- The Prose and Philosophy of Wittgenstein (page 3)
- How to Get Unthought Wrong and Miss the Point of Pointlessness (4)
- Heidegger and Wittgenstein as Non-Philosophers (6)
- Anti-Science and Pro-Religion (6)
- Religion, Metaphysics and Reason (7)
- Wittgenstein and Heidegger on Faith and Reason (8)
- Wittgenstein on Religion and Ethics (9)
- Heidegger’s General Religious Attitude (10)
- Early Heidegger as Mystic and His Spiritual Dasein (11)
- Wittgenstein on Religious Language Games (12)
- The New Mysterians Against Late Wittgenstein’s Anthropocentrism (14)
- Heidegger on Ethico-Ontology (15)
- Wittgenstein and Heidegger’s Ethico-Ontological Particularism (16)
- Heidegger and Wittgenstein on Society (17)
- Anti-Philosophy and Anti-Academia (18)
- The Final Solution(s) of Metaphilosophy and the Desire to Overcome the Tradition (19)
“…there can only be one ultimate end of all the operations of the mind. To this all other aims are subordinate, and nothing more than means for its attainment. This ultimate end is the destination of man, and the philosophy that relates to it is termed moral philosophy. The superior position occupied by moral philosophy, above all other spheres for the operation of reason…” (Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, Transcendental Method)
Of course I needn't say here that just about everything said so far about Wittgenstein is equally applicable to Heidegger. No one ever gets Heidegger right either. They just get him wrong.
Once, in response to something Wittgenstein said, Alan Turing replied: “I see your point.” To this reply Wittgenstein had nothing but contempt. He said: “I have no point!” (1939) So, in a certain sense, we could say that Wittgenstein wasn't that far removed from the Zen master who questions the point of points. We could also say that to have a point, in Wittgenstein’s later eyes, is also to admit to oneself that one is trapped within the language game that is traditional Western philosophy. This was a place that Wittgenstein didn't want to be (at least not during his later years).
In the Tractatus, on the other hand, it has been assumed, by certain commentators, that Wittgenstein simply believed that his readers would be already familiar with the work of, say, Frege and Russell; not to mention the work of Kant and Schopenhauer. However, as I show elsewhere (in the next section), this wasn't in fact the case. Similarly with the Philosophical Investigations. Many people find it difficult to comprehend what precisely he's actually trying to say in that work. Though Wittgenstein might have actually said to these people: That’s because I'm not saying anything! Or, more charitably, we can say that what Wittgenstein was actually trying to do in that book was diagnose our philosophical confusions by means of particular examples and counter-examples. Though there is a problem: if we don’t have the same confusions as Wittgenstein, then we certainly will not see the point of this book.
Finally, in many respects mysticism has generally wanted - or tried - to rise above what it saw as the limitations of knowledge (or knowledge acquisition). Instead, many mystics thought that we should replace knowledge, quite simply, with love, mystical devotion, mystical psychological states, etc.