Philosophical Investigations reading group?

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kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 20 Feb, 2010 04:16 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;130379 wrote:
Yes, reading is a skill. Thanks. But my point stands. To distinguish between natural science and not-natural science seems to require something that is not natural science.


But you were misunderstanding the op. Let's establish that, shall we? A proposition of natural science would be a proposition like, planets move in elliptical orbits, because that is a proposition in astrophysics which is a natural science. But the propositions that most cakes require eggs is not a proposition in natural science, because it is a proposition in cookery, and cookery is not a natural science.
 
jack phil
 
Reply Sat 20 Feb, 2010 05:39 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;130368 wrote:
I view metaphysical systems as more akin to poetry rather than tautology. I agree that one cannot prove or disprove a metaphysical system but then the concept of proof is itself metaphysical, or so it seems to me. This ties into the proof as persuasion thread. What is proof? Does the concept of proof imply a metaphysics? Is an attack on the possibility of metaphysics itself a metaphysical operation?

I'm not associating these views with anyone on this thread. I'm just curious as to your opinions on these matters.


Fair enough. Metaphysics need not be tautological- it could be contradictory, ala irony, humor, etc.

The point being, metaphysics is conscerned with describing the limits of language, which can actually be summed up by contradictions and tautologies. Nonsense in general.

One can no more prove and disprove a contradiction than a tautology. I forget what W says in the TLP, but you will surely recognize it when you come to it.

'The disappearance of magic is a sort of magic itself' [or something like that]
-LW

Proof as persuasion? Maybe proof as explanation. Or maybe proof as description...

Do you think calling metaphysics tautological is an attack? Or rather an affirmation?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 20 Feb, 2010 06:10 pm
@jack phil,
jack;130404 wrote:
Fair enough. Metaphysics need not be tautological- it could be contradictory, ala irony, humor, etc.

The point being, metaphysics is conscerned with describing the limits of language, which can actually be summed up by contradictions and tautologies. Nonsense in general.

One can no more prove and disprove a contradiction than a tautology. I forget what W says in the TLP, but you will surely recognize it when you come to it.

'The disappearance of magic is a sort of magic itself' [or something like that]
-LW

Proof as persuasion? Maybe proof as explanation. Or maybe proof as description...

Do you think calling metaphysics tautological is an attack? Or rather an affirmation?


You certainly cannot prove a contradiction, since a contradiction is false, and you cannot prove what is false. But you can easily prove tautologies. I can prove that all bachelors are unmarried men, quite easily.
 
jack phil
 
Reply Sat 20 Feb, 2010 06:44 pm
@Deckard,
That all bachelors are unmarried men is not a tautology. It is more definition. Besides, what does the word 'all' add in that sentence? You could easily have said "bachelors are unmarried men".

Besides that, a lot of guys don't seem to agree with you that bachelors need be unmarried. ;P

Then we fall upon the meaning is use sword:
Or, consider homosexual men: Are they bachelors simply because they are unmarried men? [* I know, I flipped the umbrella]

If 'is' and 'are' are akin the sign for equality in mathematics, what we are seeking is the notion of 'greater than/less than' in our 'is' and 'are'. But that use was present from the start. So then we hop on the categories bandwagon, and everything seems at ease, yet nothing is solved...

Is a system of categories metaphysical? Is language a system of categories? Is language metaphysical?

Well, I might have gotten off on a tangent there. the point is, you cannot prove the meaning of a word. Thus, you cannot prove what you think you can prove. On the contrary, it is far easier to prove meaning is use.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Sat 20 Feb, 2010 06:47 pm
@Deckard,
Why ever clarify anything ever, or seek truth? Every thing is relative, right guys?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 20 Feb, 2010 06:49 pm
@jack phil,
jack;130414 wrote:
That all bachelors are unmarried men is not a tautology. It is more definition.


Tautologies are truths in virtue of the meanings of their terms.
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Sat 20 Feb, 2010 07:03 pm
@kennethamy,
R.Danneskjöld;129685 wrote:

In the opening sections of the Tractatus Wittgenstein sets out his metaphysical view of the world, why we should accept this particular metaphysical view is not apparent at the beginning.

In fact it is quite clear that he is not stating a tautology. Proposition 1.1 States 'The world is the totality of facts not things'. The difference between facts and things can be understood by an analogy between sentences and words. For Wittgenstein the relationship between is much like the relationship between sentences and words. The sentence 'R.Danneskjold is an idiot' is constructed out of words specifically 'R.Danneskjold; idiot; an; is', written like this they are merely a list even though our list consists of the same words. But a sentence is much like a fact as it contains words in relation to one another. Like Wittgenstein's facts which contain 'a combination of objects (things)'(2.01) in relation to one another.

Proposition 1.13 states that the 'The facts in logical space are the world'. Logical Space is the space of possibilities. There are lots of facts which might have existed, such as 'Wittgenstein's family were poor' or 'R.Danneskjold is 6ft tall' these facts are called negative facts by Wittgenstein 'The existence of atomic facts we also call a positive fact, their nonexistence a negative fact' (2.06). Actual facts only account for some of the possible facts in logical space, only some of these possibilities are occupied by what is actually the case. It is in this way that the world is all that is the case.


R.Danneskjöld;129708 wrote:
A tautology is not in itself nonsensical. It is Wittgenstein's rejection of metaphysics and his criterion of meaning that leads him to brand his own work as nonsense. As the rejection of metaphysics is neither a posteriori or analytic. This can be clearly seen in Proposition 6.53 :

'The right method of philosophy would be this. To say nothing except what can be said, i.e. the propositions of natural science, i.e. something that has nothing to do with philosophy: and then always, when someone else wished to say something metaphysical, to demonstrate to him that he had given no meaning to certain signs in his propositions. This method would be unsatisfying to the other - he would not have the feeling that we were teaching him philosophy - but it would be the only strictly correct method.'


His use of 'Philosophy' means the same as thing as he means by 'metaphysics', which leads him to reject his own work as meaningless. Others such as Carnap and Hume who have also wished eliminate metaphysics haven't seen this apparent paradox. But Wittgenstein seems to see the problem which is presented by this rejection quite clearly going on to state in Proposition 6.54.

'My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, on them, over them'.
When I first saw "To say nothing except what can be said, i.e. the propositions of natural science, i.e. something that has nothing to do with philosophy:" I thought: "what natural science could he be talking about... whose propositions have nothing to do with philosophy?" One of the most fundamental premises of natural science is potential energy. I'd like to hear how that idea has nothing to do with metaphysics. Not to mention: natural science is full of calculus, coefficients, constants, and in short: ongoing references to ideas that are essentially metaphysical. In rambling through a guide for this work I discovered that this issue has long been recognized.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 20 Feb, 2010 09:55 pm
@jack phil,
jack;130404 wrote:

Do you think calling metaphysics tautological is an attack? Or rather an affirmation?


To be honest, I experience the statement devoid of context as reductive of metaphysics.

---------- Post added 02-20-2010 at 10:58 PM ----------

jack;130404 wrote:

Proof as persuasion? Maybe proof as explanation. Or maybe proof as description...


I would prefer to reverse some of these. How about description as a form of persuasion? Rorty talks of our ability to redescribe almost anything in way that makes it look good. I'm open to counterexamples, but at the moment to prove seems to be to persuade, except that proof is a strong or ideal form of persuasion. However since a thread already exists for this I will say no more. I would enjoy your company in that thread.

---------- Post added 02-20-2010 at 11:02 PM ----------

jack;130404 wrote:

'The disappearance of magic is a sort of magic itself' [or something like that]
-LW

Excellent quote. I was just reading David Pears on W and he compares him with Kant in various ways. According to Pears, Kant was trying to destroy metaphysics but separate it from science. Of course Hegel had some strong criticisms of this separation.

I don't know W's attitude toward metaphor, but I personally find metaphor to be a crucial concept. Derrida says that metaphor is a metaphysical concept. This squares with ascertaining the limits of language as metaphysics. Donald Davidson, Mary Hesse, and Rorty have tried to tackle the issue. A metaphor is somewhere between meaninglessness and the creation of new meaning.

---------- Post added 02-20-2010 at 11:06 PM ----------

jack;130404 wrote:

One can no more prove and disprove a contradiction than a tautology. I forget what W says in the TLP, but you will surely recognize it when you come to it.

I agree. I would go even further and say that no one can prove anything. But if "proof" is looked at naturalistically, one can indeed prove. However, examining "proof" and "persuasion" in context, I see little difference. Except for intensity of persuasion. For the willing theist, God is proven. Can there be proof independent of a persuaded subject? I also think of paradox. Did W write much of poetic paradox? The kind we find in the Tao or in Christian tradition?

---------- Post added 02-20-2010 at 11:08 PM ----------

jack;130414 wrote:

Is a system of categories metaphysical? Is language a system of categories? Is language metaphysical?

I think so. Is first-philosophy, metaphysics, utterly implicit in any human's language use? Perhaps.

---------- Post added 02-20-2010 at 11:14 PM ----------

Zetherin;130416 wrote:
Why ever clarify anything ever, or seek truth? Every thing is relative, right guys?


I would say that in our practical lives we have no choice but to clarify and seek the usual kinds of truth. I do think inquiring as to the motives of our inquiry is an exciting part of the inquiry. Are you familiar with Keats on negative capability?

I see some philosophers as more concerned with the social use of their questions and answers than others. Assuming one ignores the social use of one's questions and answers, philosophy can serve as a sort of infinite self-devouring game. I'm not suggesting an exclusive adherence to either position, but noting that both uses of philosophy seem reasonable to me.

Philosophy, for some, is just another literary genre.
 
sometime sun
 
Reply Sat 20 Feb, 2010 10:31 pm
@jack phil,
jack;129678 wrote:


'substance is what there is besides what is the case'.


What does besides here mean?
Besides as in apart from or besides as in next to?
Trying to understand and be clever at the same time.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 20 Feb, 2010 10:44 pm
@jack phil,
jack;130414 wrote:
T
Well, I might have gotten off on a tangent there. the point is, you cannot prove the meaning of a word. .


I certainly agree with you about that. "Proving the meaning of a word" makes no more sense than does, "proving my big toe" makes sense. Neither is English. Only propositions or statements can be proved.
 
sometime sun
 
Reply Sat 20 Feb, 2010 10:56 pm
@RDanneskjld,
R.Danneskjöld;129685 wrote:

'The facts in logical space are the world'. Logical Space is the space of possibilities. There are lots of facts which might have existed, such as 'Wittgenstein's family were poor' or 'R.Danneskjold is 6ft tall' these facts are called negative facts by Wittgenstein 'The existence of atomic facts we also call a positive fact, their nonexistence a negative fact' (2.06). Actual facts only account for some of the possible facts in logical space, only some of these possibilities are occupied by what is actually the case. It is in this way that the world is all that is the case.

So where do the impossibilities go? what are the possibles if they have not truth? does truth or fact have anyhting to do with possibility when some which are credited as possible are not yet truth or fact? What makes a possibility? If you have already answered please do so again. How can something be a fact which nearly exists? Surly then it is in the realm of theoretics not facts, are facts waiting to be proved any less truth, because the truth fact has not yet been disproven? How can something be real if we have not lived the reality?
We do not know all the world no matter how real we are not, yet made more real for knowing or proving it?
Is the theory the more truth before the truth is even made theory?
Is this where impossibility can also be seen as a negative fact for although it has not yet been proved (or cannot be) it is still a theory so is still a form of reality?

Sorry if this does not make sense, just sat here theorising or impossibilising, this stuff is harder than i thought, got the Tractatus today and have no idea where to start.

---------- Post added 02-21-2010 at 05:13 AM ----------

jack;129714 wrote:
Maybe their is a neat distinction being made, but I don't know how important that is.

It seems rather important, some people know themselves by that which they cant, some people know themselves by that which others wont let them.
True all sittuational, but different people sit in different ways. (some are even sat upon)

---------- Post added 02-21-2010 at 06:34 AM ----------

jack;130414 wrote:

Well, I might have gotten off on a tangent there. the point is, you cannot prove the meaning of a word. Thus, you cannot prove what you think you can prove. On the contrary, it is far easier to prove meaning is use.

That sounds like what a tautology is trying to do, assert something by trying to groud it in by meaning then example it by use, or visa versa.
How far off the mark am I?

---------- Post added 02-21-2010 at 06:36 AM ----------

kennethamy;130417 wrote:
Tautologies are truths in virtue of the meanings of their terms.

Where if at all does use come in?
 
jack phil
 
Reply Sun 21 Feb, 2010 01:04 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;130417 wrote:
Tautologies are truths in virtue of the meanings of their terms.


I agree with your most recent comment, but as to this: my how we move so quickly. You guys do test my ability of speaking. For here, you are saying definitions are tautological. W says all the propositions of logic are tautological, and I think this is one of the original assertions of W. And once we are at the point of recognizing all the propositions of logic as tautological, we are left with showing.

That, or we must recognize the importance of a logic without the equality sign- or, a language that does not use the word "is" as as an equality, like in definitions. He also says that generalities are worthless, so that predicating our terms is pointless. I do wonder if this is relevant to the words all, some, many, etc.

This would be the latter half of the TLP, and surely something that needs more nailing on the head.

---------- Post added 02-21-2010 at 03:13 PM ----------

sometime sun;130483 wrote:
What does besides here mean?
Besides as in apart from or besides as in next to?
Trying to understand and be clever at the same time.


Sorry, that was a paraphrase. Here is the quote, better expressed by W, of course.

2.024
Substance is what exists independently of what is the case.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 01:56 am
@jack phil,
jack;130775 wrote:

2.024
Substance is what exists independently of what is the case.


How do you interpret this line? Is he talking of noumena? qualia? I-don't-know-what?
 
jack phil
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 01:57 pm
@Deckard,
I really don't interpret it any which way. He is simply noting that the truth of propositions does not follow from other propositions. We can weigh the facts against something.
 
jack phil
 
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 01:12 pm
@sometime sun,
sometime sun;130498 wrote:
1 So where do the impossibilities go? 2 what are the possibles if they have not truth? 3 does truth or fact have anyhting to do with possibility when some which are credited as possible are not yet truth or fact? 4 What makes a possibility? If you have already answered please do so again.


Whoa whoa whoa.
1. Impossibilities (ie contradictions) are nonsense, meaningless, senseless.
2. Silence? I had an interesting article on multivalued logics (3 and 4) but a blank spot is W's argument, not a U or 2 more values. Look up truth tables on multi valued logics.
3. Certain, possible, and impossible; tautology, proposition, contradiction. Does that answer your question?
4. I think 3 answers that as well.

Quote:
1 How can something be a fact which nearly exists? 2 Surly then it is in the realm of theoretics not facts, are facts waiting to be proved any less truth, because the truth fact has not yet been disproven? How can something be real if we have not lived the reality?


1. Nearly existing? God? physics? psychoanalysis?
2. Is a variable a theory or a fact?
3. By recognizing the logic of our language and saying "that is the limits of language I do not wish to get in a muddle with you/ or have you read ____, ?... (propositions of natural science)"

Quote:
1 We do not know all the world no matter how real we are not, yet made more real for knowing or proving it?
2 Is the theory the more truth before the truth is even made theory?
3 Is this where impossibility can also be seen as a negative fact for although it has not yet been proved (or cannot be) it is still a theory so is still a form of reality?


1. In the beginning, God created everything that is the case.
2. And the earth was an atomic fact.
3. "The chair is not red" is a negative fact, right? But it tells you little about the chair. "the chair is red or not red" a tautology. "The chair is both red and green at the same time": peculiar how I must emphasize time for there to be a contradiction, for "the chair is both red and green" is not a contradiction, right?

"This sentence is false"-- "is true" adds nothing, so I don;t think the impossible (contradiction) and negative facts are synonomous, but an atomic F coincides with a singular case contradiction.

Quote:
Sorry if this does not make sense, just sat here theorising or impossibilising, this stuff is harder than i thought, got the Tractatus today and have no idea where to start.


Start with the Lecture on Ethics and maybe what Bertrand Russell wrote.

---------- Post added 02-21-2010 at 05:13 AM ----------


Quote:
It seems rather important, some people know themselves by that which they cant, some people know themselves by that which others wont let them.
True all sittuational, but different people sit in different ways. (some are even sat upon)


I have several lines which clear this up, and am actually writing a blog to discount the Stanford Internet Encyclopedia in valuing senseless, meaningless, and nonsense differently. Its the same thing. W clarifies in the TLP, in the Lecture on Philosophy, and in the Yellow Book. Ill cite all three if you'd like, or just wait for the blog. I got work in 1 hour.

---------- Post added 02-21-2010 at 06:34 AM ----------


Quote:
That sounds like what a tautology is trying to do, assert something by trying to ground it in by meaning then example it by use, or visa versa.
How far off the mark am I?


I don't know what you mean here. One can see a tautology in prop 5.101... its the one with all Ts. It cannot be empirically verified nor logically differentiated. But they are a part of logic.

Good luck.

---------- Post added 02-21-2010 at 06:36 AM ----------
 
 

 
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