Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Genius and Despair

Wittgenstein: " must always ask oneself: is the word ever actually used in this way in the language-game which is its original home? — What we do is to bring words back from their metaphysical to their everyday use." (§116)

Williams: "If not definitely a culture new in every part, at least a satisfaction. He wants to have the feet of his understanding on the ground, his ground, the ground, the only ground that he knows, that which is under his feet." (213)

Wittgenstein: "Where does our investigation get its importance from, since it seems only to destroy everything interesting, that is, all that is great and important? (As it were all the buildings, leaving behind only bits of stone and rubble.) What we are destroying is nothing but houses of cards and we are clearing up the ground of language on which they stand." (§118)

Williams: "There is nothing for a man but genius or despair. We cannot answer in the smart language, certainly it would be a bastardization of our own talents to waste time to learn the language they use. ... However hopeless it may seem, we have no other choice: we must go back to the beginning; it must all be done over; everything that is must be destroyed." (215)

Williams, WC. 1925. "Descent". In the American Grain.
Wittgenstein, L. 1953. Philosophical Investigations.