Apprehension: Reason in the Absence of Rules (Ashgate Epistemology & Mind)

Philosophy of space and time
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Add to Wish List Add to Compare. Description Reviews 0. Product dimensions : 9. Extras Publisher. As McGuinness explains, I am a completely neutral point of view of the world. Similar position is endorsed by Kremer inspired by Conant :. I can only make myself independent of the world - and so in a certain sense master it - by renouncing any influence on happenings Wittgenstein : 73e.

If so, and if his thoughts can only be understood by those who have thoughts these thoughts by themselves - as Wittgenstein himself announces in the introduction to the Tractatus - then a reader is also invited to adopt the first - person perspective. It is I who have been engaged in nonsense — as Conant would say. And this impersonal metaphysical subject uncovered by me turns out to be the means to see myself and the world anew : to recognize myself as the limit of the world, and to recognize the world as limited by me.

In other words: to recognize my epistemic position. One thing should be stressed at this point. As I announced before, when the idea of metaphysical subject is taken into consideration, the limitations of resolute reading show up. I decided to base by reading on the interpretation proposed by New Wittgensteinians because of their groundbreaking idea that the truth and ethical significance of the Tractatus is embodied and enacted, as it were; that it is, so to speak, truth embedded in life.

It seems that Wittgenstein takes the latter seriously and that by bringing it up he seriously takes the transcendental stance. I hold that resolute reading is unable to account for this move. Kremer refers to the fact noted, not without reservation, by Russell that Wittgenstein plunged himself during the first world war into mystical writings of Angelus Silesius, St John of the Cross, among others.

Here is Silesius on the mystical detachment of the self:. That it is the will of Jesus in your soul. Apparently these genuinely religious attitudes posit the emptied self as a receiver of divine content , so to speak. On the contrary, it seems that, given the mystical setup of the world, we are not only doers but also receivers. Nonetheless, crucially, a vessel is still something ; a vessel has shape or rather it is a shape ; I am tempted to say that vessels have limits, but it would be even more appropriate and indeed more Wittgensteinian to say that vessels are limits.

Now, although they do limit the content that is being fed into them, they at the same time do not destroy or misconstrue this content: the cup does not destroy the water what could this mean after all to destroy the water? In this context it means that there is no vessel or a collection thereof that might provide all shapes that the water could adopt. Let me stress this claim: it is not the metaphysical subject itself, which is an abstract and empty idea, but its recognition that comes about as a significant event in my life because it allows me to recognize my epistemic position in the world, as if I could see myself and my world in the mirror.

In other words — employing a different metaphor — it allows me to recognize myself not as a content, but as a vessel limiting any content, and to recognize the world precisely as the content in that vessel. Someone might argue that by stressing the connection between the metaphysical subject and the recognition made by empirical subject, I put forth a kind of naturalization of the transcendental perspective.

Surely this issue requires a separate investigation. Let me then answer this way: being inspired by resolute reading of Wittgenstein, and at the same time being aware of its limitations, I would argue that from Wittgensteinian standpoint the transcendental is not a domain of quasi-facts or quasi-subjects opposed to the empirical ; I would say that the recognition is transcendental.

Hence, this aiming at the limits of the empirical domain makes the recognition transcendental. In order to succeed in this task, however, I have to address very briefly a topic that seemingly has nothing to do with the metaphysical subject and with ethics. Meanwhile I hold that this topic provides precisely the link between them. This is because, to put it simply, if there is a subjective experience of what it is like to be a vessel for scientific facts, then this very experience cannot be a scientific fact. For instance one can say much about the sense organs, physiology, etc.

If I gather all such subtle moments of my experience, then it would be reasonable to conclude that one cannot know what is it like to be me. However, my use of quotation marks above is not coincidental. That is why naturalists attempt to reduce qualia or simply claim that there are no such facts. Friends of qualia are forced into endless withdrawal, in order to distill still the purer and purer subjectivity — basic, objectively inexplicable, but still factual. However, as we have just learned from Wittgenstein, there is also a way of speaking that might be treated as a ladder 6.

I shall formulate the proposal of such a reintroduction. I take the latter, however, in the Tractarian sense. Now, I argue that if the recognition of the metaphysical subject and of epistemic position is to convey any ethical message, there is no reason to believe that only professional philosophers can achieve this discovery; it seems reasonable to suppose that folks can also succeed in this task, even if they lack clarity, deepness or some other virtues if any that we expect from professionals. Moreover, one could even hold, not without justification, that this professional reflection should not be separated from the folk one.

If so, then there must be a way to make the recognition without plunging oneself into a specialized philosophical analysis like the one conducted by Wittgenstein and like those conducted by Descartes, Kant and Husserl, among many others. There must be, so to speak, a shortcut, a kind of a heuristic that might be adopted by anyone.

I have to note that this is the point in which I no longer rely on Wittgenstein or Wittgensteinian scholarship. The idea of a heuristic is crucial here and I shall introduce it is a few words. When a subject attempts to make a decision in the specific circumstances, she can apply two strategies: first, she could list all possible options, and list all expectations, and finally match the predictable consequences of all the options with the expectations. On this basis, as the result of a detailed computation, the optimal decision can be made.

However, in real life, the subject mostly needs to simplify this process by means of a heuristic. The latter is usually conceived of as a shortcut, a simple rule of reasoning, which is not infallible, but sufficient in a particular context or environment to provide a solution to the problem or, more generally, to achieve any kind of goal that acting or thinking may have. Heuristics are also useful in learning see Gigerenzer Here of course this term is provided with a more relaxed sense. In other words, by philosophical heuristic I mean a relatively simple way to learn or to see a given complex philosophical problem.

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Now, the recognition of epistemic position can also be regarded as heuristically-driven learning, however outrageous. Thus, together with philosophical analysis in the strict sense, which might be compared to full-blown problem-solving, there must be a short-cut — a heuristic device that facilitates the recognition.

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Imagine that you have said everything that can be said about the experiences you have had as an aircraft passenger, and you still feel that you should say something more, that there is something more in this experience. Note that from this perspective it is not so important whether there are two kinds of nonsense; that is to say whether a given expression is plainly nonsensical or, say, philosophically nonsensical. However, somewhat surprisingly, this is a quality experienced by the empirical subject, and as such - it likely is reducible. Even when I am performing a recognition of the metaphysical subject, however unusual, I am nevertheless empirical, concrete subject, a compound of body and psyche.

And possibly this very recognition, conceived of as a mental act, is accompanied by some special feeling. Think of Descartes for a moment. If there are any specific qualities to this recognition, i. However, they are not the qualities of experiencing the taste of coffee , but the qualities of experiencing the recognition performed while drinking the coffee.

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Now, this recognition, qua experience , i. These qualities are qualia. Thus they are facts, if other qualities of experiences are facts, but of no special type. If they are special at all, it is only by virtue of the content of the experience they accompany — it is the recognition which is special, not the manner in which I feel it. As such , they are not very interesting to philosophers, and the extent to which they can be explained in a naturalistic manner is then more of an empirical question.

However, even if qualia are not philosophically interesting qua qualities of experience , reducible or irreducible, i. In brief, the world must thereby become quite another.

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It must so to speak wax or wane as a whole … Wittgenstein : To change the limits of the world means to change the philosophical I as the philosophical I is the limit, according to 5. Now, probably the most important change that can happen to the philosophical I is precisely its self-recognition.

I recognise myself as the one for whom the world is a certain way. Note the potential power of this act.

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Thus, toward my life and its environment. As Kremer aptly pointed out:. If the special feelings accompanying the recognition of epistemic position and the metaphysical subject, i. They can modulate my behaviour and the rules I obey. In fact, from Wittgensteinian standpoint, this recognition is a necessary condition of ethical change. This is because:. In the world everything is as it is and happens as it does happen. In it there is no value—and if there were, it would be of no value. If there is a value which is of value, it must lie outside all happening and being-so.

For all happening and being-so is accidental. What makes it non-accidental cannot lie in the world, for otherwise this would again be accidental. Ethics are transcendental Wittgenstein : 87— Let me put it in the following way. Moreover, as recognition , it is an intellectual action which does not necessarily have to be even if usually it is accompanied by emotions.

If so, something else must occur, which forces one to do something with this intellectual achievement. And these emotions, experiences or private feelings, could be called qualia. Thus, I would like to propose a redefinition of qualia, or rather their relocation to a new context, so that they become of great ethical significance. They are subjective reducible or not — it is not entirely relevant here experiences accompanying my recognition of myself as the one for whom the world is a certain way and of the world as the world for me.

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From the standpoint of Wittgensteinian scholarship the appeal to epistemic position yields gains in the interpretative task by providing linkage between the metaphysical subject, which is often seen as being an empty, tautological idea, and the empirical, psychological subject. We are thus able to understand why Wittgenstein comes up with this idea. Finally, if the recognition undertaken by the empirical subject is accompanied by some special experience, then it is precisely this experience we refer to when we speak of qualia.

If my recognition of my epistemic position allows me to see myself anew, and if it allows me to see the world anew, namely as the world for me , then I can have the will to make this change a real, long-lasting metamorphosis of my attitudes toward my life and its environment. If qualia, i. It is very likely that bats, flies or even dogs, which are relatively close to us, yet equipped with a capacity of smell that is much more sophisticated than ours, unfold different perceptual properties of the world than we do. And, indeed, there is no a priori reason to believe that our worldview is better or more adequate than theirs.

Moreover, it seems that similar way of thinking would later be revamped by biological constructivists such as Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela. My approach, although it goes beyond the limits of analytic philosophy, keeps maintaining the links with analytic tradition, broadly construed. The latter is true, however I would argue that Descartes paves the way for transcendental argumentation: if I succeed in isolating myself from all contingent circumstances suppose for a moment that it is actually feasible , I finally find myself outside of the contingent world I know - outside of the domain of facts.

See my [.. Let me generalize his argument on the Wittgensteinian basis. Facts by definition are complexes 2.

Hence, if qualia are facts, then they must be complex. Dennett, however, describes a counterexample: the situation where there is no subjective knowledge of such simples. If the coffee which I enjoyed years ago does not taste as fine today, I may not possess the purely subjective criteria allowing me to determine whether this taste has changed over the years, or whether my own standards have changed, e. It is even possible that some empirical, third-personal tests could uncover what has actually happen to my taste.

Therefore, there not necessarily is a privileged, subjective knowledge. In principle , I know no more about what is it like to me to drink coffee than you could know.

If so, if in principle there is no special subjective knowledge, there is no need to proclaim the existence of any special objects appropriate for that subjective knowledge. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Philosophia Ramat-Gan, Israel. Philosophia Ramat Gan. Published online Feb 9. Konrad Werner. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Corresponding author. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. However, let me try to read these words in a somewhat unusual way, and indeed to take them at their face value: as first-person statements by a man reflecting on his life: 5.

The microcosm. Here is an overview: First, I shall introduce the notion of epistemic position; second, I will recognize Wittgenstein in this light, drawing mostly on the insights of Kremer , , and James Conant , They write: Arguably, for every possible experience we have, each of us can say: whatever it is like for me to have the experience, it is for me that it is like that to have it. Wittgenstein writes: 4.

Philosophy is not a theory but an activity. A philosophical work consists essentially of elucidations. In the closing remarks of his book Wittgenstein writes: 6. That which mirrors itself in language, language cannot represent. That which expresses itself in language, we cannot express by language. The propositions show the logical form of reality. They exhibit it. Conant summarizes his position in the following way: To recognize a Satz as nonsensical [ Unsinn ], for the Tractatus , is not a matter of recognizing that it is attempting to say something that cannot be said, but rather a matter of recognizing that it fails to say anything at all.

Conant : On the Tractarian conception, there is only one way a sentence can be Unsinn : by its failing to symbolize. Visit Seller's Storefront. We guarantee the condition of every book as it's described on the Abebooks web sites. Orders usually ship out within 2 business days. Shipping costs are based on books weighing 2. If your book order is heavy or oversized, we may contact you to let you know extra shipping is required. List this Seller's Books. Payment Methods accepted by seller.

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