Completed Draft of New Talk

Since I posted bits of this already–its first part yesterday and its last part a while back–I thought I would go ahead and post the whole thing.  I find writing talks for audiences that will include both philosophers and non-philosophers especially hard.  I wish I were better at it.

Philosophical Investigations and Three Kinds of Illusion:  A Talk

2 responses

  1. Reading with interest and pleasure, Kelly. I am interested, inter alia, in the sort of Stoicism (discipline) you are finding in PI, and also in this idea that possibly depressing ideas need to be apologized for. This would seem to overly restrict philosophical investigation (and many another kind of investigation). But perhaps there is a larger point here: We read, we study ultimately because we are looking for solutions, and this even if and as we may appreciate that there are no real solutions. (I am heading back toward the core of your piece, and toward one of Kant’s antimonies.) So, to complete the thought, “depressing” ideas are depressing above all because they force us to realize the absurdity of our quest. TS Eliot’s response: “For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.” But isn’t there also the response of “Socratic intellectualism” or of PI, by which philosophy is a process, not an event (or set of conclusions), and it does not have much to do with “happiness” (as we now conceive of it)? Meanwhile, I am looking forward to diving back into your discussion of transcendental illusions. Best, Wm.

  2. Thanks, Wm. One point of the talk is to bring out, without saying much about it, the way in which finding the understanding of philosophical problems it presents depressing (or, as I say, a “downer”) itself reveals aspects or features of our mode of involvement in philosophical problems. All my “Yes”ing and “No”ing is itself antinomic. (You might think that what it reveals is an asymmetry between what we expect of an answer to “What is a philosophical problem?” and the very understanding of such that the talk illustrates–a understanding of philosophical problems as to be coped with, which is itself a way of coping with the metaphilosophical question.

    I gave the talk Friday and found I didn’t like it much as it stands, however. So I guess, it is back to the drawing board for it. At the very least, I have some further thinking about the understanding of philosophical problems on offer, both in itself and in relation to various things in W’s writings.

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