josh blog

Ordinary language is all right.

One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.

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6 Dec '13 07:14:05 AM

Things turn impassable again; rough.

5 Dec '13 07:04:56 AM

I thought it was a song about hermeneutics, turned out it was a song about love.

2 Dec '13 02:26:04 AM


1 Dec '13 10:42:09 PM

'It will return'

29 Nov '13 06:39:41 PM

'… a person on the line…'

29 Nov '13 04:08:19 PM

'We must reserve a back shop all our own, entirely free, in which to establish our real liberty and our principal retreat and solitude. Here our ordinary conversation must be between us and ourselves, and so private that no outside association or communication can find a place; here we must talk and laugh as if without wife, without children, without possessions, without retinue and servants, so that, when the time comes to lose them, it will be nothing new to us to do without them. We have a soul that can be turned back upon itself; it can keep itself company; it has the means to attack and the means to defend, the means to receive and the means to give: let us not fear that in this solitude we shall stagnate in tedious idleness: In solitude be to thyself a throng.'

28 Nov '13 11:26:03 PM

Give thanks if you can say 'no'. Few really can.

28 Nov '13 11:10:53 PM

I would like to have a better idea of the kind of skeptic a philosopher who 'does ethics' is.

28 Nov '13 11:01:24 PM

It's rare that Wittgenstein's remarks refer explicitly to anyone, far less so to anyone known intimately to him. The reference to Frank Ramsey in §81 must owe something to how struck by the phrase, 'normative science', Wittgenstein must have been. Perhaps at that point, in Ramsey's mouth, 'normative' (or worse, 'normativity') did not yet sound like yet another semi-meaningful philosophical para-word, whatever initial sense it had quickly worn away through mindless over-circulation. In Wittgenstein's own gloss on the description of logic as a 'normative science'—

'[W]ir nämlich in der Philosophie den Gebrauch den Wörter oft mit Spielen, Kalkülen nach festen regeln, vergleichen, aber nicht sagen können, wer die Sprache gebraucht, müsse ein solches Spiel spielen…'

—I can hear an echo of a remark (6.422) from the Tractatus seemingly meant to characterize the way in which ethics, like logic (6.13), is said to be transcendental (6.421):

'Der erste Gedanke bei der Aufstellung eines ethischen Gesetzes von der Form »du sollst…« ist: Und was dann, wenn ich es nicht tue?'