Sunday, December 7, 2008

Two unrelated philosophical quotes

Ludwig Wittgenstein, in the latter half of his career, offered this advice to philosophers who want to understand how words are used:

"Don't think but look!"

"...when investigating meaning, the philosopher must 'look and see' the variety of uses to which the word is put."
-- Anat Biletzki and Anat Matar in their article on Wittgenstein in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy


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I know little about Wittgenstein, and even less about Wilhelm Dilthey, but both have me intrigued lately.

Dilthey drew a distinction between natural science and (what is sometimes called) human science with this quote:

"We explain nature, humans we must understand."

Read a detailed article on Dilthey here.

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