Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Philosophy 118: 20 February, 2009

These notes were taken from my class with Dr. Reyes for Philosophy 118 last 20 February

.:A Review Of Wittgenstein:.

There are two eras for Wittgenstein: the Trachtatus era to the Philosophical Investigation era. From a philosophy of being, Wittgenstein wishes to move towards a philosophy of language. We are, after all, immersed in language. We cannot directly contemplate being. We can only reflect on it through the mediation of language.

The first Wittgenstein saw language as picture theory. The second Wittgenstein saw it as a language game or language according to use, or even ordinary language philosophy.

The first Wittgenstein understands language to be understandable only when broken down into elementary statements. This is because early Wittgenstein believed that language can form logical pictures of the world which are verifiable as true or false. In effect, this is a logical atomism. That these atoms may be constant in number is, as such, only varied by the positions of such atoms, allowing for the verifiability of the veracity of a particular proposed position.

Soon after this, Wittgenstein realized that this viewpoint was far too simplistic. Not everything boils down to a question of veracity. One concatenation of atoms can hold various meanings, depending on what language game is at work. At this point, Wittgenstein found his earlier picture theory to only be one type of language.

Each language has its own rules that expresss its own form of life. Each language is autonomous. There is always a community that acknowledges this language. This language ultimately requires participation. Scientific language holds no special place among other languages. Each language sets its own rules, and its verification is not in directly observing reality, but in its conformity to the rules and all the norms that follow in the language game at work. All these languages are performative, not descriptive, as counterintuitive as this realization as it may seem.

For Wittgenstein, philosophy is not a language in itself. It points to a way of life, but is itself not a way of life. As such, philosophy, for Wittgenstein, is empty as a way of life because it creates a false problem in using one language to critique another language, when they should instead be autonomous.

As disturbing as this may seem, we know that the first Greek philosophers came from their slow but gradual departure from mythical religion. Realizing this is not wisdom, they sought true wisdom. From the point of view of Christianity, Greek philosophy was the religion of the day. As such, given this, would it not make sense to consequently discard Greek philosophy?

.:Husserl and Wittgenstein Converge In The Community:.

Both thinkers agree that you don't go directly into being. As part of the Lebensweldt, Husserl emphasizes the importance of the community. We are never in the realm of being, but always in the realm of meaning.

.:Quotable Quotes:.

“Back then, before Bobby Guev, before Fr. Dacanay, the theology department had lousy teachers compared to the philosophy department.”

- Dr. Reyes, major burn on Fr. Roche

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