Saturday, September 10, 2005

Lost Fragment of Wittgenstein's Tractatus

Hello, dears. I retired from teaching philosophy ten years ago and only recently took to reading it again. God, philosophers are clever! I was, however, surprised to find that nobody had solved the problem of consciousness these past ten years. I suppose that was always the most puzzling question—or set of questions—of them all.

I did manage to rummage through my father’s old papers, and I found this. Looks like a fragment that never made it into Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. My father knew Wittgenstein, so I assume it’s genuine.

22 Comments:

Blogger Deleted said...

Hello! I followed you here from Wealth Bondage. I wonder if free market incenitivization protocols would help inspire the philsophers to get cracking on that consciousness thingummy. Spare the rod, etc. . .

Thanks, by the way for the link to the Tractacus fragment. I've always though things are true in proportion to how funny they are.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Grandma Wilde said...

Yes, Harry, I like the way you think. Since we talk about a "marketplace of ideas" and such things as "intellectual capital," might it be possible to patent insights and understandings? I imagine myself in a checkered babushka, walking into the local Idea Emporium to inquire whether the insights on display are fresh. And how do we set the value of intellectual currrency? Wasn't it G.B. Shaw who said that one beautiful body was worth more than the brains of a dozen flatulent philosophers?

As for incentives, Harry, I don't know. Perhaps we can do better than the undying admiration of a handful of bald professors with bad teeth and dyspepsia.

5:24 PM  
Blogger Ravi Vesely said...

Hey Sally, I linked to you from "Civilization and Its Discontents," and when I arrived, I found out that I also could've clicked on "Beck" or "Jules and Jim." I haven't met ANY 65 year-olds who dig Beck or Brian Eno...very cool!

That's amazing that your father knew Wittgenstein. I've been thinking about 'language-games' lately, and sometimes I wonder if how W thought of a word's meaning as being understood through its own network of other words isn't the same problem as the 'infinite signifiers' problem that Derrida pointed out(??) Would you recommend any particular reading?

I liked your "baiting postmodernists" description. Perhaps we should point out to those who are "incredulous toward metanarratives"--after we reel them in, of course--that not ALL metanarratives are unreasonable. :)

I agree with you; I think the last great problem facing philosophers is Consciousness. (It might be the only one left.) Anyway, here's an article you might be interested in...
www.livescience.com/humanbiology/050808_human_consciousness.html

Peace.

2:25 PM  
Blogger Grandma Wilde said...

Welcome, Ravi! I’ve been away from the Naughty Bits Café for a few days, visiting a sister in Parma, Ohio, so I only just saw your comment. First let me tell how much I enjoyed your website. Wonderful! You’re obviously a very creative young man so it doesn’t surprise me you’re drawn to thinkers like Wittgenstein and Derrida.

Beck and Eno, yes. What extraordinary gifts to music. Eno sounds as fresh today as he did 30 years ago when we passed the hookah around at our all-night gab fests.

As to your question: It’s far too interesting to relegate to these hidden and sometimes lonesome comments we write, so I’ve elected to blog it. (Isn’t it lovely that “blogging” has transformed from an intransitive verb—a voice crying in the wilderness—to something one does to something?)

3:01 PM  
Blogger Karl said...

That is really funny. Whoever wrote that had a real philosophical sense of humor, though it does sound a bit like the father's proof from the play proof. Only this one is funny.

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