[lit-ideas] Re: The Philosopher's Show

  • From: Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2012 22:49:48 +0100 (BST)

 From: "Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx" <Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx>

> In which case, there may be a difference as to the extension 
of the class of things that are shown in TLP and PI.>

Here is one perhaps large difference to begin with: in TLP, according to W, 
essentially all that need be shown, philosophically speaking, is shown by what 
W says there: end of. End of philosophy trying to say what cannot be said. The 
"logic of our language" is set out in a way such that "the truth of the 
thoughts communicated here seems to me unassailable and definitive. I am, 
therefore, of the opinion that the problems have in essentials been finally 
solved." [TLP, Preface] The philosopher's task is, "in essentials", completed 
by the work in TLP, except the work of elucidating "the truth" to others [6.53: 
"The right method of philosophy would be this. To say nothing except what can 
be said, i.e. the propositions of natural science, i.e. something that has 
nothing to do with philosophy: and then always, when someone else wished to say 
something metaphysical, to demonstrate to him that he had given no meaning to 
certain signs in his propositions. This
 method would be unsatisfying to the other—he would not have the feeling that 
we were teaching him philosophy—but it would be the only strictly correct 

In PI, the philosopher's task is never ending: to take some philosophical 
thought or line of thought and show where it makes sense or does not make sense 
given the "logic of our language". The "logic of our language" is not set out 
in a way that appears so definitive or unassailable; and certainly it is not 
suggested that the "logic of our language", as there understood, means that all 
philosophical problems have "been finally solved". What W seems to be 
presenting, however, is again a "right method of philosophy" and one that 
dissolves philosophical problems by showing how they mistake the proper sense 
of "our language". But not by a general theory of the "logic of our language" 
but by showing the "logic of our language" through case-by-case examination 
that is sensitive to its particularities.


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