Excellent new Wittgenstein blog Philosophical Practice/Wittgenstein Reconceived here. It is hosted by Brian Sorrell. For more on Brian, go here.

Here is an excerpt from the October 2 post The Metaphysics of Thought which I hope to comment on shortly.

When we say to each other “I have a thought,” what do we mean by this? We do not mean that we are in possession of a tangible item; rather, we mean that we are prepared to talk or act in a situationally appropriate manner. (Examples: brainstorming about bicycle commuting). (At issue, fundamentally, is what it is like to be an “agent”a rational and social creature engaged in ordinary human activities.)

Compare: I have a belief, reason, joke, idea, dream, desire, secret, wish, opinion, etc. Possession plays out in “demonstration” there is no “having a joke” unless there is also “telling a joke”. If a friend tells us, out of nowhere, that he has a dream, but leaves it at that, we do not know exactly how to react; we expect that he will tell us about his dream and what effect it might have had on him. Sometimes we “make a wish” and it is supposed to remain silent, else we might jinx the wish: this is a behavior we expect, under appropriate circumstances. If a friend said, “I have a secret”, then went on to tell us the intimate details, we would think that something had gone wrong with how they treat secrets.

lw-face-ii.png

Advertisements