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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24 Feb '14 11:30:54 PM

'Suppose that everyone had a box with something in it which we call a "beetle"…' (§293). —Supposing that everyone has (is) a box is as much a part of the trick as the something is.

24 Feb '14 10:21:28 PM

Goethe and Herrick while waiting for the sun to peak. Simple forms for saying simple things.

23 Feb '14 01:28:50 AM

'… there is no lying and very little misunderstanding.'

23 Feb '14 01:27:03 AM

'… plainness of speech without respect of persons…'

22 Feb '14 11:57:06 PM

Where do the distinctions drawn by philosophers exist? What sustains them? Less, it seems, than sustains our words, or the diagrams and notations that mathematicians use. It's not, as urged, that they are finer; they are practically insubstantial. —The philosopher's mania is that they not go unthought.

22 Feb '14 07:56:20 PM

The windows that light my room open onto a neighboring backyard and a view of clutter such as one meets in alleys: a fence, garages, ledges, ladders laid aside, bushes and the tops of trees, rooftops, poles, and lines which maybe power my building. Prior days' snow, though visibly melted, still sheaths the lines, and lends them something of the contingency of snow, as if they were not slung permanently there but happened to have fallen—then happened to have held, thanks to a balance in condition and circumstance like that of sunlight and exposure to winter air, a balance I almost feel I see because I view the wires from inside my heated room, where the sun that penetrates my windows warms with no competition from that air. I see further than my skin because the sun pervades the air.

21 Feb '14 08:32:27 PM

Snow lines all the wires.

21 Feb '14 03:12:15 PM

Honest forms.

20 Feb '14 07:49:58 AM

In §81: '… daß wir nämlich in der Philosophie den Gebrauch der Wörter oft mit Spielen, Kalkülen nach festen Regeln, vergleichen, aber nicht sagen können, wer die Sprache gebraucht, müsse ein solches Spiel spielen.'

—Perhaps the qualification there, 'but we can't say…', is meant to bring out what should ring wrong, sound off, about Ramsey's expression characterizing logic, as a 'normative science'. What kind of a science says how things have to be? What kind of a science finds out how things have to be? As usual, Wittgenstein rejects more questions than one even knew were being asked.