Tuesday, April 01, 2014

The End of Philosophy

Today was (for me) sad as my Philosophy course finished and sorry to report that  I don't really know the meaning of everything.
Apart from filling out some feedback forms which will hopefully provide positive indications to the validity of the work that Scott had put into acquainting us with some of the great Philosophers of 'Modern' times we took a look at late period Wittgenstein and had a  short look at the question 'is this the end of philosophy ?
- The answer (I think) is no.

Ludwig Wittgenstein 1889 -1951 (the Philosopher) was one of several children born to a very rich  Austrian Steel Magnate (almost a pun there), three of his brothers committed suicide and he contemplated it himself. 
Initially he started his studies in Manchester in aeronautic engineering but after meeting with Frege in Jana he followed advice proffered by the older man and went to meet and study with Bertrand Russel in Cambridge.
At the start of his Philosophical musings Ludwig was what might be labeled a logical positivist but he emerged from this 'cul-de-sac' top work at the 'Theory of meaning' from a different perspective accepting the importance of language but embracing the ambiguity of it.
On realising that the almost infinite variety of sentence constructions meant that a full 'understanding'  was not practical he looked instead at how we are able to communicate via language without concrete rules and looked at Philosophy's focus and use of  language as being  centred on ordinary words used perversely, one of the bigger issues around language is perhaps what it is to be understood .

As we were at the end of our short philosophical  'journey' one of the areas that Scott (the course leader) suggested would (or could) be of interest to us was the work of Frans de Waal and his scientific work observing Chimpanzees and their 'morality' - books include Chimpanzee Politics (great name for a band) and How morality evolved (not so good).
This might provide some  illumination on something inherent in the human family - here's a short clip.

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