virus: RE: Hegel's Virus (was Altruism, Empathy, Etc.)

D. H. Rosdeitcher (
27 Apr 97 03:04:12 EDT

Robin wrote:
> But some people... well, let's just say I
>find it particularly annoying when an Objectivist comes along
>telling us all about certain philosophers in the most patronising
>way, and he turns out not to have read at least one of them.
>Yes, we do all "lay down the law" from time to time, I just get
>so wound up when it's second-hand, simplistic ideological...
>Well, you get the idea.

I find it annoying when a Buddhist comes along distorting what a "certain
philosopher" had to say. Robin said that the meanings of words need to be
confined to dictionary definitions and he implied that the later work of
philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, known as the "Investigations", influenced his
opinion. I found a Wittgenstein website which had pieces of Witt's work, along
with commentaries. This included a essays, notes, and/or quotes on his life and
work, including a detailed summary of the "Investigations".
Wittgenstein thought that the misuse of language created problems in
philosophy. To resolve this problem, he made a theory that language should only
be for describing concrete things that can be pictured, and that it should not
be used for describing abstract theories or concepts. In this theory, words must
rigidly stick to their definitions. He later criticized his own theory on the
basis that his own theory was itself an abstract theory. He resolved this
paradox with a new theory that words have meaning *only* in their context, so
words can mean anything, based on that context. Such a context he called a
language game. --David