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Re: [xmca] Wittgenstein
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- Subject: Re: [xmca] Wittgenstein
- From: Andy Blunden <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2011 12:30:48 +1000
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Ha, ha! Tony Whitson seems to have developed an ability for
intercontinental telepathy, as he has again managed to put into words on
this list my own thoughts before I can do so myself!
Ivan, why offline? Fair question. I guess I had nothing to say about
Wittgenstein that I was willing to defend in public, and I just wanted
someone who valued Wittgenstein to explain to me why. Lois Holzman
answered my call, and (just like when I engaged with Martin Packer on
Heidegger) I have been forced through this engagement to actually take
the trouble to learn more about Wittgenstein for myself, and to this end
have purchased a copy of Lois and Fred Newman's "Unscientific
Psychology". I suspect that what Tony said may be exactly right, namely,
that Wittgenstein speaks to people coming from the same place as him,
but I been through where he is by a different route, but, I will know
better after I have read Lois's book, where she appropriates
Wittgenstein from a Vygotsky point of view. But I find Wittgenstein's
elaborate refutations of Logical Positivism very boring because I never
was a Logical Positivist. :) But the elements of Pragamtism in his
approach are useful to me, and of course, I do not use the word
"pragmatism" in a dismissive way; I describe myself as a "Hegelian
Marxist with a pragmatist twist."
So at the moment, I am waiting for Amazon.com to deliver "Unscientific
Psychology" before I can upgrade my assessment of Wittgenstein. For the
moment, Chapter 1 of my current book project has a short section on
Wittgenstein, registering my thoughts as they have been up till now, the
thoughts I was seeking some critique of:
http://home.mira.net/~andy/works/concepts-cognitivism.htm If you do a
search on "Wittgenstein" you will find the section very easily. It's
near the end.
Interestingly, the same question came up talking to Lois about the
relation between discourse and activity that came up in relation to Anna
Sfard's work. I remain of the view that this question needs more
attention. Lois tells me that Wittgenstein saw word-use as inextricably
a part of activity, not just as part of discourse. If this is the case,
then I will find in him a friend if not a teacher.
Tony Whitson wrote:
On Tue, 19 Jul 2011, Balzano, Gerald wrote:
dismissive remarks about Wittgenstein in a note to Anna Sfard in the
'kitchen-sink/concepts' discussion of three months ago ...
[Unrelatedly: don't think some of us failed to notice your rather
I for one did notice that (or maybe a similar post from Andy, which I
remember as saying something like 'other than a few interesting
observations on this and that [I think one may have been 'meaning,' so
these were not trivial], I've haven't found much in LW that has
I don't see anything wrong with that. Is the presumption that any
serious intellectual is expected to be interested in any and every
thinker, indiscriminately (or, promiscuously)?
I remember Andy's post because it's pretty much in line with what I
would say myself about LW.
Maybe hermeneutical charity here calls for taking the writer
seriously: LW said about his own work that it was therapy for those
who had become ensnared in the pathologies of the philosophical
tradition he was writing against. So maybe people who have not been so
afflicted, may have no need for (or interest in) this therapy?
I do recognize that many people feel that LW has done a lot for them.
I genuinely respect him for that; but I could say that much even for
the less estimable Richard Rorty (just to gratuitously piss off a few
more folks, perhaps).
Joint Editor MCA:
Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
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