[Wittrs] [quickphilosophy] Re: The Conclusion of the Tractatus

  • From: wittrsl@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: quickphilosophy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 18 Aug 2010 01:45:40 -0000

It's interesting that you mention Schopenhauer.  Until I read the Richter study 
guide to the Tractatus, I had no idea how much of an influence he was on W.  
Particularly "The Fourfold Root" apparently.

W

--- In quickphilosophy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, "gabuddabout" <gabuddabout@...> wrote:
>
> 
> 
> --- In quickphilosophy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, "walto" <calhorn@> wrote:
> >
> > 6.41
> > 
> > The sense of the world must lie outside the world. In the world everything 
> > is as it is and happens as it does happen. In it there is no value?and if 
> > there were, it would be of no value.
> 
> 
> This just seems false to me for the following simple reason:
> 
> All fictions (like anything spoken of that is not in the world) have a sense 
> because any fiction spoken of, by that token, has a sense from the author of 
> the fiction, no?
> 
> > 
> > If there is a value which is of value, it must lie outside all happening 
> > and being-so. For all happening and being-so is accidental.
> 
> 
> This sounds like patent nonsense.  If I value a good treatise on how rhythmic 
> ear training can be represented at every step by written notation, it follows 
> (by abduction) that the value is mine, I'm in the world.
> 
> OTOH, what is the point of deliberately writing (or defining that which is 
> not entirely about blind brute physics as nonsense) nonsense and calling it 
> such at the end of a so-called book _of_ philosophy?  I conclude that a book 
> _of_ philosophy with the upshot that philosophy has subject matter that makes 
> no sense and is defined (arbitrarily) as having no connection to science, is 
> simply bad philosophy (by arbitrary?) definition.
> 
> 
> 
> > 
> > What makes it non-accidental cannot lie in the world, for otherwise this 
> > would again be accidental.
> > 
> > It must lie outside the world.
> 
> I'm a causal realizer of a mambo groove I wrote and tweaked today for a 
> student.  I needed nonaccidental causality to get it done and it couldn't 
> have gotten done just accidentally, though I feel I could have realized other 
> grooves as well, and as I did.  And all that happened in the world as far as 
> I'm aware.
> 
> How does Wittgenstein get away with this sort of thing?  Well, one can get a 
> taste for it by reading Schopenhauer's _The World as Will and Representation, 
> Vol.2, "On Man's Need for Metaphysics."  Just as some of the flavor of 
> Schop's fourfold root of the principle of suff. reason is the reason why 
> Witters picks up on calling value-assertions senseless, Schop. doesn't think 
> that ethical statements, er, considerations are to be eliminated or reduced 
> to a place where they aren't.  
> 
> I consider Schop. one of the first nonreductive materialists (though 
> complaining that materialism proper just forgets to think there can be an 
> (scientific) account of subjectivity) who took consciousness seriously and 
> allowed that there probably is no arguing against the idea that such may be 
> given a causal account.  Note that what Schop. regards as grades of 
> objectification of the will (natural forces combining into systems that are 
> both conscious and capable of being moved by art being at the highest grade) 
> are distinct grades even though all grades reduce to natural forces.  Causal 
> reducibility without ontological reduction as Seare has it.  Middle sized 
> objects (brains and concepts) as allowing for distinct sciences that have a 
> vocabulary that cross-classifies without introducing anything not there, 
> maintaining that, contra some concept pragmatists, there are bona fide mental 
> events without there being an a priori argument available which suggests such 
> a view to be saddled with what Kim calls causal overdetermination (Something 
> like Fodor's view if I have him right).
> > 
> > 6.42
> > 
> > Hence also there can be no ethical propositions.
> > 
> > Propositions cannot express anything higher.
> 
> 
> Well, one can define propositions that way I suppose.  What is the upshot, 
> though?  Now it's 6.42 and, later, that 6.42 is nonsense.  But surely this is 
> an important (ethically speaking?) art that Witters concocted because the 
> upshot is not to do philosophy a certain way.  Perhaps he shows this by 
> writing a book that is both good and good insofar as it shows that it can 
> only show the ethical upshot without talking about it?  Somehow it seems 
> better books are possible, as it seemed later to Witters.
> 
> 
> 
> > 
> > 6.421
> > 
> > It is clear that ethics cannot be expressed.
> > 
> > Ethics is transcendental.
> > 
> > (Ethics and æsthetics are one.)
> 
> 
> I think my student had better practice that mambo along with transitioning to 
> the punk groove I also wrote in order to hack something new and cool to play. 
>  Or is Witters saying that ethical statements that are in a more general form 
> ought not to be thought as expressible given some definitions of 
> expressibility for (four-fold root?) reasons?
> 
> 
> 
> > 
> > 6.422
> > 
> > 
> > The first thought in setting up an ethical law of the form "thou shalt . . 
> > ." is: And what if I do not do it? But it is clear that ethics has nothing 
> > to do with punishment and reward in the ordinary sense. This question as to 
> > the consequences of an action must therefore be irrelevant. At least these 
> > consequences will not be events.
> 
> 
> Is it not _possible events_ as consequences that are implied by following or 
> not following a rule?  Thou shalt count in order to tell me where that 
> particular eighth note right there (pointing) is in 4/4 time.  So the student 
> points at the note without saying anything.  Then I remind about the type of 
> answer required.  But I now see that I probably missed the point about 
> "ethical law"--Witters might have read Nietzsche complaining about how unfair 
> it would be to allow our not following ethical laws while disallowing God not 
> to follow some too on a whim.  I allow that I still may have missed the 
> point.  Perhaps Witters is critiquing the idea of an abstract consequence as 
> the "material" from which an ethical proposition gets its content?  
> 
> 
> 
> > For there must be something right in that
> > formulation of the question. There must be some sort of ethical reward and 
> > ethical punishment, but this must lie in the action itself.
> > 
> > (And this is clear also that the reward must be something acceptable, and 
> > the punishment something unacceptable.)
> > 
> > 6.423
> > 
> > Of the will as the subject of the ethical we cannot speak.
> 
> Is this taken as a fact now, and later (at 7) not a fact?
> How about the will as the subject of some natural force systems with the gift 
> of gab and bossiness?
> 
> > 
> > And the will as a phenomenon is only of interest to psychology.
> 
> Here Witters seems to be using will in a more restricted sense than Schop. 
> does (everthing is will--though that may seem senseless as Walter pointed out 
> about generalities of such kinds as use the whole world as subject of a 
> proposition).  But Witters seems to allow here what Fodor might think a 
> concession to the view that philosophy has to be a bit about science, 
> psychology being an important one due to all the concepts running around in 
> philosophy books.
> 
> > 
> > 6.43
> > 
> > If good or bad willing changes the world, it can only change the limits of 
> > the world, not the facts; not the things that can be expressed in language.
> 
> 
> This will soon look like nonsense if it doesn't already..
> 
> > 
> > In brief, the world must thereby become quite another, it must so to speak 
> > wax or wane as a whole.
> 
> 
> As a whole--neat!  Wax or wane where as a whole?  And so on.
> 
> > 
> > The world of the happy is quite another than that of the unhappy.
> 
> 
> It is pointless to parade truisms as philosophy only later to point out that 
> the truisms are nonsensical.
> 
> > 
> > 6.431
> > 
> > As in death, too, the world does not change, but ceases.
> 
> 
> As a whole for that person who doesn't know that it ceases?  Or did the world 
> cease after the death of Adam?  I'm just making fun now.  And what about 
> possible eternal occurrence of possible worlds in both series and parallel 
> (somehow and don't ask!) such that each of them get played over and over like 
> a record?  Note that this doesn't imply that each possible world doesn't 
> contain potential realizers of causes in the form (of persons) that we have 
> today (Hey mambo!  Mambo Italiano!)
> 
> 
> > 
> > 6.4311
> > 
> > Death is not an event of life. Death is not lived through.
> 
> 
> Yes it is; furthermore, since it is not lived through, death can't constitute 
> cessation of the world, including mine as far as I can tell.
> 
> 
> > 
> > If by eternity is understood not endless temporal duration but 
> > timelessness, then he lives eternally who lives in the present.
> 
> 
> That holds (or seems to possibly) even if by eternity is understood endless 
> temporal duration.  How thin of a present?
> 
> > 
> > Our life is endless in the way that our visual field is without limit.
> 
> Witters on acid!  I can see for miles and miles and Miles Davis plays on 
> endlessly in the eternal music of playfulness that is so innocent it forgot 
> to stop playing, ever, according to Nietzsche's view of the most scientific 
> possible hypothesis--.
> > 
> > 6.4312
> > 
> > The temporal immortality of the human soul, that is to say, its eternal 
> > survival after death, is not only in no way guaranteed, but this assumption 
> > in the first place will not do for us what we always tried to make it do. 
> > Is a riddle solved by the fact that I survive for ever? Is this eternal 
> > life not as enigmatic as our present one? The solution of the riddle of 
> > life in space and time lies outside space and time.
> 
> Pure Schopenhauer--except that space and time as we conceive them 
> (phenomenon), for Schop., are not real in the way will in itself "is," and 
> that only possibly (hence the scare quotes), what with Schop. going on and on 
> in his "Epiphilosophy" chapter at the end of the 2nd vol. of WWR as concerns 
> our inability to speak of it (will in itself) because all our understanding 
> is equipped to deal with are things/events that fall under the fourfold root 
> of the PSR.  So Schop. is a realist (just like Witters seems to be in the 
> Tractatus) about truths that are not speakable in the way ordinary and 
> scientific truths are.
> 
> > 
> > (It is not problems of natural science which have to be solved.)
> 
> Note that this squares with Schop.'s "On Man's Need.." (vol.2) where Schop. 
> makes the point that the most complete science would be the most proper 
> statement of the problem of metaphysics.
> > 
> > 6.432
> > 
> > How the world is, is completely indifferent for what is higher. God does 
> > not reveal himself in the world.
> > 
> > 6.4321
> > 
> > The facts all belong only to the task and not to its performance.
> 
> All of 'em?
> > 
> > 6.44
> > 
> > Not how the world is, is the mystical, but that it is.
> 
> 
> Seems consistent with Schop's "On Man's Need.."
> 
> > 
> > 6.45
> > 
> > The contemplation of the world sub specie aeterni is its contemplation as a 
> > limited whole.
> > 
> > The feeling that the world is a limited whole is the mystical feeling.
> 
> But a limited whole that endures without limit ought to be just as mystical 
> because just as, later, senseless.
> > 
> > 6.5
> > 
> > For an answer which cannot be expressed the question too cannot be 
> > expressed.
> 
> We can do a thought experiment like Witters is now doing such that we say 
> that the most complete science just _is_ the proper statement of the riddle.
> > 
> > The riddle does not exist.
> 
> Or not!
> 
> > 
> > If a question can be put at all, then it can also be answered.
> 
> Call to all constructionists, Searle and Fodor fans, hell, even probably the 
> human population if everybody must think this way--assuming thinking this way 
> is not nonsense, as it later is called.
> > 
> > 6.51
> > 
> > Scepticism is not irrefutable, but palpably senseless, if it would doubt 
> > where a question cannot be asked.
> 
> But the sceptics can just ask about justification for any claim, including 
> the above.  Either regress or circularity threatens (including the 
> circularity of Schopenhaurian fallibilism as expressed unequivocally in "On 
> Man's Need.."--perceptions justify perceptions, all of which are empirical 
> and not a priori).
> 
> > 
> > For doubt can only exist where there is a question; a question only where 
> > there is an answer, and this only where something can be said.
> 
> How many times has the world in its entire range of possible worlds repeated 
> itself from any unique slice of its duration in x dimensions?
> Perhaps there is no answer to this question, though it seems meaningful even 
> if we can give an a priori reason (ex hypothesi) why it is a question that 
> can't be answered.  Maybe I just got way too mystical for my own good--I 
> liked the ambiguity here!
> > 
> > 6.52
> > 
> > We feel that even if all possible scientific questions be answered, the 
> > problems of life have still not been touched at all. Of course there is 
> > then no question left, and just this is the answer.
> 
> This is an awesome piece of Witters pie; I think it tastes just right.
> 
> > 
> > 6.521
> > 
> > The solution of the problem of life is seen in the vanishing of this 
> > problem.
> > 
> > (Is not this the reason why men to whom after long doubting the sense of 
> > life became clear, could not then say wherein this sense consisted?)
> 
> Fair enough I guess.  So far at least!
> 
> > 
> > 6.522
> > 
> > There is indeed the inexpressible. This shows itself; it is the mystical.
> > 
> > 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 method.
> 
> 
> I'm afraid that giving a meaning to certain signs hasn't been given a sense.  
> Senses, they say, are sometimes given to things after the gates close to the 
> public at Oxford, but Fodor suggests this to be a leg pull.
> > 
> > 6.54
> > 
> > My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally 
> > recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, on 
> > them, over them. (He must so to speak throw away the ladder, after he has 
> > climbed up on it.)
> > 
> > He must surmount these propositions; then he sees the world rightly.
> > 
> > 7
> > 
> > 
> > Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.
> 
> 
> On the cover of Jonathan Dancy's _Introduction to Contemporary Epistemology_:
> 
> AVT TACE,
> AVT LOQVERE MELIORA
> SILENTIO
> 
> Probably would have done better not write these gazillion responses, but who 
> can say really I would have been doing anything better if not?  
> 
> Cheers,
> Budd
>


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