Thursday, April 4, 2019

Witgenstein: a handful of quotes

Consider the following as synoptic overviews of various philosophical problems:
Perhaps the most important thing in connection aesthetics is what might be called aesthetic reactions, e.g. discontent, disgust, discomfort. The expression of discontent is not the same as the expression of discomfort. The expression of discomfort says: ‘Make it higher . . . too low! . . . Do something to this.’

What makes bright colors bright? Does it reside in the concept or in cause and effect? There is no luminous gray. Is this inherent in the concept of gray or is it part of the psychology, that is, of the natural history of gray, and isn’t it strange that I don’t know this?

What is called an alteration in concepts is of course not merely an alteration in what one says, but in what one does.

Duration of sensation. Compare the duration of a sense-experience of sound with the duration of  the sensation of touch which informs you that you have a ball in your hand; and with the “feeling” that informs you that your knees are bent (Z §478).

It is quite possible that he glands of a sad person secrete differently from those of someone who is glad; and also that their secretion is the cause of sadness. But does it follow that the sadness is a sensation produced by the secretion? (Z §509).

We should hardly ask if a crocodile means something when it comes at a man with open jaws. And we should declare that since the crocodile cannot think there is really no question of meaning here (Z §522).

What is the difference between these two things: Following a line involuntarily--Following a line intentionally? What is the difference between these two things: Tracing a line with care and great attention--Attentively observing how my hand follows a line? (Z §583).

The limitlessness of the visual field is clearest when we are seeing nothing in complete darkness (Z §616).

I should like to ask, not so much ‘What must we do to avoid contradiction?’ as ‘What ought we to do if we have arrived at a contradiction?’(Z §688).

To understand sums in the elementary school the children would have to be important philosophers; failing that, they need practice (Z §703).
[The first three groups are from architectural notes he made while working on the family house in Vienna.  The others are from Zettle, (“slips of paper”).]

Haus Wittgenstein

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