All this is rather superficial, however. I think Ernest Gellner nailed the essentially conservative nature of Wittgenstein's philosophy.

Wittgenstein's conception of philosophy is hardly a notch above Carnap's dismissal of metaphysics as "bad poetry" or Neurath's metaphysicophobia. The notion of philosophy as language on holiday or as bewitchment by language is infantile. Such a view is itself a metaphysical abstraction and bewitchment by language, divorced from history or any extralinguistic investigation of human cognition. Compared to Adorno's socio-historical conception of philosophy, Wittgenstein is a piss-ant.

Nor does Wittgenstein have anything in common with Marx, whom you consistently misrepresent. For Marx, philosophy was not a linguistic disease, nor did he limit himself to Feuerbach's framework, though Feuerbach did take the decisive historical step of analyzing idealism as inverted consciousness. For Marx philosophy as practiced his milieu was the "dream history" of Germany, not to be summarily dismissed but to be analyzed in its structure and related to its social genesis.

The task of doing this for our time is infinitely more complicated, for the interrelationships of science, mathematics, logic, philosophical systems and their connection to alienated, inverted consciousness and social being are not simple and obvious, at least not until one develops a framework in which to place them, and even then there remains the long, hard labor of the negative.

But Rosa knows nothing of this, for 'she' is obsessed with the childish forms of dialectical materialism to date and knows nothing of the Frankfurt School, for instance, which 'she' summarily dismisses for its lack of engagement in class struggle, preferring instead to weld 'her' sectarian politics mechanically to the banalities of analytic philosophy, in concert against the tired old diamat shibboleths.

Trotskyism + Wittgenstein: a formula for insanity.

At 08:34 PM 8/14/2006 -0700, andie nachgeborenen wrote:
The last thing W wanted ro be was a major philosopher.
 The point of his whole later work was to "shew (Brit
sp.) the fly the way out of the fly bottle," and
reveal that philosophy was a sort of mistake. Of
course, if he felt that way he might just have stopped
doing philosophy and done something else, as did Marx,
who had a Feuerbachian contempt for philosophy.  But W
seemed to be unable to do that. It was an itch he
could not help scratching, must to his unhappiness and

I wonder if Malcolm is right, though, that no "major
philosopher" between Marx and W adopted a form of
class politics. Russell was a vigorous and outspoken
socialist -- anti-Bolshevik after his 1920 visit to
Russia, but pretty hot pink. And while Russel is no
major social philosopher, he's a heavyweight in
philosophy of math, language, and metaphusics and
epistemology.  W was no bigshot social philosopher
either. So was Ayer, though may not count as a "major
philosopher." And at various times on thsi list we
have discussed the Marxist-tinged radicalism of the
early Vienna circle. Only Neurath (not a "major
philosopher," but an important one) called himself a
Marxist, but Carnap was pretty red, even later in life
when he came to the US, and certainly in Vienna; he
may not be as "major" as Russell or W, but he's a
player. If I thought more, I could probably generate
more examples. And the class politics of all these
figures aws not "very weak."

--- Charles Brown <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

> "Rhees and Monk record the many sympathetic remarks
> Wittgenstein made about
> Marxism, about workers and about revolutionary
> activity. While these are not
> in themselves models of 'orthodoxy', they reveal how
> close Wittgenstein came
> to adopting a very weak form of class politics in
> the 1930's -- certainly
> closer than any other major philosopher had done
> since Marx himself; cf.,
> Rhees (1984), pp.205-09. [Cf., also Norman Malcolm's
> Introduction to Rhees's
> book, pp.xvii-xviii, and Monk (1990), pp.343-54.]"
> ^^^^
> CB: If philosophy is mostly 2500 years of claptrap
> for the bosses, why is it
> to Wittgenstein's credit that he is a major
> philosopher ?

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