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Thread: The Limits of Language

  1. #61
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    Re: The Limits of Language

    Quote Originally Posted by Angel View Post
    "Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen."

    Translated: "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent."

    Quoted above is one of the most famous (perhaps also infamous) propositions to come out of twentieth-century philosophy, written by one of the most renowned philosophers of the twentieth century .

    What do you think this proposition means?
    What does it say to you?
    Do you find its meaning congenial to your philosophical view of the world?
    If true, what implications does this proposition hold for philosophical discussion?
    I don't know how much nuance/connotation is lost in the translation, but if it's faithful and the intended meaning isn't "Don't speak on topics you aren't knowledgeable in.", it's going to be widely misinterpreted.

    Having said this, @Elvira mentions that the quotation is the final line of one of Dr. Wittgenstein's major works. Without having read the book myself, I suspect the context of the quote may be indispensable to its proper interpretation.

    As an engineer, I regard most philosophy--and especially contemporary philosophy--as trying to erect a building on top of a heap of garbage, floating in water, drifting in outer space, in the middle of a supernova. And once this "building" is erected, whatever chaotic mess it turns out to be, the goal of the next eager philosopher is to erect a building on top of it.

    Intellectually stimulating, I suppose, but ultimately useless.

  2. #62
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    Re: The Limits of Language

    Quote Originally Posted by Angel View Post
    "Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen."

    Translated: "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent."

    Quoted above is one of the most famous (perhaps also infamous) propositions to come out of twentieth-century philosophy, written by one of the most renowned philosophers of the twentieth century .

    What do you think this proposition means?
    What does it say to you?
    Do you find its meaning congenial to your philosophical view of the world?
    If true, what implications does this proposition hold for philosophical discussion?
    I took it to mean: if one lacks first hand knowledge (experience?) on a topic (matter?) then they should STFU about it and defer to those who do.
    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself.
    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

  3. #63
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    Re: The Limits of Language

    Quote Originally Posted by Angel View Post
    "Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen."

    Translated: "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent."

    Quoted above is one of the most famous (perhaps also infamous) propositions to come out of twentieth-century philosophy, written by one of the most renowned philosophers of the twentieth century .

    What do you think this proposition means?
    What does it say to you?
    Do you find its meaning congenial to your philosophical view of the world?
    If true, what implications does this proposition hold for philosophical discussion?
    Reads like a trivial tautology.

  4. #64
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    Re: The Limits of Language

    1. I have just returned from reading the Wikipedia article about Mr. W.

    2. I am probably wrong, but I interpret his famous quotation as: Language has its limits when people want to express certain ideas or feelings. So do NOT even try.

    3. I know nothing about poetry, but I have heard that some people feel that a good poem (and especially some music) can "speak" to people in a way that no human-invented prose ever can.

  5. #65
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    Re: The Limits of Language


    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    1. I have just returned from reading the Wikipedia article about Mr. W.

    2. I am probably wrong, but I interpret his famous quotation as: Language has its limits when people want to express certain ideas or feelings. So do NOT even try.

    3. I know nothing about poetry, but I have heard that some people feel that a good poem (and especially some music) can "speak" to people in a way that no human-invented prose ever can.
    Quote Originally Posted by COTO View Post
    I don't know how much nuance/connotation is lost in the translation, but if it's faithful and the intended meaning isn't "Don't speak on topics you aren't knowledgeable in.", it's going to be widely misinterpreted.

    Having said this, @Elvira mentions that the quotation is the final line of one of Dr. Wittgenstein's major works. Without having read the book myself, I suspect the context of the quote may be indispensable to its proper interpretation.

    As an engineer, I regard most philosophy--and especially contemporary philosophy--as trying to erect a building on top of a heap of garbage, floating in water, drifting in outer space, in the middle of a supernova. And once this "building" is erected, whatever chaotic mess it turns out to be, the goal of the next eager philosopher is to erect a building on top of it.

    Intellectually stimulating, I suppose, but ultimately useless.
    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    I took it to mean: if one lacks first hand knowledge (experience?) on a topic (matter?) then they should STFU about it and defer to those who do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Simpletruther View Post
    Reads like a trivial tautology.
    <a href=http://i.imgur.com/u68aMie.jpg target=_blank rel=nofollow>http://i.imgur.com/u68aMie.jpg</a>
    "I'm not 100% sure that you and I exist, but I'm surer that God exists than that you exist, and I'm as sure God exists as I am that I exist."
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    Re: The Limits of Language

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    1. I have just returned from reading the Wikipedia article about Mr. W.

    2. I am probably wrong, but I interpret his famous quotation as: Language has its limits when people want to express certain ideas or feelings. So do NOT even try.

    3. I know nothing about poetry, but I have heard that some people feel that a good poem (and especially some music) can "speak" to people in a way that no human-invented prose ever can.
    Music is a universal language, one that far transcends words.

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