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Friday, April 14, 2017

Quiz Apr 20

1. What was the main message of Wittgenstein's Tractatus?

2. What did the later Wittgenstein (of Philosophical Investigations) mean by "language games," what did he think was the way to solve philosophical problems, and what kind of language did he think we can't have?

3. Who was Adolf Eichmann, and what did Arendt learn about him at his trial?

4. What was Arendt's descriptive phrase for what she saw as Eichmann's ordinariness?

5. When does science progress, according to Karl Popper, and when does it prove things?

6. What's the difference between induction and deduction?

7. An unfalsifiable statement is not ____.

8. What's a paradigm shift?

9. What is a thought experiment?

10. In Thomson's violinist thought experiment, the violinist is analogous to what?

  • Should we be silent about things we can't prove? Should philosophy concern itself with more than understanding the logic of language?
  • Do you use language as a pictorial medium, a tool for managing social relationships and expressing our thoughts and feelings, or what?
  • Are ordinary people capable of great evil? Are you? How can we be sure that a Holocaust will never happen again? What will you teach your children about that?
  • If the government attempted to round up, detain, and deport millions of Latinos and Muslims, how would you respond
  • Is "the banality of evil" relevant to our time?
  • Do you think there's an important ethical difference between Foot's and Thomson's versions of the trolley problem? Why or why not? What would you do?
  • Does Thomson's violinist thought experiment persuade you that even if a fetus is a person, that doesn't necessarily make abortion wrong?
thinkPhilosophy (@tPhilosophia)
"What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence" - Wittgenstein's *Tractatus*: ow.ly/ClvRr #phil

thinkPhilosophy (@tPhilosophia)
Wittgenstein on problems translating language, computer science, and artificial intelligence. slate.com/articles/life/…

“The world is everything that is the case.”
“Death is not an event in life: we do not live to experience death. If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present. Our life has no end in the way in which our visual field has no limits.”
“I give no sources, because it is indifferent to me whether what I have thought has already been thought before me by another.”
“Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.”
“A nothing will serve just as well as a something about which nothing could be said.”

“A logical picture of facts is a thought.”
“A picture held us captive. And we could not get outside it, for it lay in our language and language seemed to repeat it to us inexorably.”

What do we see when we observe the above figure? What we see in the above figure, of course, is dependent upon that with which we are familiar. Those who are not acquainted with the shape and form of a rabbit but are with that of a duck will see only a duck--and vice versa... When we normally speak of seeing in our everyday language-game, we are not inclined to say, "I see the picture as a duck," but rather we simply say, "I see a duck."

“Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.”
“If you tried to doubt everything you would not get as far as doubting anything. The game of doubting itself presupposes certainty.”
April 26 is the birthday of the man who said, “Philosophy is like trying to open a safe with a combination lock: each little adjustment of the dials seems to achieve nothing, only when everything is in place does the door open”: Ludwig Wittgenstein (books by this author), born in Vienna in 1889. He was described by his colleague Bertrand Russell as “the most perfect example I have known of genius as traditionally conceived: passionate, profound, intense, and dominating.” He was the youngest of nine children; three of his brothers committed suicide.
Wittgenstein was born into one of the richest families in Austro-Hungary, but he later gave away his inheritance to his siblings, and also to an assortment of Austrian writers and artists, including Rainer Maria Rilke. He once said that the study of philosophy rescued him from nine years of loneliness and wanting to die, yet he tried to leave philosophy several times and pursue another line of work, including serving in the army during World War I, working as a porter at a London hospital, and teaching elementary school. He also considered careers in psychiatry and architecture — going so far as to design and build a house for his sister, which she never liked very much.
Wittgenstein was particularly interested in language. He wrote: “The limits of my language are the limits of my mind. All I know is what I have words for.”
And, “Uttering a word is like striking a note on the keyboard of the imagination.” -Writer's Almanac

“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”
“The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution.”
“The trouble with Eichmann was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal. From the viewpoint of our legal institutions and of our moral standards of judgment, this normality was much more terrifying than all the atrocities put together.”
It was as though in those last minutes he was summing up the lesson that this long course in human wickedness had taught us-the lesson of the fearsome word-and-thought-defying banality of evil.”

New Republic (@NewRepublic)
Hannah Arendt's writings warn us that danger comes when people no longer care if something is true or not. bit.ly/2pieugo pic.twitter.com/j8Io2VanwA


  1. 8 AQQ 4-20
    1.When was Ludwig Wittgenstein born?
    2.When did he die?
    3.Where did he hold his seminars?
    4.When did he hold his seminars?
    5.Did most people think he was an idiot or a genius?
    6.How did Bertrand Russel describe him?
    7.Was he small or large?
    8.What nationality was he?
    9.What color eyes did he have?
    10.Did he lecture from prepared notes?
    11.He told his students not to waste time doing what?
    12.When did he write his first book?
    13.What was it entitled?
    14.What was the main message of the book?
    15.What was a central theme in his later works?
    16.What did he believe language led philosophers into?
    17.What did he believe was one cause of philisophical confusion?
    18.What did he mean by family resemblance?
    19.The Nazi Adolf Eichmann was a hard-working what?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Clayton Thomas (10)9:42 PM CDT

    4/20 - DQ's
    1. Being silent about things we can't prove leaves us with nothing, because nothing is true until it is proven to be so. I would say philosophy shouldn't concern itself with anything else because without language there is no communication and without logic there is no truth.

    2. I try my best to use language for spreading joy, spreading life experiences, and promoting the idea to life for yourself. Living for others with always leave you wanting/needing more.

    3. Anyone and everyone is capable of great evil, including me. That doesn't mean we will ever commit great evil but we are capable. You can never be sure, if you get enough people behind a message and a strong leader it could potentially happen again. Maybe not in the same way, but nonetheless would be a replica of the Holocaust. Yes, I will teach my children so that I can only hope that they don't become the next Hitler, because after all, we are all a kid from somewhere.

    4. What could I do? If I take on the US Army by myself or even with a couple hundred others, we don't stand a chance and if I don't fight back then millions would be deported, but I don't see much option to be honest. I definitely wouldn't join the fight.

    5. The "banality of evil" is relevant to our time with these cops on a power surge thinking that they have no laws when they have a badge on because who would knowingly arrest a cop, right?

    6. I think that there is a huge ethical difference because in Foot's someone is going to die you are just choosing the lesser of two evils, it takes the form of inclusive or, in Thomson's version either 5 die or 1 dies, but not both, which is of the form exclusive or, and in Thomson's you are actually pushing the person in harms way whereas in Foot's there already there. I would kill the one person because 5 lives are worth more than 1.

    7. No Thomson's violinist thought doesn't persuade me at all because an unborn fetus doesn't even have a chance at life without using the mother's body. Another fully developed human trying to use your body is a completely different scenario because you are physically taking from another person against there will. Now if a mother was forcefully inseminated against her will then its pretty much the same scenario, but the majority of mothers chose to have their children.

  4. Clayton Thomas (10)9:48 PM CDT

    4/20 - Alt. Quiz Quest.
    1. Scientists use real experiments, while philosophers tend to do what?

    2. According to Karl Popper, what is a key component of a scientific hypothesis?

  5. 10-D.Q.

    1.) I don't think we should be silent about things we cannot prove because if we do not attempt to prove or theorize what we cannot then we obtain nothing.

    2.) Language is used as a tool to express emotion toward on another and to be able to present various ideas as well.

    3.) Ordinary people can be capable to great evil as all of us can be subjected to it. If there was a possibility of another holocaust, jobs would be needed to carry out various deadly acts from transporting, overseeing, and executing for the cause, thus becoming a well source of income for those who support it. Even though ordinary people carry our deadly and evil acts, to them it is a source of income and could boil down to "just another day on the job".

    4.) In would respond horrifically due to people, regardless or race, being rounded up for slaughter. The possibility to act against these acts are unlikely though.

    5.) Yes, banality of evil is and will continue to be relevant to our time until the end of time.

  6. section 10 dq

    1. People should try to understand what it means for something to be proved, the requirements for it, and the weight it carries.

    2. I use language to help get me through life for a variety of purposes.

    3. Anyone is capable of doing hateful things. We can't be sure sure that a holocaust can't happen again, especially with the hateful stigmas that certain races or people of a certain culture have against them.

    4. I would try to help the people I can.

    5. Yes the "banality of evil" it is still relevant to our time people there are still people that choose to do evil things.

  7. Section 10 Discussion Questions
    1. I don't think we should be quiet. There would never be any new discoveries if we never asked questions or tried to find out new information.

    2. Yes, I think language is used as a tool for managing social relationships and a medium. We also use it to express our feelings. You can convey different thoughts and emotions based on how you say things.

    3. I think ordinary people can be capable of great evil. Certain situations bring those thoughts and feelings out of you. You would just have to hope and pray that people would not go along with another Holocaust and realize that it is in no way okay to do something like that. But, as awful as it is to think about that doesn't mean that it couldn't happen. I will definitely teach my children about it, it's a part of history and they need to know about it and know that it would be wrong to participate in something like that.

    4. I would be disgusted, everyone deserves a shot at happiness and prosperity.

    5. Yes, I think it is relevant to the people of our time. It always has been.

  8. 1. Most important questions about ethics and religion lie beyond the limits of our understanding and that if we can't talk meaningfully about them, we should stay silent.

    2. He was drawing attention to the fact that there are many different things that we use language for, and that philosophers have become confused because they mostly think that all language is doing the same thing.

    3. Adolf Eichmann might have overseen their deportation to the death camps. His involvement in the Holocaust and his later trial for crimes against humanity were the focus of Hannah Arendt's reflections on the nature of the evil.

    4. He was something far more common but equally dangerous: an unthinking man.
    Additional Questions

    1. Ludwig W was born when? Passed when?

    2. The name of his first book?

    3. The idea of a private language of sensations doesn't make sense at all according to whom?

    4. The Nazi's had been introducing laws that took away Jewish rights since when?

    5. Adolf Eichmann was in charge of transporting Jews of Europe in what year?

    6. How were most of the Jews killed?

    7. What country did most of the camps take place at?

    8. Where did Eichmann secretly run away to? What country?

    9. What University did Hannah attend?

    10. Who was her teacher?

    11. Why couldn't Eichmann become a doctor?

    12. What words were used from Arendt to describe how she saw Eichmann

    13. What was Hitlers plan called?

    14. Who came up with the theory of gravity from seeing an apple fall from a tree?

    15. When was Karl Popper born?

  9. Trevor Hutchens
    1. What is a paradigm and how did its ideology influence the message of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus?
    2. When did Adolf Eichmann die?
    3. How does inductive and deductive reasoning affect our lives?
    4. Can the progression of science sometimes be bad?
    1. I don’t think so. Just because we can’t prove it doesn’t mean we should voice our opinions, but we shouldn’t say that the theory is undeniably true.
    2. I try to use language as a pictorial medium because I like to describe myself in the best way possible.
    3. Of course. We are all born human, and we can all turn bad at any given moment. It all depends on your state of mind.
    4. This is a very politically charged topic, and it all falls back on whether they are legal U.S. citizens or not.
    5. I don’t think so. We have moved on from that.
    6. The trolley problem is in my opinion one of the biggest ethical dilemmas of our time. Honestly, I don’t really know what I would do, other than “bury my head” so to speak and pretend nothings happening.
    7. Everyone has different opinions on abortion, but I believe that anytime after 5 or 6 weeks you cannot abort the child.