Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

New Year's Resolution: to write something of value.


  1. Wait, I'm still not done with your other (main) written thing of value! Or, okay, go ahead, I'll catch up with you later ...

  2. Happy new year!

    Your resolution sounds like an excellent idea. Are you leaning towards any particular area?

    1. Thanks!

      I was partly just quoting the song, although it does strike me as a good idea. I want to write something about ethics and the Tractatus, but that depends on having something to say. And something about Wittgenstein and social science.

    2. A few months back I started writing something about the Tractatus and nonsense: how can nonsense lead to seeing the world aright? My thought was that there could be a link (via Schopenhauer) between the Tractatus and mystical religious writing where the point was to see that whatever you said about God (including "God exists") was bound to be nonsense. But, importantly, not any old nonsense. That is, the proper, liberating effect of the insight only took place if you'd tried your hardest to say something true and meaningful about God.

      Obviously all that is not directly about ethics, But it's hard to escape the feeling that there isn't an ethical aspect to it, even when the subject matter is propositional form etc.

      Anyway, my blog post kind of dribbled into the sand, as has this comment. But: ethics and the Tractatus sounds like an interesting topic to me.

    3. I think something along those lines must be right about the Tractatus. It's hard to articulate though. In 6.45 Wittgenstein says that the feeling of the world as a limited whole is the mystical (feeling). And in 1 he says that the world is all that is the case, which seems to be a description of a limited whole, but he then goes on to give a kind of analysis of what this means. He doesn't so much feel the whole as think the parts, as it were. But this turns out to be an impossible project, involving unthinkable thoughts. We cannot reason our way to happiness. Something like that, anyway, seems to be the idea of the project.