Tuesday, 25 October 2011

From My Notes on Philosophy…

I am currently preparing yet another post on meaning and use, and as part of that I’ve been looking through the notes I’ve made over the two months I’ve been working on this blog. Some of them, I think, shed light on the process of doing philosophy, so here’s a brief selection.

My head hurts.

  1. “Fetch me Graeme”, “He’s dead.”
  2. “Fetch me an apple”, “We’ve run out.”
  3. “Fetch me another dodo”, “You just ate the very last one”.

FFS! What do I want to say?

But! Talking about explanation of meaning in §43. I keep making the same mistake over and over.


NO! (FFS!)

W is (1) showing how a small, innocent-seeming conceptual error early on can give rise to serious puzzlement further down the line, and (2) mounting a fierce attack on Realist (?) conception of language and its attempt to… er, what?

(How does this analogy work? Why can’t my mind focus on this?)

Look up “purple”

Russell + Tractatus Wittgenstein didn’t have OD, you donk!

It is a rule for using the word “element” that… that what? (Brain’s gone again).

What damage do they do, these conceptual confusions, other than keep philosophers in work?

But! The difference between superficial similarities and pertinent ones. (Er, what is the difference?)

If a rule of law is nowhere regarded then it is obsolete. But that doesn’t mean no-one ever breaks perfectly useful and important laws. Any law can be broken. That’s why they’re there.

The philosopher’s prayer: “Lord, today at least, let me say something correct.”

Interesting he doesn’t say “is logic sublime?”
Also: look up “sublime”!

And if you’re not writing for someone in the grip of a picture, who are you writing for? To disinterested outsiders the whole thing looks crazy.

The scene in the Graduate’s Bar in Warwick: “So what are we supposed to do after that?!” “Find a more useful purpose for our lives.”

(I’m getting side-tracked here.)




“The king must have an inherent castling potential which is obtainable in some circumstances but not others”. But what is this potential? In what way can it be possessed by the king? How, exactly, is it negated by (eg) having to cross the checking potential of an enemy piece? And so on.



  1. Brilliant, thanks for sharing this.. I particularly like the "(careful)"!!

  2. Thanks. It's so easy to get carried away and make bold statements that go beyond what you can really justify. I use "careful" quite a bit!