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Re: [stoics] Wittgenstein on Form.

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  • Kevin Collins
    Jan, Below is my response: 4.0312 The possibility of propositions is based on the principle that objects have signs as their representatives. My fundamental
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 1, 2007
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      Below is my response:
      4.0312 The possibility of propositions is based on the principle that objects have signs as their representatives. My fundamental idea is that the 'logical constants' are not representatives; that there can be no representatives of the logic of facts.
      And again from the opening statements of the book:
      “The whole sense of the book might be summed up the following words: what can be said at all can be said clearly, and what we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence. Thus the aim of the book is to draw a limit to thought, or rather--not to thought, but to the expression of thoughts”.
      I think the ‘logical constants’ he speaks of in the first excerpt is the same pictorial form, logical form, and sense of propositions; he speaks of through out his book. His main idea, I would paraphrase, is that these forms exist, and can only be depicted not explained. It may be I am reading into his work but I took away a real sense of mystery that he felt on the existence of this logical form which all of the world conforms to.
      6.421 It is clear that ethics cannot be put into words. Ethics is transcendental. (Ethics and aesthetics are one and the same.)
      I found the equating of ethics and aesthetics very interesting. I think he is depicting ethics as a sense of proportion to the ‘logical form’, it cannot be said but it is there.
      Again I maybe seeing similarities that do not exist, but I do see the appreciation of the logical form of the world as normative for ethics in both the Stoics and W. Though early W would say to try and express these ethics in nonsense…. I think

      "jan.garrett" <jan.garrett@...> wrote:
      Here is a copy of Wittgenstein' s Tractatus.
      I don't think W. means by form what the ancient Greeks meant by the laws of Zeus/Nature, because W. is concerned especially with what is the case, or maybe the form of what is the case, or the relationship between true propositions and what is the case, not what ought to be. Teleological thinkers among the ancients, such as the Stoics, could move with a certain amount of ease between "nature" taken in the factual sense and "nature" taken in the normative sense. W. is working against the background of Hume, who insisted that it was fallacious to reason from what is in fact the case to what ought to be the case. Thus, unless I completely misunderstand W., for him, what ought to be the case remains in the realm about which one must be silent. He does say this:
      6.42 . . . it is impossible for there to be propositions of ethics. Propositions can express nothing that is higher. 
      6.421 It is clear that ethics cannot be put into words. Ethics is transcendental. . . .
      It would be more plausible to treat the Stoic law of nature, in its factual aspect, as a formal cause (roughly in Aristotle's sense) of the cosmos as a whole. Aristotelian formal causes are in the natural beings whose form they are. Wittgensteinian pictorial form--if that's the sort of form you have in mind--somehow bridges reality and pictures. My impression-- I am no Wittgenstein expert--is that Wittgenstein is using his notion of picture to try to get himself to the position where he can state more clearly than anyone else--what it means for a proposition to be meaningful and true (would a true proposition not be (a) meaningful and (b) accurately picture the world?).
      2.161 There must be something identical in a picture and what it depicts, to enable the one to be a picture of the other at all.
      2.17 What a picture must have in common with reality, in order to be able to depict it--correctly or incorrectly- -in the way that it does, is its pictorial form. 
      He's trying to explain the correspondence theory of truth, without bringing in biologically evolved human mental capacities. In that sense, the early W. is a pre-Darwinian, even though he was writing half a century after publication of Darwin's Origin of Species.
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2007 10:57 AM
      Subject: Re: [stoics] Diogenes of Apollonia--Progenit or of Stoic Theology? (Part 1 of 2) I find it interesting to

      I find an interesting parallel in the High Laws from the observations of the Greeks and the Logical Form of Wittgenstein in the Tractus.
      This Form is the shape of a state of affairs, much like the Laws identified by the Greeks. I think one would not do violence to the doctrine of "living in accordance with nature" if it was restated to; live in accordance with the logical forms demonstrated by the states of affairs that are the case.
      As we have seen, this Form is what the early W thought could not be expressed in language. I don’t know yet how he specifically change this position later, or even if he did.
      I do think this Form is what the Stoics strove to understand and live according to.

      "jan.garrett" <jan.garrett@ insightbb. com> wrote:
      Diogenes of Apollonia—Progenitor of Stoic Theology?
      Note: There are no comments here about modern physics. I am saving comments on this information for Part 2 of this 2-part communication.
      From Walter Burkert, Greek Religion, trans. from the German by J. Raffan, Harvard University Press, 1985.
      “Heraclitus had . . . said that ‘all human laws are nourished by one, the divine.’ . . . An echo of such thoughts sound in the central choral ode of [Sophocles’] King Oedipus: the chorus professes its faith in the ‘reverent purity in all words and works for which high laws are set up, begotten in the heavenly aither: Olympus alone is their father, mortal men have not produced them, and never again can forgetfulness allow them to fall asleep; a great god is in them, and he does not age.’ There are laws of eusebia [piety] which are rooted in heaven, removed from human caprice, and eternal like the cosmos itself. Thus nature speculation provides a starting-point from which to close the rift between physis and nomos, and so to give a new, unshakeable foundation for piety.
      “Pupils of Anaxagoras successfully developed such ideas. We know of no statement about god or things divine from Anaxagoras himself; he taught that mind, nous, moves and guides everything, but does not explicitly name it god. But Diogenes of Apollonia, who equates the Anaxagorean nous with air, has no scruples about applying the names god and Zeus to this ‘eternal and immortal body’ which pervades everything and rules over everything, being the finest substance. In every thinking and sentient man a piece of this thinking air is enclosed , a ‘small portion of god.’ . . .
      “The attempt to see god, mind, cosmos, and just order as one could be elaborated impressively, both in cosmology and in the doctrine of the soul. The most striking thesis was that the demonstrable, well order arrangement of things in the cosmos proves the existence of some highest reason, a guiding and planning providence, pronoia. This word is first attested in Herodotus who remarks that the ‘providence of the divine’ is found in the fact that lions always have only one cub whereas the animals on which they prey multiply quickly. Diogenes of Apollonia developed such ideas in a more systematic way: ‘It would indeed not be at all possible that everything should be so well apportioned without thinking: that the world has measures of everything, of winter and summer, night and day, rain, wind, and sunshine; and the other things too, if someone will only consider, will be found so constituted, as beautiful as possible.’ Xenophon [in his Memorabilia of Socrates, 1.4, 4.3] has Socrates make detailed observations of this kind in order to refute an atheist . . . "
      At approximately this time (end of 5th century BCE) an attempt was made to reconcile natural philosophy with the stories of the poets. “Instead of attacking Homer it seemed advisable to secure ancient wisdom as an ally by argumentation. The device whereby this was achieved was allegory. Diogenes of Apollonia ‘praises Homer: Homer had spoken not mythically but truly about the gods; by “Zeus” he meant the air.’”
      End of citation from Burkert.

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