the way you had... and as I explain above, that seems like a dangerous interpretation.

Thanks for the reply, Mark. You have a brilliant day also.




Oh, I don't agree at all. People who don't know what they are talking about with regard to any subject ought to remain silent. As the saying goes, if you keep quiet, people may merely think you are a fool, but if you open your mouth, they will know you are a fool. Why should philosophy be any different in this respect from any other subject. You talk as if there is nothing to know in philosophy, and as if there are no, and should be, no rules or restrictions so that you can run at the mouth as you please without concern about whether what you say is true or false, or, worse, without concern as to whether what you say even makes sense. It is this kind of view that give philosophy the bad name it often has among educated people, and especially among scientists some of whom are simply contemptuous of it. And let me add that if, indeed, it is impossible to have knowledge of something, that inevitably raises the question of whether there is something to have knowledge of. That is exactly the problem with something like Kant's noumenon. His view that we can know nothing about it raises suspicions as to whether there is anything to know. That is, it seems to me, as likely an explanation as any (and perhaps better than most) of why we cannot know anything about it.

By the way, I am not, of course, in any way, suggesting that you are someone who does not know what he is talking about. I want to make that clear.
mickalos
 
  2  
Reply Sun 27 Jun, 2010 07:28 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:

fresco wrote:

Quote:
Even so, the fact that W.'s ideas of philosophy radically changed after the Tractatus shows that one cannot know what the limits of knowledge are.


That is your interpretation. Most philosophers agree that W's dismissal of his Tractatus was epistemologically significant because it re-focussed atttention on language with such adages as "The limits of my language are the limits of my world". W's subsequent investigations of language use were paralleled by Kuhn's analysis of paradigmatic shifts in science, such that "knowing" was seen as "a social activity"( language games) rather than "being in possession of facts".


Why cannot knowing be both a social activity (whatever that comes to) and also being in possession of the facts? Whatever kind of activity it is when I know that Quito is the capital of Ecuador, it remains true that for me to know that Quito is the capital of Ecuador, it has to be true of me that I believe Quito is the capital of Ecuador; that my belief is justified; and that Quito is the capital of Ecuador. How these became true of me is a different issue. The two questions, what must be true of someone for him to know that some proposition is true? ; and what social activity (whatever that may mean) is his knowing? are not exclusive issues. In fact, so far as I can see, they are complementary issues.

It's hard to untangle being in possession of a fact from social activity in On Certainty because Wittgenstein adopts a strange form of anti-foundationalism (one might even be tempted to call it a strange form of foundationalism instead) and linguistic idealism (or conceptual relativism, if you like). The sceptic poses a problem that Wittgenstein is looking to dissolve: I have emptied my head of all my previous knowledge, and it now lies on the table of doubt before me. How do I start putting it back in again when everything that may act as a justification is uncertain?

Wittgenstein sees the sceptic's point; if we demand that our beliefs be founded upon other beliefs then "at the foundation of well-founded belief lies belief that is not founded." This prompts Wittgenstein to look elsewhere, for "something that lies beyond being justified or unjustified; as it were, as something animal." Why should I not adopt some kind of geographical scepticism in relation to the capital cities of South American countries? What does act as a grounds for my belief that Quito is the capital of Ecuador? Well, for a start it depends on numerous other beliefs in my belief system, but what do these more basic beliefs rest on? Wittgenstein's answer is human practices and forms of life, which would lose their purpose, and radically change if we admitted the doubts of the sceptic: "My life shews that I know or am certain that there is a chair over there, or a door, and so on.—I tell a friend e.g. "Take that chair over there", "Shut the door", etc. etc." What justification does our custom and practice require? It is simply what we do! It cannot be justified or unjustified. (of course, clearly what we do can be justified or unjustified in the context of a language game, but may the language game itself be unjustified? Nonsense!)

We might imagine a form of life that is quite different from our own, in which "Here is a hand" is a matter of uncertainty, though quite what purpose this would serve is unclear. Imagine a world where goal keepers had to pass a test before they stepped on to the pitch. Indeed, we might even consider it a matter of falsity; where one separates holding facts from linguistic activity is unclear to me here.
de Silentio
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jun, 2010 10:30 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:

You talk as if there is nothing to know in philosophy, and as if there are no, and should be, no rules or restrictions so that you can run at the mouth as you please without concern about whether what you say is true or false, or, worse, without concern as to whether what you say even makes sense.


I don't see how you came to that conclusion . Perhaps you missed this part of my post:

Me: "Now, does that mean that every Tom, Dick, and Harry Philosopher should go around spewing "truths"? Absolutely not, what philosophers should do is critically examine ideas and conclusions"

Quote:
It is this kind of view that give philosophy the bad name it often has among educated people, and especially among scientists some of whom are simply contemptuous of it


Taking the two quotes I provided from you, it seems like you're describing someone who doesn't know what they're talking about, but thinks they do. That was not the type of person I had in mind. Maybe I wasn't clear enough because it seems that the nature of a philosopher includes a level of humility and respect for wisdom. The type of person you describe has neither of these. In fact, you describe a person that most would call an arogant asshole. Is that really the person you think I was describing?

My professor once told me that, among other reasons, I was favored in the department because I can't keep my mouth shut. Honestly, that's what he said. A lot of times I don't know what I'm talking about, especially with subjects that are new to me. Sometimes I ask very insightful question and sometimes I look the fool. Sometimes when I'm looking the fool it makes a positive impact in the classroom, other times I just look stupid (but I don't mind). The problem is, I never know when I am asking a very important question or when I saying something stupid. If I was always proper and kept my mouth shut because I didn't "know" what I was talking about, I wouldn't develop my philosophical abilites as quickly and may miss an opportunity to uknowingly aid another person in the classroom. When one person looks the fool, it's very likely that there are other fools around that are to afraid to speak up... and in being afraid they continue being the fool because their errors may not be corrected.
0 Replies
 
wayne
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jun, 2010 10:49 pm
I thought the signature went " Of what one cannot speak, thereof, one must remain silent"
In my opinion this is quite true, if you don't know what you are talking about you will only speak nonsense, and will in truth remain silent as to what you cannot speak, regardless of how many words you use.
It is inevitable.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jun, 2010 11:47 pm
@mickalos,
A well written analysis !

In your last paragraph you use the phrase "here at hand" in the manner of Heidegger. Were you thinking along those lines ?
0 Replies
 
laughoutlood
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jun, 2010 11:47 pm
@fresco,
Quote:
the ineffable


So droll.

The ineluctable conclusion is that Wittgenstein's portentous work imagineered an A2K with more risibility than religion or politics could ever deliver with the addition of philosophy.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 12:24 am
@laughoutlood,
I almost understand that ! Laughing
0 Replies
 
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 02:36 am
@jack phil,
Great post, Jack. I personally interpret the line as a truism as well.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

How can we be sure? - Discussion by Raishu-tensho
Proof of nonexistence of free will - Discussion by litewave
morals and ethics, how are they different? - Question by existential potential
Destroy My Belief System, Please! - Discussion by Thomas
Star Wars in Philosophy. - Discussion by Logicus
Existence of Everything. - Discussion by Logicus
Is it better to be feared or loved? - Discussion by Black King
 
  1. Forums
  2. » jgweed's Signature
  3. » Page 3
Copyright © 2020 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 09/22/2020 at 07:30:49