The Conversion on the Way to Damascus,
Caravaggio, 1600-1601 

78. I am currently reading Wittgenstein’s Remarks on Frazer’s Golden Bough. Fascinating stuff. Here is a snippet:

One could say ‘every view has it charm’, but that would be false. The correct thing to say is that every view is significant for the one who sees it as significant (but that does not mean, sees it other than it is). Indeed, in this sense, every view is equally significant (p. 135).

Changing a view or intellectual orientation is difficult to effect in someone else, and may be impossible in cases where the view is interwoven with a person’s intellectual identity or Weltanschauung (e.g., could we imagine changing Frege’s mind that number-words must stand for things?).

On the other hand, it seems natural to want to engage a person in this project of persuasion. We may invite someone to view things differently, and he may succeed in this achieving this task. We may effect a change in the view of a single person, or we may effect a change in the view of many people, or even an entire generation. A view or way of seeing something is therefore always someone’s view or way of seeing something, and if we change a view we change the life of a person.

This is what I take from Wittgenstein’s remark above that ‘every view is significant for the one who sees it as significant’ (I think it may find some common ground with what Gordon Baker has written about Wittgenstein).

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