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Old 11-18-2009, 01:56 AM   #1
WT Sharpe
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World Philosophy Day, 19 November 2009

Tomorrow is World Philosophy Day. What philosophical works have you read lately? Which philosophers would you recommend?
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Old 11-18-2009, 08:23 AM   #2
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I read an interesting anecdote about Wittgenstein the other day. After publishing the Tractatus (supposedly solving philosophy for good), he took a job as a schoolteacher in an Austrian village. He was a brutal teacher and often beat the children - eventually he was forced to resign when word of his cruelty got out.
Years later he returned to the village and visited his ex-pupils who were now adults. He went from house to house begging them, sometimes on his knees, to forgive his treatment of them when they were children - none of them forgave him.
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Old 11-18-2009, 02:45 PM   #3
WT Sharpe
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Originally Posted by Sparrow View Post
I read an interesting anecdote about Wittgenstein the other day. After publishing the Tractatus (supposedly solving philosophy for good), he took a job as a schoolteacher in an Austrian village. He was a brutal teacher and often beat the children - eventually he was forced to resign when word of his cruelty got out.
Years later he returned to the village and visited his ex-pupils who were now adults. He went from house to house begging them, sometimes on his knees, to forgive his treatment of them when they were children - none of them forgave him.
Wow, what a story! I've always heard that he wasn't always the most sociable of characters, but this story does show he had a very human side. He did, after all, try to make amends.

At one point, Wittgenstein was a student of Bertrand Russel, but I always felt Russell was the better, or at least the more accessible, writer. I find in myself a tendency to blame Wittgenstein for making philosophy to be more about the proper and exact use of language than it is about the "big questions."

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Old 11-18-2009, 02:51 PM   #4
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Talking about Wittgenstein, has anyone read Ray Monk's "Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius"? I think it's a really well-written biography, with a good mix of philosophical discussions.
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Old 11-18-2009, 03:27 PM   #5
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Talking about Wittgenstein, has anyone read Ray Monk's "Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius"? I think it's a really well-written biography, with a good mix of philosophical discussions.
I got my anecdote from 'The Brooklyn Follies' by Paul Auster, who referred to Monk's biography as the source. It was depicted as a fine book in the novel - I must give it a go sometime.
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