[lit-ideas] Re: Tittles--a change of title

  • From: "Phil Enns" <phil.enns@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2008 20:35:39 +0700

Robert wrote:

"There is indeed a 'sense' of normativity, although it seems to come
and go. I take Wittgenstein seriously when he says things like 'Don't
think, but look!' and 'Nothing is hidden...' These for now are just
catch phrases, but they are embedded in his relentless attack on
'occult entities,' and the 'mechanism of the mind.' This long, drawn
out battle doesn't take the form of discursive reasoning, but of
examples and counterexamples put forward to convince 'us' to stop
believing that there _must_ be mental processes, e.g., and to focus on
what people actually do when they're intending or expecting something

I am not sure the sense of normativity ever goes away in Wittgenstein,
though it certainly changes depending on the context.  I also want to
take Wittgenstein seriously when he urges us to look, but there is
then a curious privileging of consciousness.  Wittgenstein wants to
move us from disguised nonsense to patent nonsense.  That is, there is
something important that comes about because we turn from thinking to

I don't want to belabour the point, but when Wittgenstein is giving us
examples and counterexamples, this is not simply to note how things
might be different.  Rather, they are examples and counterexamples for
a purpose, and however one wants to describe it, I want to suggest
that this purposiveness is an important part of distinguishing
philosophy from psychology.  I would not want to define this
purposiveness but rather to suggest that a family resemblance allows
us to recognize in most cases when someone is doing philosophy, as
opposed to something else.

Having said all of this, I am not sure what is gained from having said it.


Phil Enns
Yogyakarta, Indonesia
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