Saturday, February 27, 2016

Not a people person...

Normal human beings are a balm to me, and a torment at the same time.

--Ludwig Wittgenstein, quoted in Letters from Ludwig Wittgenstein, letter 23 from 16.11.19, compiled by Paul Engelmann

They are not human at all, but loathsome worms.

--Ludwig Wittgenstein, writing of the people of the small town of  Hassbach in same book, letter 48 from 14.9.22

Thursday, February 11, 2016

You are what you read...

"This is not to say, however, that the significance of all his remarks was always transparently clear; perhaps the most gnomic was his comment on Peter Geach, Elizabeth Anscombe's husband. When Mrs Bevan asked Wittgenstein what Geach was like, he replied solemnly: 'He reads Somerset Maugham.'"

--Ray Monk, "Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius," pg. 577

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Wittgenstein's fear

"The Oxford philosopher, John Mabbott, recalls that when he arrived in Nottingham to attend the conference he met at the student hostel a youngish man with a rucksack, shorts and open-neck shirt. Never having seen Wittgenstein before, he assumed that this was a student on vacation who did not know his hostel had been given over to those attending the conference. 'I'm afraid there is a gathering of philosophers going on in here', he said kindly. Wittgenstein replied darkly: 'I too.'"

-Ray Monk, "Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius," pg.275

Taunting Wittgenstein

"They [fellow grade school students] ridiculed him by chanting an alliterative jingle that made play of his unhappiness and of the distance between him and the rest of the school: 'Wittgenstein wandelt wehmütig widriger Winde wegen Wienwärts.' ('Wittgenstein wends his woeful windy way towards Vienna'). In his efforts to make friends, he felt, he later said, 'betrayed and sold' by his schoolmates."

-Ray Monk, "Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius," pg. 16