Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Ludwig Wittgenstein and Wonderment: In his Philosophical Investigations (published posthumously in 1953), Wittgenstein offers a variety of novel interpretations regarding the true nature of analytic philosophy. Concerning philosophy itself, Wittgenstein claims that all philosophical problems stem from a mere misunderstanding of language. What one person means by the word "phenomenology" for example, may be radically different from what another person means by it. Although there may be a general, philosophical definition of the word "phenomenology," the definition is postulated with a set of words that inevitably projects a so-called "meaning" onto it. Therefore, one cannot actually satisfy the logical conditions necessitated for a "meaning" rooted in language, especially since language itself constitutes an ever-expanding group of words with meanings that often presuppose their use(s). In this instance, Wittgenstein demonstrates how the "meaning" of any particular word presupposes our capabilities of using it to articulate or develop an effective manner of communication. Thus, even though language is fundamentally a public phenomenon, as one person utilizes it to communicate with another person, it is ultimately formulated in the private constructs of the mind.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
The Ineffability of Modernity: What's that sound? That sound that eerily creeps up behind you when you walk down the street. Is it the sound of urban sprawl? Is it the sound of reindustrialization? It's catching up with you every moment of your existence on the Earth. There is no exit. Nobody can escape the sound. It's delicate and ineffable at the same time. It masks itself as progress. Machines working hither and thither, cars traveling to and fro, planes taking off and landing, but it's all helter-skelter in the end, right? Yet we are creatures of the 21st century. And what does that mean? In a way, man has certainly lost his ability to know himself. Likewise, Articulating what it means to be a human being in the 21st century has become nearly impossible. People who define themselves by their material possessions only get distracted and lost in them over the long term. Thus, man has created the infamous Attention Deficit Disorder (A.D.D.), just as he has with various other social anxiety disorders. But it's that SOUND which clouds each one of our individual concerns, and until we learn to transcend that SOUND, we will be locked in this vicious cycle of modernity.