Monday, June 24, 2013

Wittgenstein, I smack my head at you!

"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world." -Tractatus Illogico-Pseudo-Philosophicus 5.6

Idealistic nonsense. Language is but one concrete category of concepts, which in turn are but vessels or tools of consciousness as it stands to attention to meet the world. It is perfectly conceivable to imagine a richly contoured world (as richly contoured as our own) with very minute sets of language and very minute inventories of logic. This we would call the world of mystery. Moments of such a world meet us scattered and uncollected throughout our regular day. How often do you attempt to gather the words or the concepts to describe what has revealed itself to you but are unable? Is the revelation, for all that, limited to your paltry set of words? How foolish! We understand that the word mystery collapses into the revelation of the world itself; it crumbles before the thing. As a mere example, take the unveiling of a stunning vista of mountains while a hiker rounds the corner of a forested gendarme. Not even Wordsworth, were he this hiker, would be able to do proper justice to what stands before him, though he would assuredly try. But this very readily bespeaks a transcendence of the world over language. It meets our language and then dashes it to pieces.

The pernicious behavior of Wittgenstein transcends anything language could capture.

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