Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Wittgenstein’s Hypnotic Absurdities

Brand Blanshard's Reason and Analysis is a good critique of Pragmatism, Logical Positivism and other linguistic philosophies.

Once you read this book you will feel surprised that even today there are many people who have some kind of high opinion of the works of philosophers like Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Bertrand Russell. Its seems most people are hypnotized by demented philosophers.

Here’s an interesting paragraph on Wittgenstein from Chapter V, “Theory of Meaning,” in Reason and Analysis:
“There must have been something hypnotic about Wittgenstein which made listeners accept as oracles what in other mouths they would have dismissed as absurdities. Fortunately or not, the present writer never fell under the basilisk eye. He has therefore no inhibitions in calling absurd, even in Wittgenstein, what plainly seems so. He is also free to express astonishment at the unoriginality of this view. For in essentials it is Hume over again—his solipsism without any vestige of his humor, clarity, or grace. Of course the difficulties of Hume have been discussed almost ad nauseam. They were discussed, for example, with monumental thoroughness by Green in the great ‘introduction’, now so seldom opened. If Wittgenstein had ever read a page of this or any other criticism of Hume, there is no indication of it.”

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