How to Read Philosophy, Including Wittgenstein

  • From: wittrsl@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: wittrsl@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 23 Jul 2010 09:01:00 -0700 (PDT)

--- In quickphilosophy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, "iro3isdx" <xznwrjnk-evca@...> wrote:
>  I am reading TLP with no expectation  that
> it could work, but still interested in what W was trying to do.  Perhaps
> I'll be surprised, though since W later rejected it himself,  that seems
> unlikely.

FWIW, here's how I look at the process of reading "great books."  TLP was a 

influential work and W was obviously a very smart guy.  So when I consider the 
various theses put forth in the Tractatus I want to try to understand (i) what 
they mean; (ii) why he believed them; and (iii) whether there were/are good 
reasons for believing/rejecting them--separate from the position W took.  IMO, 
the fact that W later rejected this or that thesis (even with supreme disgust) 
is no more dispositive with respect to its reasonability than the fact that he 
earlier believed it (with absolute confidence). Those attitudes are just 
additional factors to consider.

Anyhow, that's my approach to studying works of philosophy, generally, and I'm 
enjoying plowing through TLP, especially given the fact that there's so much 
secondary literature to consult when something is confusing to me.



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