1. Pictorial reality
A little disquisition on pictorial reality, with a nice illustration of
"the reality of capitalism", from the 1920ies. I've put it in my
NOTEBOOK to be able to refer to it later, when discussing politics
and the current crisis.
held in the Tractatus
to a "picture theory of reality" as far as propositions were concerned:
proposition is a
commented on it that this is as if "we would all write and speak in
hieroglyphics" - as in Egyptian or Chinese writing (both of which are
bottom pictorial), but something like it does hold for images
and also for diagrams.
reason it doesn't hold for alphabetic
languages is that what these represent are - simplifications of -
sounds of speech. And besides, some people - often not the least
intelligent - report that they do not make mental images at all.
true in Wittgenstein's quoted statement is that statements represent
aspects of reality
or at least human experience of it, in the sense that from certain
relations in a statement certain relations in (supposed) fact may be
people who understand the language, and conversely, they can verbalize
the (supposed) fact in terms that represent them in that language.
was all by the way. Here is a
nice illustration of "the reality of capitalism", that
I liked since I first saw it, in the 1970ies. As it happens it also
illustrates the fact that any
known complex society in history is pyramidical.
Here it is, lifted from the Propaganda lemma in
Wikipedia, that is well worth reading:
Click image for source of it
this propaganda? Yes, I think it is, and it also is art
to George Orwell
art is propaganda", which does not seem to be literally true (music,
pictures of nature, abstract art, some architecture, some literary
fiction and poetry...) but Orwell's statement is a fair
exaggeration of much that counts for art, since art,
depends on leaving out and exaggerating things for emotional effect,
indeed also very often for making a moral, political or religious
point, directly or indirectly.
the above pictorial representation is quite exaggerated, in several
ways, but it also makes some points quite effectively, although its
makers probably forgot or
didn't realize that every somewhat complex human society is
pyramidical, with a few at
the top (of power, income, status, and more), many at the bottom, and
some in between.
very probably cannot be helped, at least not with human beings such as
they are and have been since the beginning of written history, in spite
of anarchist, socialist and communist ideals, that indeed all derailed
as soon as they were practised on a large scale.
want a clear and unsentimental treatment of the subject, consult Mosca's "The
Ruling Class" aka Elementi di scienza politica. I do have an
English translation of it, and it still is available in antiquarian
editions. See also the Wikipedia's lemma "Political class",
"The Machiavellians", and Orwell
return to my subject:
fair? Not if one pretends it is the literal or approximate truth; yes,
if it is fairly clear that it is a simplification meant to make a point
- which I think it does make clear.
modern advertisement tends to be far less fair:
above picture is quite explicit in taking a political and moral
position, whereas most modern advertisement misleads, misinforms, and
lies in far more devious and hidden ways, and that not for a political
or moral ideal, but to make money.