On the Danger of Separating One’s Philosophy from One’s Life

On the Danger of Separating One’s Philosophy from One’s Life

Posted on:Sep 28 2007
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Wittgenstein wrote in his journal regarding Kierkegaard: “He saw life as a task; moreover he looked upon all the features of life as an essential condition of that task, just as a person presented with a mathematical problem must not try to ease his task by modifying the problem.”

This is fascinating and it reflects Kierkegaard from the POSTSCRIPT: “It is impossible that the task (of life) should fail to suffice, since the task is precisely that the task should be made to suffice. If life itself is set as a task, then it must be lived to the fullest.

As I have been reflecting on the life of Wittgenstein, I have realized that my previous understanding has been more of a caricature. I find him far more human and far more interesting as I understand how he lived.

I violently disagree with those philosophers who think we should separate the philosophy of a man from the life of a man.

If I am intrigued by a man’s philosophy, I want to know how he lived. Instinctively, I believe that the philosophy he lives is the only philosophy he knows.

For more on Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard, read the paper written by Charles L. Creegan. See also Englemann Letters, Page 79.

It is fascinating that William James’ Varieties of Religious Experience had an impact on Wittgenstein.

Also, notes on “talks”, page 13, by Weissman.

In a conversation between Wittgenstein and Weisman on December 1929, Wittgenstein said, “We thrust against the limits of language.”Kierkegaard, too, recognized this thrust and even described it in much the same way, as a “thrust against paradox.”

I can’t agree more with Wittgenstein when he said of Kierkegaard, as he read his text, “Oh, alright I agree, I agree, but please get on with it.”

See Drury, “some notes.”

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