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Friday, 30 June 2017
Wittgenstein and the Comforts of Obscurity
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By Ibn Warraq (July 2017)
 

Ludwig Wittgenstein, artist unknown
 
 
A friend of mine, Professor Dominique Urvoy, a distinguished scholar and world authority on Islamic Philosophy and Averroes, was invited to a conference in Morocco a few years ago. At a coffee break, an Arab colleague rushed up to Urvoy and showed him several passages from the Koran (in Arabic, of course) which made no sense syntactically and semantically. Professor Urvoy agreed, whereupon, his Arab colleague exclaimed excitedly, “this shows it is from God”.  more>>>
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Posted on 06/30/2017 1:29 PM by NER
Comments
4 Jul 2017
jewdog
Interesting discussion. I'm not sure about the fascination with murder mysteries as correlated to philosophical mystery, but there certainly has always been a humorous correlation between complexity and a mistaken assumption of profundity. Maybe Wittgenstein and the Koran are kings with no clothes.

8 Jul 2017
Send an emailRebecca Bynum
The jargonization of all specialized subjects is like having a secret handshake for the initiated. It is unfortunate that philosophy made such an ill-advised turn as to try to eliminate the uncaused cause and to make matter the ultimate original reality. Much of modern philosophy seems to be an effort to disguise and obscure this illogical turn.

2 Dec 2017
Send an emailVladimir Dorta
As a fan of both Russell and Wittgenstein and as an admirer of the Tractatus, it calls my attention that Russell never said anything critical of Wittgenstein's apparent obscurity, when he was in the best position to do it and when he was so clear about what he called "obscurity of expression vs expression of obscurity" in regards to Hegel, for example. Russell had plenty of opportunities to discuss most of Wittgenstein's positions with him and if I remember well, he only criticized Wittgenstein's supposed "mysticism," honestly recognizing his own inability to understand.

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