Nederlog

 

 October 31, 2010

 

ME + me: Wittgenstein's Tractatus - 1 and 2


I continue being not well, and otherwise also as before, so I cannot do much. However, now and then I can do a little more, and yesterday was such a day. Being a philosopher, I felt inspired to take up my edition and notes on Wittgenstein's Tractatus (Logico-Philosophicus).

Let me explain this a little, and start with remarking that the links in the previous paragraph are to the Wikipedia entries on these subjects, which are well done (without this implying I agree with all these say).

So there you'll find that Wittgenstein (Ludwig of that name: there were and are quite a few more, but none of these were philosophers) was an Austrian, later British philosopher, who wrote two books, of which the Tractatus (as it is known in English and most other languages) was the first; that he is seen as one of the most important if not the most important philosopher of the 20th Century; that each of his two books propounded a different philosophy, though both had much to do with language and its (ab)uses; and that his books and ideas are supposed to be quite difficult, while they are being held by many philosophers, and also quite a few writers and artists, to be of great importance and/or inspiration.

I first read the Tractatus in 1967 when I was 17. I had three reasons for doing this: First, I was interested in philosophy and logic, since I was 14 or 15, and had decided that what interested me most was human reasoning (in all its aspects, not just the logical ones); second, being the son of a well-known Amsterdam communist house-painter, strikeleader, and member of the communist resistance against the Nazi-occupation, I had not been allowed to go to a good grammar-school, and went instead to a bad highschool, were I was mostly bored, and could find nothing about the things that really interested me, nor any teacher who knew anything about the subjects that interested me; and third, always reading a lot ever since I could read, I read in 1967 an essay by the Dutch writer Willem Frederik Hermans on Wittgenstein, that much interested me, because it considered some questions of logic I had been thinking about myself, without finding anyone who could help me with logic, and because it seemed an interesting approach to philosophy, that was quite unknown to me then, although I did then already know, because of my father's background and indeed his then being the Dutch CP's Amsterdam instructor of marxist philosophy, rather a lot of marxist philosophy. (*)

Initially I was both impressed and irritated by the Tractatus: Notably, I did not see the logic of considerable parts of the Tractatus, though I agreed with others; I did not believe Wittgenstein's reduction of mathematics to his way of presenting logic made much sense; and I had quite a few corrections or restatements, such as this one of the famous last thesis of the Tractatus:

7. What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.

Age 17, I restated this immediately upon reading as

 What one cannot remain silent about, one should speak about,

which still seems to me more correct and sensible than Wittgenstein's thesis, albeit that it should be remarked Wittgenstein meant not quite the same by what he wrote as one naive about the Tractatus might guess.

What was much more important for me than reading the Tractatus, was learning to know about analytical philosophy and mathematical logic, and about Bertrand Russell (<- Wikipedia), whom I soon held to be more sensible than Wittgenstein (whose second book, "Philosophical Investigations" in English, that I first read in 1968, much irritated me, as it did Russell, as I then soon found).

As it happens, I never was much impressed by Wittgenstein, though since he was the first logical philosopher - so to speak - I learned about, he was quite important to me for a while. My opinion since I was around 21 I quote from my survey of Books concerned with philosophy:

Wittgenstein: Wittgenstein produced two distinct philosophies, namely a kind of neo-positivism in the Tractatus-Logico Philosophicus and a linguistic philosophy in the Philosophical Investigations. The basic message of the two philosophies is the same: Nearly all of - non-Wittgensteinian - philosophy is nonsense: It attempts to say the unsayable by abusing language. I am not a fan of Wittgenstein, and two books that give good reasons why are Ernest Gellner's "Words and things" and J.N. Findlay's "Wittgenstein: A Critique".

Since I not only read much all my life but also wrote much - there is much more than is on my site, all on paper, all written somewhere between 1967 and 1987, when I first had a computer and I could write texts with in a better way than on a typewriter - it so happens that I wrote quite a bit about Wittgenstein, and that mostly about the Tractatus.

And here I have arrived at what I did yesterday in connection with Wittgenstein, that I'll explain now.

I have a site since 1996, and quite soon put three things on it that I had written before on paper, namely my notes on Leibniz's Nouveaux Essays, my notes on Russell's "Problems of Philosophy" and my notes on Wittgenstein's Tractatus.

These are all still there, under the links, and in each case most of the changes that happened to these extensive sets of files (in each case my texts are longer, and I think rather clearer, than the texts I comment on) were minor.

The text for Wittgenstein "Tractatus" I put on line, I think originally in 1997, was composed from several long typescripts that mostly had grown out of each other, and had never been finished, since I rather quickly concluded that Wittgenstein was - in my opinion - not at all so great a philosopher as many maintained in the 1960-ies and later, and that I myself was far more impressed with people like Peirce and Ramsey, in the first place, and Russell and Broad in the second place. (If we are talking about philosophical genius, then Peirce and Ramsey seem far better candidates for the title than Wittgenstein, or considerably greater geniuses than Wittgenstein, if indeed he was one. They certainly were far better logicians, mathematicians and scientists.)

Since I am now since decades living in pain most of the time, without any help and with much discrimination, including violence the rulers of Amsterdam maintained and protected rather than protect me from, I can only do a small percentage of what I am capable of, and have to do whatever I do intellectually inbetween bouts of too much pain, too much "fatigue", and indeed also too much contempt for the bureaucratic fascists that rule the City and Municipal University of Amsterdam since decades, all In The Name Of The Ideals Of The February Strike, but in fact to enrich or empower themselves from the taxmoney or the drugsmafia they mayors and aldermen of Amsterdam now have personally protected since 1969, namely through the means of the mayors of Amsterdam (and their willing drugscorrupt extra-ordinarily dangerous lethal bureaucratic fascists) "giving personal permissions to tolerate a drugsdealer to deal drugs" from a place no Amsterdam mayor, alderman, important bureaucrat, or well-known Dutch Media-Personality lives close to. This is called The Amsterdam Tolerant Drug Police, and it has made millionaires of many Amsterdam bureaucrats, because the Dutch maintain in large majority that Dutch bureaucrats cannot possibly be corrupted, and that whoever says so, like me, must be a fascist, an elitarian, and a person fit to be gassed, in the Amsterdam practice since the Amsterdam narco-fascist Van Thijn handed over Amsterdam to the drugsmafia, and had me gassed and threatened with murder, because I refused to agree to be gassed, threatened with murder and kept out of sleep by his personal fascist drugsmafioso (**). For more, see Why my family was in The Dutch Resistance  in WW II and Conversation with Miss Mr. Maureen Sarucco Amsterdam Municipal  Chief Order and Security  (***)

Anyway... you'll see that I and my family are the lowest, the worst, and the filthiest scum in Amsterdam and Holland, according to the persons who rule Amsterdam for the mafia, "with my Jewish identity, although I don't have the faith" (Alderman Oudkerk, cocaine-snorter, sado-masochist enjoyer of junkie-whores while alderman, grandson of one of the beasts of Amsterdam who collaborated with the Nazis to exterminate more than 1% of the Dutch population for reason of being not of the right race (****)).

And yes, reader.... In my writings lots of very different things come together, as you see. In any case, I have spend most of yesterday on making a new edition of my translation of and notes to Wittgenstein's Tractatus, originally mostly written between 1967 and 1972.

If you are not into philosophy or clear thinking, it isn't for you. If you are, it may be. I make no excuses, and will try to do more of this the coming weeks and months, if I find the energy, because it seems more useful than trying to move the human average with 50 or more IQ-points less (whatever that means: My site is clearer about what it means to be intelligent in my case) into behaving as if they were reasonable and rational human beings, for that has been shown to be doomed to failure.

Here is the link to a translation of the Tractatus, where the numbers of the theses that are blue and underlined link to my translation and comments from nearly a lifetime ago, when I still had hopes somebody with my evident intellectual gifts and special family background might get somewhere, perhaps even in Holland.                                   

Not in Holland, reader: I am too honest and too ill, and Dutchman in majority, whether nominal leftists, nominal rightists, or nominal middle-of-the-roaders are nearly all born collaborators with a totalitarian mindset and outlook, while virtually all of them who are adults believe they know for a fact that all men - like their fine kind, to be precise - are equal, and Genuine Dutch "human" Political Leaders like Wilders and Cohen are best of all - and the former wants to put 20 million European muslims "in camps, to put them on transport" and claims 'Mohammed = Hitler', while the latter is very strongly in favour of gassing me and denying me any and all assistance of any kind while I am an invalid.

Both gentlemen will also assure you, possibly very angrily and "with warnings", that somebody like me must be, in Wilders' mafia-lawyer's words, "an abject person", for I hold that not all men are equal, and that both - no all three - of these men the filthiest and most immoral inhuman shit that ever had power, influence or status in Holland.      


P.S. This is where it stands for the moment, and corrections to this text, and indeed to my editing of the first two sets of theses of the Tractatus need to be made later. Incidentally, there are at present the old version, and the new one. The new one will be better, but it will take time and make no promises except that I'll try to do the best I can and - if health permits - hope to have it done soon.

-- Nov 1, 2010: One paragraph got to make better sense.

P.P.S. It may be I have to stop Nederlog for a while. The reason is that I am physically not well at all. I don't know yet, but if there is no Nederlog, now you know the reason.

 

As to ME/CFS (that I prefer to call ME):

1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS (pdf)

2. Malcolm Hooper THE MENTAL HEALTH MOVEMENT:  
PERSECUTION OF PATIENTS?
3. Hillary Johnson

The Why

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf)
5. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

6. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
7. Paul Lutus

Is Psychology a Science?

8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)

Short descriptions:

1. Ten reasons why ME/CFS is a real disease by a professor of medicine of Harvard.
2. Long essay by a professor emeritus of medical chemistry about maltreatment of ME.
3. Explanation of what's happening around ME by an investigative journalist.
4. Report to Canadian Government on ME, by many medical experts.
5. Advice to psychiatrist by a psychiatrist who understands ME is an organic disease
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter of one's beliefs:
   "it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon
     insufficient evidence
".
7. A space- and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
8. Malcolm Hooper puts things together status 2010.
 


    "Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!

No change, no pause, no hope! Yet I endure.
I ask the Earth, have not the mountains felt?
I ask yon Heaven, the all-beholding Sun,
Has it not seen? The Sea, in storm or calm,
Heaven's ever-changing Shadow, spread below,
Have its deaf waves not heard my agony?
Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!
"
     - (Shelley, "Prometheus Unbound") 


    "It was from this time that I developed my way of judging the Chinese by dividing them into two kinds: one humane and one not. "
     - (Jung Chang)

 


See also: ME -Documentation and ME - Resources


(*) Thus, I knew at 17 more of Marx, Engels and Lenin than any of the revolutionary student leaders I met or read in the sixties and later, which was one of the main intellectual reasons I have up on marxism in 1970, when I was 20, while I should not forget mentioning that the main moral reason was that persons like the Radical Student Leaders Daniel Cohn-Bendit (French/German), Rudi Dutschke (German) and Ton Regtien (Dutch) seemed to me morally far lesser persons than my own father - for whom see Three documents: My father's story + my story + my Human Rights.

(**) My crime is that I am ... not tolerant enough, and also, unlike the Amsterdam mayors and aldermen who work for the Amsterdam drugsmafia, I am NOT the child nor grandchild of Amsterdam fascist collaborators, like Amsterdam aldermen, but the child and grandchild of Amsterdam heroes of the resistance. Hence if such a person as me goes to the Amsterdam mayors with the message that he has been gassed and threatened with murder by the mayor's personal drugsdealers, such a person is - in Amsterdam, City Of The Ideals Of The February Strike - doubly or triply fit for being gassed, for receiving murder threats, for being treated with violence, and for over two decades of continuous discrimination, specifically because I had the very rare courage complain about being gassed in Amsterdam in terms - notably "this is criminal" - Amsterdam fascist mayor for the mafia wants to hear, read or listen to.

It is therefore that I have concluded that I have tried for decades to have my human rights protected by persons I consider inferior to fascists, for they do the same thing - gas people, terrorize people, allow and further criminal violence and beastly discrimination - as fascists (nazists) did, but not out of misguided idealism or in a world war, but for money or for for kicks: The beastliest kind of subhumans there are.

This I will also expound on my site, until I am murdered because of it, which is in Amsterdam, and indeed in modern Holland, just very recently neo-nazified with the tacit consent and collaboration of very many Dutchmen, not at all unlikely, while one can be morally utterly certain that absolutely no Dutch person will protect me, try to protect me, or want to protect me, till I am certainly dead. (After that, I may become quite famous, I fear, eventually. And I am saying what I am saying because I have gotten no help in drugsfascist Amsterdam since falling ill in 1979 "of an unexplained disease".) [For Dutch readers: Only Ramsey Nasr - a Belgian with a foreign background, it seems - seems to have moral courage, of all prominent Dutch writers, Dutch artists, Dutch journalists, Dutch academics, and Dutch politicians, who nearly all are busily inventing how they will survive Wilders.]

(***) Let me state publicly that stating these things publicly in Amsterdam is lethally dangerous. I know, because I have repeatedly almost died because of it. However, since saying these things is "grievous and/or offensive" for the mayors of Amsterdam since the fascist mafia-freak Ed van Thijn became mayor, it is I who am to blame for whatever happens to me, in standard Dutch moral thinking, especially because I am ill and poor, not a media-personality, and far more intelligent, learned and honest than anyone of the race of human beasts who is a bureaucrat or a politician in Holland. Thus mayor Van Thijn, who is an atheist, will if necessary appear on TV and tell I am a fascist, and should be arrested, and "reasoned with" until I admit he is right and a moral and intellectual genius, and I am just the human filth his bureaucrats have screamed at me that I am and my family is - "Your mother is a filthy cunt-whore" and "you are as insane as your father" (Municipal Medical Service Amsterdam, 1984). In either case I have since been refused redress, hearing, compensation and the names of the Amsterdam bureaucratic fascists who said so.

(****) The Dutch lie atrociously about Dutch history. Happily, "The Holocaust Encyclopedia", ed. W. Lacqueur, Stanford University Press 2002, doesn't: See "Joodsche Raad" for the names of three prominent collaborators of the Nazis in Amsterdam whose grandchildren were aldermen or mayors who protected the Amsterdam mafia while I lived and live there. Genetical predisposition, it is called, in their cases and in my case.

Maarten Maartensz

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