Thursday, April 18, 2013

In the Face of a Mystery

In the face of a mystery, I can not give an answer. Before a dilemma, I can not choose one horn or the other. It seems that doing so misses the truly remarkable point: that a mystery exists here.

If I understand Wittgenstein, his position was that mysteries occurred from the misuse of language, of applying concepts incorrectly and looking from the wrong point of view. The correct answer was to look at the situation differently until one found a perspective where the mystery dissolved into thin air and one could move on.

I am not there yet with Wittgenstein, either because I shall eventually regard Wittgenstein as wrong or because I have not yet fully seen the merit of his method. For me, at least at this moment, mysteries are places to stop and stare and wonder why we can not advance knowledge there. The method that I would use there is to stop and jot down the different possible positions one could take in the face of a mystery, and then consider why it is that one of them is not clearly true.

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