| Von Glasersfeld's answers - June 2010 |

 
 
 


QUESTION:
 
Dear Professor von Glasersfeld,
 
Thank you so much for your willingness to answer questions. The message I receive from this is one of kindness and consideration.

I read about a third of Wittgenstein's book "On Certainty" and laid it down because he seemed to be struggling with questions that have been made moot by radical constructivism (which I call the constructivist critique.) Having experienced this shift in my epistomology, I find it hard to believe someone as brilliant as Wittgenstein was struggling with the questions he kept raising. Am I not understanding Wittgenstein or was Wittgenstein indeed not understanding knowing?
 
Sincerely,
 
John Rose



ANSWER :
Dear Mr. Rose,

I wish one could put your question to Wittgenstein himself. It baffles me a much as it baffles  you. I, too have great regard for him, but there are things in his writings that I find incomprehensible. On p.4 of his Philosophical investigations he makes the wonderful statement that the words of a language act like keys of the individual's keyboard of imagination - which places "meaning" into the head of the speaker and should resolve the problem of "reference" once and for all. But W. never mentions this again and struggles with ontological reference for the rest of his life. Your question is, I think. closely connected to this.

Don't hesitate to pursue this through this web site, if you feel like it.

Best wishes,

Ernst von Glasersfeld
 
 
 
 

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