12 July 2007

frist prost

The last time I made a comment longer than the post I was responding to, I thought "Hey, maybe I should make a blog. That way I could have my better comments all in one place." Then I put it off until I thought of a name I liked. "SOH-Dan" struck me as just terrible enough. To quote Wittgenstein*: "What! Speak nonsense, you fool! It makes no difference." And it doesn't make a difference what I name this blog!

Another random Wittgenstein quote, in response to a commenter who was trying to find le mot juste during a meeting of the Cambridge Moral Science Club: "No. Speak badly, and then we shall go on." Which is often good advice, since a clever listener can often figure out what was being grasped at, even if the point was put poorly (or even in a manner which is flat-out wrong) -- and if they can't, then often this isn't much of a loss, since perhaps they wouldn't have gotten the point even if it had been put well, or the point wasn't so important as to waste time trying to formulate it nicely.

*who claims to be quoting Augustine, though apparently no one's figured out what passage Wittgenstein was trying to quote; in that spirit, I won't bother hunting down a copy of that "Zu Heidegger" letter to see if I get the quoted quote right. As I recall, it's only reprinted in some obscure collection of essays on "Heidegger and Modern Thought" or somesuch; I got it via interlibrary loan a few years back. Had an interesting interview with Ryle in it, since Ryle wrote a favorable review of "Being & Time" when it came out. The interviewer asked Ryle if Heidegger had been an influence on Ryle's "Concept of Mind" etc. Ryle responded "Well, not consciously. I pretty much just read the book, wrote that review, put the book on the shelf, and then Heidegger never came up again. But who knows what sort of influence reading it had on me?" Damnit, now I want to hunt down a copy of that book... it had a nice essay on Gadamer's rehabilitation of "prejudgement" that was one of the first places I came across Gadamer.

3 comments:

Duck said...

Dude, you never said you had a blog! I had to wait for N.N. to tell us about it. I'll have to take your word for the terribleness of the name, as I do not speak nor read the Japanese language (I like how it sounds though - Hai!).

I comment here to tell you that I own that Heidegger book: it's Heidegger & Modern Philosophy (Michael Murray, ed.), and it's definitely excellent. The Ricoeur article is fab. The Gadamer article is just an excerpt from TM.

Here's the LW bit. "It is a priori certain that whatever one might offer as a definition of the Good, it is always simply a misunderstanding to think that it corresponds in expression to the authentic matter one actually means (Moore). Yet the tendency represented by the running up against ["up-against-running" in the original, no doubt] points to something. St. Augustine already knew this when he said: What, you wretch, so you want to avoid talking nonsense? Talk some nonsense, it makes no difference!" [p.81]

A footnote says: According to McGuinness, this was a favorite quotation of Wittgenstein's. Although the exact passage has not been found, he suggests Confessions I, iv: "et vae tacentibus de te, quoniam loquaces muti sunt." End of footnote. There, aren't you glad you asked?

Daniel said...

Well, I didn't have a blog until recently. I figured I'd point it out to you when/if I tossed together something I thought might be relevant to your interests. Looking forward to that introduction to your dissertation you said you were working on, by the way.

I should write up something explaining what the blog's name is on about, I suppose.

Good to have the Wittgenstein quote again!

Aaron said...

I stumbled upon this entry in futilely Googling different parts of that supposed Augustine quotation. Wittgenstein seems to have fudged it a bit (I don't speak Latin, so I'm not sure how much) but it's still a good passage. There's a kind of vertigo common to reading Heidegger and Wittgenstein, despite their rather significant stylistic differences.