02 August 2006


Wittgenstein refused to live on carpet. He thought the only way to clean a floor was to cover it with used tea leaves, wait for the leaves to dry and then sweep them out the door. Wittgenstein liked to eat the same things every day. He hit children when they wouldn't learn. He liked westerns. Tolstoy. Not Shakespeare. Wittgenstein broke off an engagement with a Bloomsbury chick-a-dee. He walked down the same streets as likely I have. He's a person whom I'm comfortable following.

I was going to work on a MA thesis regarding Wittgenstein and skepticism. But after reading On Certainty, the issue seems more than settled. In fact, I feel certain about Wittgenstein's kinda-sorta refutation of skepticism. In my bones, like an animal, I feel certain. I shifted my focus onto ethics, which was a spiritually rewarding and intellectually damaging project. I'm focused still on that, but Wittgenstein and I--we need to take a break.

I'm going to be reading other people. I know that at first, it might be awkward. Wittgenstein will be on my shelf, and I'll gesture. My hand will extend. It might seem like I intend to take up the Philosophic Remarks or maybe Remarks on Color. But I'll be clasping in my hand some Heidegger, instead. Maybe Rorty and I will be at a cafe, a cafe where I used to read hunched over, my head in a torrent from caffeine and reading over and over again 133 of the Investigations. A place where I used to undergo therapy. But I'll be reading about hermeneutics and analytic and all the things I missed out on since I've made a commitment to Wittgenstein. We were 'exclusive'. Things just went to fast. I read Augustine, and that got me in the mood. And then the Tractatus was so seducing. Die Welt ist alles, was der fall ist. That little singsong, like a bird or a nursery rhyme. Disarming and arousing true Eros, philosophy. But things just went too quickly after that. I need a break. It's not you; it's me.