Thursday, July 16, 2020

What Kind of Philosopher is Wittgenstein?

Wittgenstein—what kind of a philosopher is he? He creates the impression of being a self-consciously philosophical character, but not an expert philosopher. His ideas are interesting, but not particularly useful. A few of his perspectives are unique, but he is didactic and dry; we do not find him particularly touching and wise. He is disgusted by the ossified absurdities of philosophy and aims to discover the ultimate answers, but he is unable to avoid the philosopher’s plight of being mired in questions that are fundamentally unanswerable. He dwells on deep philosophical issues, but makes assertions aphoristically, with the attitude of a lighthearted gamer, and fails to provide a serious argument. He draws heavy praise from his devotees, but he is rarely cited in major works of philosophy.

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