talk72000
 
  0  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 11:43 am
Voltaire says it best when he declares that he will defend to his death for the freedom of speech even if the speaker speaks directly against his ideas.

Wiigenstein gives intellectual excuse for the Nazi to silence political enemies. All the opposition parties were banned from espousing their views. This phrase of 'not knowing, not speaking' is censorship. At what point is the arbiter bordering on censorship or merely keeping stupid answers out. As we know from experience anyone with authority tends to abuse it e.g. the Church with the Inquisition and Hitler with Nazism.
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 03:46 pm
@talk72000,
I have seen some folks push W's line in this sort of direction, but I don't at all feel that W had this intention. The TLP is one of the most concentrated and significant books I know of. I feel that it's full suggestiveness/significance remains unrecognized by most, and I include myself, as I continue to find more value there each time I return to it.

W is so understated and restrained in this book, that it's radical implications go unnoticed at times. Just my opinion. Thanks.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 04:12 pm
@Reconstructo,
Don't you find W's later rejection of the basis of his TLP significant ?
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jun, 2010 07:42 pm
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

Don't you find W's later rejection of the basis of his TLP significant ?



In what way?
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 12:46 am
@kennethamy,
The question was directed to Reconstro who admires TLP. He can therefore legitimately be asked to justify such interest in the light its subsequent rejection by W. If he has not considered its rejection, his continued interest is hard to understand.
kennethamy
 
  2  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 01:05 am
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

The question was directed to Reconstro who admires TLP. He can therefore legitimately be asked to justify such interest in the light its subsequent rejection by W. If he has not considered its rejection, his continued interest is hard to understand.


Why would the (mere) fact that W. rejected TLP show that TLP was wrong? Why couldn't Wittgenstein been right in the first place, and been mistaken subsequently? Once the work is out there for criticism, Wittgenstein is, although not just another critic, since he presumably knows more about what he wrote than others, but still, he is not the final authority of whether he was right in the case of TLP or right in the case of the Investigations. Compare an artist criticizing his two works, A and B. He says that B is a better work than A is. Could he not be wrong, and the fact be that B is better than A? Whether he is right or wrong does not depend on what he thinks, but rather on an objective criticism of the works in question. The same goes for W. and the two books.
fresco
 
  0  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 01:44 am
@kennethamy,
As usual, you are barking up the wrong tree ! Neither "text" nor "discourse" can stand apart from the zeigeist in which they were produced. "Objective criticism" is an oxymoron.
mickalos
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 11:22 am
@fresco,
"Becher was wrong when he said that all combustible materials contained phlogiston."
"Oh, I think it's far too late in the day to say that."

Madness.

I don't doubt that in understanding somebody we bring every bit of our knowledge to bear on what they say (about the world, about people, about the speaker), but that just means we might want to know a thing or two about logical atomism, Russell, Frege, and Wittgenstein's life when we read the Tractatus. The philosophy of ideas stops at some point, and there the history of philosophy begins. To quote Searle, "Human communication has some extraordinary properties, not shared by most other kinds of human behavior. One of the most extraordinary is this: If I am trying to tell someone something, then (assuming certain conditions are satisfied) as soon as he recognizes that I am trying to tell him something and exactly what it is I am trying to tell him, I have succeeded in telling it to him." This doesn't imply that knowledge of the meaning of a "text" (a "text" of a non-literary kind, I want to stress) is practically out of reach after a certain point in time, just that it requires a little more stage setting.
fresco
 
  2  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 12:53 pm
@mickalos,
I agree that "stage setting" is important...that is what constitutes an attempt to reconstruct zeitgeist. What I am saying are that "right" and "wrong" can only be relative to the full setting in the sense that that's what worked for particular purposes to a greater or lesser extent at the time.

From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Quote:
The idea that philosophy is not a doctrine, and hence should not be approached dogmatically, is one of the most important insights of the Tractatus. Yet, as early as 1931, Wittgenstein referred to his own early work as dogmatic. Wittgenstein used this term to designate any conception which allows for a gap between question and answer, such that the answer to the question could be found at a later date. The complex edifice of the Tractatus is built on the assumption that the task of logical analysis was to discover the elementary propositions, whose form was not yet known. What marks the transition from early to later Wittgenstein can be summed up as the total rejection of dogmatism, i.e., as the working out of all the consequences of this rejection. The move from the realm of logic to that of ordinary language as the center of the philosopher's attention; from an emphasis on definition and analysis to ‘family resemblance’ and ‘language-games’; and from systematic philosophical writing to an aphoristic style — all have to do with this transition towards anti-dogmatism in its extreme. It is in the Philosophical Investigations that the working out of the transitions comes to culmination. Other writings of the same period, though, manifest the same anti-dogmatic stance, as it is applied, e.g., to the philosophy of mathematics or to philosophical psychology.
mickalos
 
  2  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 02:13 pm
@fresco,
I think pragmatism gets itself into sticky situations, here, so we have to be careful in about what we say (or rather, how we say it) to avoid sounding like lunatics. It would be ridiculous to say something like "Truth is relative to an epoch/culture", or even worse, "The Tractatus was true when Wittgenstein wrote it, but not when he returned to Cambridge and began doing philosophy again", and absolute terms like "right" and "wrong" makes it sound like something like that is being said. Pragmatism should simply adopt vocabulary that doesn't make use of "truth" or "right", and ought to regard them as uninteresting, empty, or useless concepts, and talk of useful theories and beliefs instead of true theories and beliefs. I think this is a much better way of thinking about, for example, the contrast between Newtonian mechanics and quantum mechanics than traditional ideas of truth and falsehood. Newtonian mechanics got us a long way, and is still pretty useful. Is it false, while quantum mechanics is true? I don't think it matters, perhaps that question doesn't even have an answer.

While I agree that pragmatism is quite attractive, I think even from this point of view, we can still give a pretty definite answer to whether or not the Tractatus was right or wrong without recourse to extreme relativism. This is mainly because Wittgenstein was trying to answer many of the same questions in his later work as in his early work: How is meaning possible? Where do we draw the lines between sense and nonsense?

Is it better to think of the meaning of a sentence as being a picture of reality, or viewing meaning as use? In my view, the philosophy of language more in step with the latter view has been able to do more insightful and interesting things (e.g. McDowell, bits of Quine and Davidson, etc.), but many philosophers would disagree.
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 04:36 pm
@Reconstructo,
To give an example of how bad that 'not knowing and keeping silent' mentality - the Protestant priest noted that the Nazis took in the Gypsies and no one raised his/her voice, then they took in the disabled and no one raised his/her voice, the Jews were next annd still there was silence and then they came for me and no one said anything.
kennethamy
 
  2  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 05:03 pm
@talk72000,
talk72000 wrote:

To give an example of how bad that 'not knowing and keeping silent' mentality - the Protestant priest noted that the Nazis took in the Gypsies and no one raised his/her voice, then they took in the disabled and no one raised his/her voice, the Jews were next annd still there was silence and then they came for me and no one said anything.


But what would that have to do with not talking about something you do not, or cannot know anything about? What you are talking about is not saying what you do know about? Completely the opposite.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 05:09 pm
@mickalos,
mickalos wrote:

I think pragmatism gets itself into sticky situations, here, so we have to be careful in about what we say (or rather, how we say it) to avoid sounding like lunatics. It would be ridiculous to say something like "Truth is relative to an epoch/culture", or even worse, "The Tractatus was true when Wittgenstein wrote it, but not when he returned to Cambridge and began doing philosophy again", and absolute terms like "right" and "wrong" makes it sound like something like that is being said. Pragmatism should simply adopt vocabulary that doesn't make use of "truth" or "right", and ought to regard them as uninteresting, empty, or useless concepts, and talk of useful theories and beliefs instead of true theories and beliefs. I think this is a much better way of thinking about, for example, the contrast between Newtonian mechanics and quantum mechanics than traditional ideas of truth and falsehood. Newtonian mechanics got us a long way, and is still pretty useful. Is it false, while quantum mechanics is true? I don't think it matters, perhaps that question doesn't even have an answer.

While I agree that pragmatism is quite attractive, I think even from this point of view, we can still give a pretty definite answer to whether or not the Tractatus was right or wrong without recourse to extreme relativism. This is mainly because Wittgenstein was trying to answer many of the same questions in his later work as in his early work: How is meaning possible? Where do we draw the lines between sense and nonsense?

Is it better to think of the meaning of a sentence as being a picture of reality, or viewing meaning as use? In my view, the philosophy of language more in step with the latter view has been able to do more insightful and interesting things (e.g. McDowell, bits of Quine and Davidson, etc.), but many philosophers would disagree.


The Ptolomaic theory of the heavens got navigators around quite well, and it could still be pretty useful. But is it false while the Copernican theory is true? You betcha! You are far too tolerant.
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 05:09 pm
@kennethamy,
They didn't know what was happening just that they were taken away. Many Jews taken didn't know what was at the end of the labor camps. They complied silently and reluctantly went along thinking it was a labor camp. Many Germans didn't know what was happening except the Gestapo was taking them - where? they didn't know. There was a lack of knowledge and so they kept silent. Atrocities were committed bythe Nazis and keeping silent helped it going.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 05:16 pm
@talk72000,
talk72000 wrote:

They didn't know what was happening just that they were taken away. Many Jews taken didn't know what was at the end of the labor camps. They complied silently and reluctantly went along thinking it was a labor camp. Many Germans didn't know what was happening except the Gestapo was taking them - where? they didn't know. There was a lack of knowledge and so they kept silent. Atrocities were committed bythe Nazis and keeping silent helped it going.


But they did, in fact know. The evidence is that they did. Many were just in denial. But, of course, if they did not know what they were talking about, then what should they have said. Should they have made it all up? I don't understand your point.
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 07:53 pm
@kennethamy,
They 'didn't know' as implied by the initial post as in 'precise knowledge, details and purpose of the group removal' perfectly fits the requirement of 'whereof you cannot speak'. The imperiousness of the thread speaks loud that if you don't know the full details shut up. The people carted off to the labor camps did not have full knowledge of the Gestapo actions but had mere suspicions. Mere suspicions do qualify as 'speaking intelligently and knowledgeably.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  0  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2010 11:49 pm
@kennethamy,
Quote:
But is it false while the Copernican theory is true? You betcha!

Rolling Eyes
Oh dear.....naive realism rides again!
A heliocentric model is neither "true" nor "false". It just works better for astronomical purposes. It simplifies the equations and the larger "picture". You still use the geocentric model in everyday thinking, just like you use "up and down", not Newton's "attraction of masses" or Einstein's "space is curved".
kennethamy
 
  2  
Reply Wed 30 Jun, 2010 07:31 am
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

Quote:
But is it false while the Copernican theory is true? You betcha!

Rolling Eyes
Oh dear.....naive realism rides again!
A heliocentric model is neither "true" nor "false". It just works better for astronomical purposes. It simplifies the equations and the larger "picture". You still use the geocentric model in everyday thinking, just like you use "up and down", not Newton's "attraction of masses" or Einstein's "space is curved".


I suppose that the people who run the Planetarium in my town are "naive realists" because their model of the heavens places the Sun in the center or orbiting planets. And I suppose that what I read on the internet is written only by naive realists, since they write that the Copernicus is right. And poor old Galileo. He suffered the tortures of the Inquisition because he too was a naive realist. Have you even considered the possibility that the heliocentric theory works because it is true, and that it isn't true because it works? Have you any better explanation for why a theory works (whatever that happens to mean) because it is true? I know I am naive, and fail the sophistication test of philosophy, but it just seems to me that if a theory works it is likely that it works because it is true. But that is just old naive me who is speaking. I am sure that the sophisticated realists (can any realists be sophisticated?) have a better explanation for why it is that a theory that works, works.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Jun, 2010 08:14 am
@kennethamy,
Quote:
I know I am naive, and fail the sophistication test of philosophy


Not "the sophistication test"...."the looking further than your conditioning test"!
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Jun, 2010 02:01 pm
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

Quote:
I know I am naive, and fail the sophistication test of philosophy


Not "the sophistication test"...."the looking further than your conditioning test"!


In the meantime, the folks at the Planetarium, and all the astronomers agree with me (or rather, I agree with them). So, if you don't mind, I will continue to be as naive as they are, and leave you to your sophistication. Actually, I am conditioned (if that is the right word- but it isn't since the right word is "educated") to believe as the astronomers do, for they too believe that Copernicus was right. And, I'll just go along with Galileo too, who after his battering by the Inquisition, and force to recant (and go along with the sophisticates like you) is said to have uttered (sotto voce) "Eppur si muove" (And still it (the Earth) moves). Poor naive Galileo!
 

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