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Thread: Wittgenstein on Nazi ideology and Hitler

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    Paperback Writer RevForum Administrator Amoeba's Avatar
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    Default Wittgenstein on Nazi ideology and Hitler

    I was thinking the other day what Wittgenstein's analysis of Nazism and Hitler was as he lived through that period himself and was a victim of in ways, forced to flee to the UK if I'm not mistaken.

    I recall some parts of Monk's biography discussing that period but that was a while ago and I'm curious of Rosa or others know of some excerpts from his work (letters, notes, etc.) that focus on this?
    To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.

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    Senior Voting Member Rosa Lichtenstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wittgenstein on Nazi ideology and Hitler

    His sisters were caught up in all this, and he did try to help them (details in Monk's book, pp.389-400). There is also much detail about Wittgenstein's war efforts on pp.401-28. See also pp.313-16.

    Wittgenstein said very little about Nazism.

    Here is Theodore Redpath's comment:

    "One day I asked him why he never stated any political views or discussed politics in any of his lectures. His reply was interesting. He said he could not do so but that one day he would give a lecture or talk explaining why he could not. He never gave such a lecture or talk while I was still attending his classes." [Theodore Redpath in Flowers (1999), p.47. Italic emphases in the original.]
    Redpath, T. (1999), 'A Student's Memoir', in Flowers (1999), pp.3-52.

    Flowers, F. (1999) (ed.), Portraits Of Wittgenstein, Volume Three (Thoemmes Press).

    I suspect the reason he didn't was that he and several of his communist friends were being watched very closely by the UK Police and Security services at the time.
    The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves.

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/index.htm

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    Senior Voting Member ravn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wittgenstein on Nazi ideology and Hitler

    Quote Originally Posted by Amoeba View Post
    I was thinking the other day what Wittgenstein's analysis of Nazism and Hitler was as he lived through that period himself and was a victim of in ways, forced to flee to the UK if I'm not mistaken.

    I recall some parts of Monk's biography discussing that period but that was a while ago and I'm curious of Rosa or others know of some excerpts from his work (letters, notes, etc.) that focus on this?
    This has nothing to do with Wittgenstein's views about Nazism but Wittgenstein & Hitler were schoolmates. It's just one of those quirky things: The people who pass each other by on the road to who knows what.


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    Senior Voting Member Rosa Lichtenstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wittgenstein on Nazi ideology and Hitler

    The boy in the bottom left hand corner has not yet been definitively identified as Wittgenstein.

    I have already covered this in my essay on Wittgenstein:

    http://www.anti-dialectics.co.uk/was..._a_leftist.htm
    The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves.

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/index.htm

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    Senior Voting Member ravn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wittgenstein on Nazi ideology and Hitler

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    The boy in the bottom left hand corner has not yet been definitively identified as Wittgenstein.
    It may not be Wittgenstein, but they did go to the same school at the same time for at least a year. They might not have actually knew each other so I'm not subscribing to any theory about the alleged effect one had on the other. It's just two people passing each other by, one developing into a reactionary annihilator, & the other, an oddball philosopher with some repute.

    For somebody who is into plain language, you have a talent for creating confusion. but for what purpose? What is your mass line? What is your mass perspective?

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    Senior Voting Member Rosa Lichtenstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wittgenstein on Nazi ideology and Hitler

    ravn:

    For somebody who is into plain language, you have a talent for creating confusion. but for what purpose? What is your mass line? What is your mass perspective?
    Well, I struggle to create as much confusion as Hegel and you Dialectical Mystics have managed. But, hey, I'm only am amateur; you're the professionals.
    The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves.

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/index.htm

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    Senior Voting Member ravn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wittgenstein on Nazi ideology and Hitler

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    I struggle to create as much confusion as Hegel
    (1) Maybe you're just confused about Hegel.
    (2) & struggling to create as much confusion as what you deem is confusion is impotent in the first place.

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    Senior Voting Member Rosa Lichtenstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wittgenstein on Nazi ideology and Hitler

    ravn:

    (1) Maybe you're just confused about Hegel.
    And, I'm in good company, too, since everyone is confused about Hegel -- or if they aren't they have kept that secret well hidden for two centuries.

    (2) & struggling to create as much confusion as what you deem is confusion is impotent in the first place.
    Eh?

    You sound confused...
    The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves.

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/index.htm

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    Senior Voting Member ravn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wittgenstein on Nazi ideology and Hitler

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    ravn:



    And, I'm in good company, too, since everyone is confused about Hegel
    That's not true. Not everybody is confused about Hegel. & why is being in the company of those who are confused, good? You lie about one thing & aggrandize the negative in the other.


    Rosa: "I struggle to create as much confusion as Hegel"

    Reply to above: " ... struggling to create as much confusion as what you deem is confusion is impotent in the first place."
    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    Eh?

    You sound confused...
    Rosa's impotent denial. It's as plain as day.

  10. #10
    Senior Voting Member Rosa Lichtenstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wittgenstein on Nazi ideology and Hitler

    ravn:

    That's not true. Not everybody is confused about Hegel. & why is being in the company of those who are confused, good? You lie about one thing & aggrandize the negative in the other.
    In that case, this is my lucky day(!), for I am sure you are just the comrade to put me straight. You can begin by explaining to me in detail (stop sniggering at the back, there -- I am sure ravn can cope with detail!) just where I go wrong here:

    http://www.anti-dialectics.co.uk/Out...mmitted_01.htm

    Or even here:

    http://www.anti-dialectics.co.uk/page%2008_03.htm

    Failing that, you can perhaps explain Hegel's 'Logic' to me.

    Rosa's impotent denial. It's as plain as day.
    Then I am even more in need of your help, aren't I?

    So, over to you, smarty pants...
    The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves.

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/index.htm

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    Senior Voting Member ravn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wittgenstein on Nazi ideology and Hitler

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    ravn:

    stop sniggering at the back, there -- I am sure ravn can cope with detail!) just where I go wrong here:

    You already shot yourself in the foot when you asserted that: "everyone is confused about Hegel". So, how is it that you can explain where Hegel went wrong in the first place? Oh, & just exactly what did Wittgenstein had to say about Nazism & Hitler? Or you're not planning on being straightforward about that topic as well?

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    Senior Voting Member Rosa Lichtenstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wittgenstein on Nazi ideology and Hitler

    ravn:

    You already shot yourself in the foot when you asserted that: "everyone is confused about Hegel". So, how is it that you can explain where Hegel went wrong in the first place? Oh, & just exactly what did Wittgenstein had to say about Nazism & Hitler? Or you're not planning on being straightforward about that topic as well?
    So, you can't help me, then. How disappointing!
    The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves.

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/index.htm

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    Senior Voting Member Meridian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wittgenstein on Nazi ideology and Hitler

    The only comment of Wittgenstein's on Nazi Germany I remember is the one about humor.

    Humor is not a mood but a way of looking at the world. So if it is correct to say that humor was stamped out in Nazi Germany, that does not mean that people were not in good spirits, or anything of that sort, but something much deeper and more important.
    I am not sure where this is from, but I think it might be the comment most related to his philosophy.

  14. #14
    Senior Voting Member ravn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wittgenstein on Nazi ideology and Hitler

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post
    ravn:



    So, you can't help me, then. How disappointing!
    You've miss it. Resolve the contradiction between your claim that everyone is confused by Hegel & your implicit claims not to be confused by Hegel. It's evident that not everybody is confused by Hegel, but you evidently are confused by Hegel. (For example within that spaghetti coded website of yours you stated: "Sure, we have no evidence that Marx himself was this confused about logic, but there is enough in Engels's writing to show he wasn't much clearer than Hegel -- indeed, Hegel was far less clear than Aristotle ", (Essay 8, Part 3)).

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    Paperback Writer RevForum Administrator Amoeba's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wittgenstein on Nazi ideology and Hitler

    Quote Originally Posted by Meridian View Post
    The only comment of Wittgenstein's on Nazi Germany I remember is the one about humor.



    I am not sure where this is from, but I think it might be the comment most related to his philosophy.
    This person cites it as follows: (C&V: 78e, 1948): http://web.abo.fi/fak/hf/filosofi/Re...Abo%20nnwr.pdf

    I have no idea what that is a reference to, however.
    To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.

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    Senior Voting Member Meridian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wittgenstein on Nazi ideology and Hitler

    Ok, that's Culture & Value.

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    Senior Voting Member Rosa Lichtenstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wittgenstein on Nazi ideology and Hitler

    ravn:

    You've miss it.
    Perhaps I need a microscope to find it?

    Resolve the contradiction between your claim that everyone is confused by Hegel & your implicit claims not to be confused by Hegel. It's evident that not everybody is confused by Hegel, but you evidently are confused by Hegel. (For example within that spaghetti coded website of yours you stated: "Sure, we have no evidence that Marx himself was this confused about logic, but there is enough in Engels's writing to show he wasn't much clearer than Hegel -- indeed, Hegel was far less clear than Aristotle ", (Essay 8, Part 3)).
    I'm confused by the Jabberwocky, too:

    ’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
    Alll mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

    "Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
    The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
    Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
    The frumious Bandersnatch!”

    He took his vorpal sword in hand;
    Long time the manxome foe he sought—
    So rested he by the Tumtum tree
    And stood awhile in thought.


    And, as in uffish thought he stood,
    The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
    Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
    And burbled as it came!

    One, two! One, two! And through and through
    The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
    He left it dead, and with its head
    He went galumphing back.

    “And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
    Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
    O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
    He chortled in his joy.

    ’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.
    http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/171647

    Doesn't stop me commenting on it, though.

    So, when are you going to unconfuse me about Hegel?

    Or show where I go wrong here?

    http://www.anti-dialectics.co.uk/Out...mmitted_01.htm

    That should be easy for someone like you, who seems to be able to handle detail so effortlessly, and who knows shed loads of logic.
    The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves.

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/index.htm

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    Senior Voting Member Rosa Lichtenstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wittgenstein on Nazi ideology and Hitler

    In Culture and Value (p.53), he says this:

    It isn't reasonable to be furious even about Hitler; let alone about God.
    The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves.

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/index.htm

  19. #19
    Senior Voting Member Rosa Lichtenstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wittgenstein on Nazi ideology and Hitler

    The reference to the above quote about humour must be from the first edition of Culture and Value; in the second edition, it can be found on p.88.
    The emancipation of the working class will be an act of the workers themselves.

    http://anti-dialectics.co.uk/index.htm

  20. #20
    Senior Voting Member ravn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wittgenstein on Nazi ideology and Hitler

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosa Lichtenstein View Post




    I'm confused by the Jabberwocky, too ... [d]oesn't stop me commenting on it, though ...
    But if you made a website about it, explaining it & lampooning its author, that would imply that you're not confused by the Jabberwocky. You've seen through its artifice & found it lacking. OTOH, if within all of that you admit to finding its meaning unclear, one would have to ask whether its the Jabberwocky that's confusing or whether its critic is confused about it.

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