RS: Part of my difference with Wittgenstein is temperamental. He was a pessimist deeply influenced by Arthur Schopenhauer. I am an optimist influenced by statistically oriented, scientific historians. For Wittgenstein, philosophy is a mental illness. For me, it is an expression of mental health. But let me focus on our zone of agreement. Consider the riddle `Why do mirrors reverse left and right but not up and down?’ Although this seems to be a riddle about perception, it really turns on how we use words such as `reverse’. Under several of the disambiguations, it just isn’t true that the mirror reverses left and right. Under others, there is a benign sort of reversal. The details are spelled out in a wonderful article by Ned Block (whose title is the riddle written in mirror reversed writing).
I agree with Wittgenstein: the mere fact that a question does not appear answerable by science is a good reason to suspect that there is some verbal confusion. Optics fails to answer `Why do mirrors reverse left and right but not up and down?’. That scientific failure is good reason to suspect that the real culprit is not a deficiency of empirical data. Learning philosophy of language is like learning hygiene. Just as a physician should not touch a patient until after washing his hands, a philosopher should not touch a philosophical question until after he has clarified it linguistically.Wittgenstein overlearns the hand-washing lesson – treating all philosophical problems as resolvable by grammatical hygiene. This therapeutic model makes Wittgenstein akin to overeager psychologists who want to cure people who are not ill. Wittgenstein wants to cure the oyster by removing the grain of sand!
- "...I agree with Wittgenstein: the mere fact that a question does not appear answerable by science is a good reason to suspect that there is some verbal confusion..."
I am not sure this represents the gist of Wittgenstein's views on how all our problems reduces that of language, where is the citation?
http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/davidson-and-derrida/ Derrida , violates law of excluded middle , self-refuting