Having taken a healthy 2 week holiday away from blogging to stuff my face on Spanish christmas fare and demolish my liver it is a bit daunting to be back in the UK having to face exams and the baying crowds (my definition is the 3+ variety) who visit this blog in search of a grammatical, or, heaven forbid, a logical mistake!
Which brings me to my good friend Mr. Wittgenstein, whose wonderful, if impenetrable book, the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus woke me from my dogmatical slumbers in bed. The bracketed comment in the title above, is mine, and is the thought that tortures anyone who enters in to Witt's philosophical world. Is life just language or is there something that can be thought about outside language? If you're a french philosophe of the Derrida school the first might seem an attractive option, but if, like me, you're of the romantic and yet realist persuasion that we are not all created constructs of the language that we use, the fact that Witt, in this famous passage seems to endorse the idea that there is no world outside of language can be terrifying. Does he really mean what he says? What kind of world do animals inhabit? Is he just dead wrong or is there something profound lurking in the words of the zen master? Let's face it, whatever is going on in the Tractatus is very odd and the definition of "world" is queer to say the least, but the book holds such endless fascination that even such opaque pronouncements are set to torture the unwitting reader for years to come. Damn book, I wish that philosophy didn't have the capacity to give a person nightmares even once the reading matter has been laid down many years ago and lost somewhere in one's room! Yet isn't that the fun of it?