There are more things in Heaven and Earth than are dreamed of in your philosophy, Shakespeare. Ludwig Wittgenstein was a so called or self styled philosopher of the last century and the one before it. Was he an atheist, an agnostic or a believer? He refused to be categorised. Not even as a philosopher?
He published his first book, with a Latin name, in 1923. He said he had solved all the problems of philosophy and retired from academic life and became a gardener. His book was highly influential, although whether he influenced others to become gardeners is not known. He lived in Ireland for a while, which may or may not have damaged his brain cells. The question arises, are too much brains bad for you?
In later life he wrote another book, named in English, saying his first book was all wrong and this time he got it right. His books are highly influential among people who care about that sort of thing. Both, according to a friend of mine, are codswallop. They can’t both be right, the books I mean, not my friend, who is only one person.
Had Wittgenstein lived beyond 1951 would he also have denounced his second book? Who can tell. There are many other interesting facts about Wittgenstein, such as that he had a brother, a one-handed concert pianist. Such facts are of interest to players of Trivial Pursuit or entrants to pub quizzes. I shan’t detain you with them here.
I met a man outside a pub reading a book on Wittgenstein to whom I am indebted, although he did not buy me a pint. He got the book in the Catholic Truth Society. Is Catholic truth a contradiction in terms, like military intelligence? I will ask my friend, the codswallop specialist. Enough of philosophy and philosophers. The question is, must you understand rubbish in order to denounce it? Alas, Wittgenstein is no longer with us, so is unavailable for comment.
He said his first book is rubbish. Who am I to disagree? I bow to his superior intellect. Great minds think alike, fools seldom differ. So, I conclude.
25th March, 2016