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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14 Mar '14 08:23:10 PM

—And a spring blue.

14 Mar '14 07:59:39 PM

Though the snow has yet to leave the ground, those are spring clouds out there.

14 Mar '14 07:49:03 PM

A question akin to Kant's four: 'what sort of a world have I discovered?'.

14 Mar '14 07:33:01 PM

—One answer to the question, 'what do we find here?' is: the usual. Realizing that an answer like this is liable to blind us to what's there, to what can be found, we might think to go through everything, one by one, so that we can be sure. (Methodically, like Descartes. Or like Moore, as if keeping shop, inventorying the universe. Or as if completing a ledger, a book: The World As I Found It.)

We might also think about what's usual, what makes it, in certain ways, a place in which things have more or less already been found—and so, a place where 'what do we find here?' will not be the best question to ask, for certain purposes. Not without also asking questions about what we notice and don't, about getting lost, about failing to see, about being surprised, stopped. About where we stop, and why: about what holds our attention.

14 Mar '14 06:23:16 PM

'Well that's why I've got this envelope right here, that's why I'm looking at it' — No. No, no, no.

14 Mar '14 06:10:28 PM

W. in the Blue Book: 'Instead of "craving for generality" I could also have said "the contemptuous attitude towards the particular case." … For why should what [two particular cases] have in common be more interesting to us than what distinguishes them? Or rather, I should not have said "why should it be more interesting to us?"—it isn't; and this characterizes our way of thinking.'

It's possible to have too much regard for the particular case. But I would rather make that mistake than the other. Attention to the particular case is your attention. It draws on your interest, if you let it.

How do you tell what a particular case is? That it's a particular case? 'Everything is' might be true, but says little. Only some cases stand out, strike us, stop us. What stops us—us in particular? You in particular?

Investigators have cases they've worked—files on those cases. M. and I investigated many phenomena in something like that way. Places, especially. 'Where are we?', 'what's here?', 'what is this place?', 'what do people do here?': those are questions about particular cases. (And they do draw on knowledge which goes beyond those cases).

That 'contemptuous attitude' can be carried over to what I've said about one's own attention, one's own interest. 'Who cares about your interest in a thing?' The response is to (be able to) ask genuinely: 'do you not care about yours?'.

Attention to the particular case, drawing on your interest in it, funds your interest. Grounds it. Your capacity for taking an interest.

13 Mar '14 11:39:06 PM

Snow flows down all the walks.

13 Mar '14 11:17:26 PM

'Overreliance on the official view of the world'

13 Mar '14 09:08:23 PM

'… one must begin primarily from the idea that we have a great deal to say in life…'