This log was inspired by "How to Read Wittgenstein" and "Ludwig Wittgenstein: the duty of genius" by Ray Monk. It is based on reading Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Ludwig Wittgenstein translated by D. F. Pears & B. F. McGuinness (Routledge and Kegan Paul:1963)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The microcosm.

I am my universe of discourse; there is no thinking, imagining subject.

If one wrote a book called "The World as I found it", it would include a report on the body that tells which parts were subordinate to the will, and which were not, etc. Now this would be a way to isolate the subject, or rather of showing that in an important sense there is none. For it alone could not be discussed in that book. The subject is not a part of the world, but part of its boundary.

Where in the world is a metaphysical subject to be perceived? One could say that this is just like the eye and the visual field. But really you do not see the eye. And nothing in the visual field allows you to infer that it is seen by an eye.

In this connection, experience is not a priori. All one sees could be different. All one can describe at all could be different. There is no way things should, a priori, be.

Here one sees that strict solipsism coincides with pure realism. The subject of solipsism shrinks to a point without extension, but the reality associated with it remains. Thus there really is a sense in which philosophy can talk about the self in a non-psychological way. The self enters philosophy through the fact that 'the world is my world'.

The philosophical self is not the human being, not the human body, or the human psyche of psychology, but rather the metaphysical subject, the boundary - not a part - of the world.

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