A Conversation for Ludwig Wittgenstein

In a manner of speaking...

Post 1

Nick_Em (not_him)

First a question from Michael Palin in Monty Python's - Flying Circus which I would also like to ask "What do I mean when I say that I mean?".

"You cannot say what is ethical, you can only show it." But how do we then know if it's ethical or not? It seems to me that Wittgenstein is saying that we can not know anything independantly but only collectively, if we agree on it.

I would also disagree with the statement that "The world is the totality of facts, not of things", and argue that the world is a totality of ideas from my mind.


In a manner of speaking...

Post 2

Recumbentman

Hello Nick. I never saw this posting when you put it up, I forgot to click the "notify me" button.

Your preference for the world as ideas is Berkeleian, or Schopenhauerian?

W set the limit to "facts" to include everything that could be scientifically (i.e. verifiiably) observed, and exclude everything else. Beg the question? Perhaps.


In a manner of speaking...

Post 3

Nick_Em (not_him)

My preference for the world is as an experience. I can doubt what I experience, but I cannot doubt that I doubt. What is doubt? A type of experience, therefore, I exist, if only as something which experiences. I don't know how Schopenhauer saw the world, but my original inspiration for becoming an idealist (and a solipsist) weas Berkeley, but as you can see, it was Descartes which laid the groundwork.

It certainly does beg the question, doesn't it? It's hard to see physicalism to leading anywhere else than to "atoms swerving in the void", which would contradict the only thing we know, which is our own existence.


In a manner of speaking...

Post 4

Recumbentman

"Atoms swerving in the void" is a wonderful image.

I've never met a self-confessed solipsist before. It's a strange experience, well described by Lewis Carroll (we are the Red King's dream; don't wake him up!)

The origin of consciousness emerging from the non-conscious is well explored by Dan Dennett in "Knds of Minds".


In a manner of speaking...

Post 5

Nick_Em (not_him)

What about you? I'm surprised you're not a solipsist as well. I see it as a natural extension of idealism and skepticism, as if everything is in our own minds, then why should we assume other minds exist unnecessarily?

Thanks for the reference to that text! Shall read up on that.


In a manner of speaking...

Post 6

Recumbentman

How could I be a solipsist "as well"? There can only be one, surely.


In a manner of speaking...

Post 7

Nick_Em (not_him)

But, you see, I'm talking to someone in my mind not outside of me. "As well" is a description of how I define one thing from another in my head, and is used out of mere practicality. Solipsism does not change anything in terms of language, although terms can sometimes express something in a less than precise manner.

I guess you could say it's a "language game" that is necessary otherwise there is no difference between anything (if you're a solipsist). What I understand by you "as well" is that you are not part of my mind that I appear to have control over, and as such is different to the part of I my mind which I feel I can control.


In a manner of speaking...

Post 8

Recumbentman

Yeah, well, when you've finished talking to yourself, you'll be welcome back to the conversation smiley - jester


In a manner of speaking...

Post 9

Nick_Em (not_him)

Yes, I recognise I'm speaking to myself literally. But the concept of 'me' is convoluted.


In a manner of speaking...

Post 10

Recumbentman

Am I in your dream? Ooh, thanks!smiley - tongueout


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