[lit-ideas] Re: footnote 60 conant, or Wittgenstein unhelpful translating Wittgenstein

  • From: "Richard Henninge" <RichardHenninge@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2013 01:13:42 +0100

60. After some correspondence on the topic, Ogden stays with "to make
propositions clear" as a translation of das Klarwerden von S├Ątzen; Pears and
McGuinness render it as "the clarification of propositions." Neither of
these renderings is ideal; each has something to be said in its favor.
Wittgenstein objects to Ogden's translation as follows:

This seems to me wrong now. I think it cannot be the RESULT of philosophy
"to make propositions clear": this can only be its TASK. The result must be
that the propositions now have become clear that they ARE clear." (Letters
to C. K. Ogden [Oxford: Blackwell, 1973], p. 50)

One can see why Ogden might have found this unhelpful.

**********

The above footnote 60 is taken from "Mild Mono-Wittgensteinianism" by James
Conant, professor of philosophy at the University of Chicago (my alma, but
not in philosophy), as his contribution to Wittgenstein and the Moral Life:
Essays in Honor of Cora Diamond, edited by Alice Crary, M.I.T. Press, 2007

http://philosophy.uchicago.edu/faculty/files/conant/Mild_Mono-Wittgensteinianism.pdf

He is without doubt our best guide to the state of Wittgenstein studies
today, but, mark my words, I do not agree with everything he says, which, on
some plane and some
days, granting for the nonce the latter's ambiguity, can either mean
(a) near total disagreement with what he says, based on the perception of a basic or fundamental fault
(Verschiebung, architectonically speaking) running through and underpinning
(undermining) his thought, an outcropping of which I hope to analyze beginning with the above footnote
and the text to which it is a note) or (b) mild registering of an occasional
protest to what he is saying, while appreciatively going along (with him and the rest,
sightseer-like in a strange land) for the ride.

But now it's this plane and this day, and, let's face it, the Tractatus is
90 years old and the best minds working on the subject of Wittgenstein still
have trouble figuring out what he is saying in everything (and maybe in
anything) he says, to the point that when Wittgenstein himself tries to
clarify a point in his text, "one can see why Ogden might have found this
unhelpful," in other words, James Conant too finds Wittgenstein's attempted
help "unhelpful,"
even though Wittgenstein purported no more and no less than that
philosophy's
task, goal, aim, purpose, Zweck--was to elucidate just such things as this.

Richard Henninge
University of Mainz


----- Original Message ----- From: <Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx>
To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Saturday, February 16, 2013 3:39 AM
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: "There is no such thing as philosophic logic"

In a message dated 2/15/2013 9:10:44  P.M. UTC-02,
RichardHenninge@xxxxxxxxxxx writes:
[Ludwig Wittgenstein (in a  letter dated April 23, 1922, from Trattenbach,
Austria, where he was functioning  as an elementary school teacher, to
C.K.
Ogden with regard to the translation of  the Tractatus):] "As to the title
I
think the latin one is better than the  present title. For allthough
'Tractatus logico-philosophicus' isn't ideal still  it has something like
the
right meaning, whereas 'Philosophic logic' is wrong.  In fact I don't know
what
it means! There is no such thing as philosophic logic.  (Unless one says
that as the whole book is nonsense the title might as well be  nonsense
too.)
From page 20 of Ludwig Wittgenstein, Letters to C.K. Ogden  with Comments
on the English Translation of the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus,  Edited
with an Introduction by G.H. von Wright and an Appendix of Letters by
Frank
Plumpton Ramsey, Basil Blackwell, Oxford; Routledge & Kegan Paul,  London
and
Boston, 1973.


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