Talk:Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Objection[edit]

Someone reverted my edit. The explanation given was that "Self-flagellation was not meant literally". Yes is was. That phrase is a core teaching of the Christian polemic about the Jewish people. It is a myth, there is no such thing among Jews. The myth is obnoxious, deliberately demeaning and has no place in an encyclopaedia, nor anywhere in a respectful discourse. This principle applies to the discussion and /or teaching about any religion. It must be removed Historygypsy (talk) 18:52, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

Without deleting or changing the meaning of the text, "at times as part of an apparent self-flagellation" to "at times as part of apparent self-punishment". If there are not objections after people have had time to comment, I see no problem with making this change.--I am One of Many (talk) 22:01, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
Self - punishment? For what? Please keep your religious mythology out of this encyclopaedia Historygypsy (talk) 02:39, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
I've met Jews who call people of Jewish background who abandon Jewish culture "self-hating Jews", sure it is meant to be offensive, but the discourse exists and that Hans Sluga has interpreted Wittgenstein's ambiguous relation to Judaism in this way is notable and apt for inclusion. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 02:05, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
Maunus, please read my first posting "Objection". It is not that I find the passage offensive (I do) but it is a nasty myth that cannot be perpetuated in an encyclopaedia. Your own reported personal meetings are irrelevant, even if your claim is true. I have had friends in every one of the major religions, I have served on national interfaith organizations, I can quote any number of negative attitudes that I have heard from "lapsed" members, but I would never quote them here, nor would I ever agree to have them to be part of Wikipedia, in the text or in the talk Historygypsy (talk) 02:32, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
What is a nasty myth? That Wittgenstein was doubtful and ambiguous about his relation to Judaism? Because that is what Hans Sluga is saying. Even if he had said that Wittgenstein was a Self-hating Jew then that would still be notable and apt for inclusion. We even have an article on the stereotype and its surrounding discourses. You don't have a valid reason based in policy for removing this quote. It is not as if the stereotype goes away if it doesn't appear in wikipedia.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 02:28, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
Read my objection, the origin of the myth is there, keep religious polemics out of this.Historygypsy (talk) 02:32, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
You have not made any justifiable objection to mentioning Hans Sluga's notable evaluation of Wittgenstein's relation to Judaism as being characterized by self-doubt. This has nothing to do with the myth you are talking about. I am reinserting it.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 11:29, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
Whenever something distasteful is said about a Jewish person, there is going to be some overlap with the myths perpetuated by racists, whether or not those groups are part of a "Christian polemic". But the debate here surely hinges on who we are quoting. We're not quoting some unknown fringe racist, or some right-wing political bigot, we are quoting this guy, who is evidently proud to have been a pupil of Isaiah Berlin. With all due respect, Historygypsy, your personal experiences serving "on national interfaith organizations" are also not relevant here in any way. Martinevans123 (talk) 12:26, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
Also I don't see what is distasteful about it - it is obvious to anyone who read's Wittgenstein that he was deeply ambiguous and doubtful about his Jewish roots. He almost only ever refer to his Jewish background in a negative context. Sluga, who as Martinevans notes is not just anybody, is merely noting this observable and comparing with a similar case - while clearly avoiding referring to the stereotype.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 13:10, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
Also note that I have removed the reference to "self-flagellation", not because I agree with Historygipsy's rationale, but because it doesn't seem to add anything to the paragraph anyways, so we might as well avoid the conflict.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 13:13, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
A wise move, I think, although I had certainly assumed that Sluga was using that phrase in a purely metaphorical and non-literal way. I know it would be WP:OR, but I am quite tempted to actually email him and ask him what he meant! - he seems quite amenable to email contact. (Or maybe he's reading all of this and laughing.) Martinevans123 (talk) 13:23, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
Well from what I have read about Wittgenstein as a person he might well at some point have engaged in actual non-metaphorical self-flagellation. But probably not while he was writing those particular passages about his relation to Judaism.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 13:33, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

Translation quote[edit]

About the translation of the quote: "Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muß man schweigen." It is currently: "That we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence." Isn't "Whereof one can not speak, thereof one must be silent." a better translation? The translation of 'man' to 'we' seems odd to me. There is no one to one equivalent in English that I know of, although 'one' might be a (singular) alternative. The meaning doesn't change much, and less than if translated by 'we' I think. Furthermore, 'pass over in silence' isn't literal enough if you'd ask me. I'll look up what the (official) translation of Tractatus says. Stanford encyclopedia notes both translations. --Epitectus (talk) 19:53, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

The latter is the correct translation (one must be silent) from the Ogden/Ramsey translation. There are two major English translations - Ogden/Ramsey made by a Cambridge LW colleague and a close personal friend of LW - and the Pears/McGuinness translation printed 10 years after LW died. Pears/McGuinness arguably has some benefit in its entirety however for the text cited it is completely misleading. As a result I have updated the translation and relevant citation. Jaydubya93 (talk) 21:45, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

Was Wittgenstein in the left hand corner of a school photograph with Hitler?[edit]

I agree that Wittgenstein's possibly having been at the same school, and at the same time, as Hitler is (possibly) worth a (passing) mention. I also agree that whether the fact is mentioned here has little bearing on whether it is mentioned in the Adolf Hitler article (and vice versa). However, in an encyclopaedia article on one of the leading philosophers of the 20th century, is it really appropriate to have all this on the details, including the distance between their birthdays, whether Hitler and Wittgenstein met at school, whether Hitler probably (would have) liked Wittgenstein if he did meet (had met?) him, and whether they are both on the same school photograph?:

Adolf Hitler was at the same school for part of the same time.[1] Laurence Goldstein argues it is "overwhelmingly probable" the boys met each other: that Hitler would have disliked Wittgenstein, a "stammering, precocious, precious, aristocratic upstart ...".[2] Other commentators have dismissed as irresponsible and uninformed any suggestion that Wittgenstein's wealth and unusual personality may have fed Hitler's antisemitism, in part because there is no indication that Hitler would have seen Wittgenstein as Jewish.[3]

Wittgenstein and Hitler were born just six days apart, though Hitler had been held back a year, while Wittgenstein was moved forward by one, so they ended up two grades apart at the Realschule.[4] Monk estimates they were both at the school during the 1904–1905 school year, but says there is no evidence they had anything to do with each other.[5] Several commentators have argued that a school photograph of Hitler may show Wittgenstein in the lower left corner,[6] but Hamann says the photograph stems from 1900 or 1901, before Wittgenstein's time.[7]

  1. ^ For the view that Wittgenstein saw himself as completely German, not Jewish, see McGuinness, Brian. "Wittgenstein and the Idea of Jewishness", and for an opposing view, see Stern, David. "Was Wittgenstein Jewish?", both in James Carl Klagge. Wittgenstein: Biography and Philosophy. Cambridge University Press, 2001, pp. 231ff and p 237ff respectively.
  2. ^ Goldstein, Lawrence. Clear and Queer Thinking: Wittgenstein's Development and his Relevance to Modern Thought. Duckworth, 1999, p. 167ff. Also see "Clear and Queering Thinking", review in Mind, Oxford University Press, 2001.
  3. ^ McGinn, Marie. "Hi Ludwig", Times Literary Supplement, 26 May 2000.
  4. ^ Hitler started at the school on 17 September 1900, repeated the first year in 1901, and left in the autumn of 1905; see Kersaw, Ian. Hitler, 1889-1936. W. W. Norton & Company, 2000, p. 16ff.
    • McGuinness, Brian. Wittgenstein: a life : young Ludwig 1889-1921. University of California Press, 1988, p. 51ff.
  5. ^ Monk, p. 15.
    • Brigitte Hamann argues in Hitler's Vienna (1996) that Hitler was bound to have laid eyes on Wittgenstein, because the latter was so conspicuous, though she told Focus magazine they were in different classes, and she agrees with Monk that they would have had nothing to do with one another. See Hamann, Brigitte and Thornton, Thomas. Hitler's Vienna: A Dictator's Apprenticeship. Oxford University Press, 2000, pp. 15–16, 79, and Thiede, Roger. "Phantom Wittgenstein", Focus magazine, 16 March 1998.
  6. ^ For examples, see Cornish, Kimberley. The Jew of Linz. Arrow, 1999.
  7. ^ Thiede, Roger. "Phantom Wittgenstein", Focus magazine, 16 March 1998.
    • The German Federal Archives says the image was taken "circa 1901"; it identifies the class as 1B and the teacher as Oskar Langer. See the full image and description at the Bundesarchiv. Retrieved 6 September 2010. The archive gives the date as circa 1901, but wrongly calls it the Realschule in Leonding, near Linz. Hitler attended primary school in Leonding, but from September 1901 went to the Realschule in Linz itself. See Kershaw, Ian. Hitler, 1889-1936. W. W. Norton & Company, 2000, p. 16ff.
    • Christoph Haidacher and Richard Schober write that Langer taught at the school from 1884 until 1901; see Haidacher, Christoph and Schober, Richard. Von Stadtstaaten und Imperien, Universitätsverlag Wagner, 2006, p. 140.

--Boson (talk) 23:11, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

Comment[edit]

Ashford for claims[edit]

Concerning [1]. Where does the Ashford piece back these claims? For example, the claim about Augustine? Ashford actually says the opposite: "Wittgenstein cites [Augustine's view] as illustrative of a particularly widespread misunderstanding of language." (p. 360). And that's all he says about Augustine's influence on Wittgenstein. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 22:59, 7 April 2014 (UTC)