FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Letters on Wittgenstein

Due to a complex and time-consuming project of such importance that it will make the entire world sit up and take notice, albeit only for one six-millionth of a second, the famous author of these occasional missives has been uncharacteristically and blessedly silent. His correspondence continues, however, and the following epistolary extracts will serve to remind readers he exists and has a book for sale. The topic concerns a series of articles Mr. Tripp wrote for various publications on the subject of Ludwig Wittgenstein, the philosopher. The names of the writers have been changed to protect their privacy, although all you have to do is switch the first letters around and you have the real names. For example Jurt Mohnssen is really Murt Johnssen. Unfortunately he hasn’t written.

Dear sir,

I am writing to point out that your capsule description of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus in Sports Illustrated is not only spurious, it’s written upside-down. In addition you characterize his position on the theories of Realism and Anti-Realism as “similar to two precocious squirrels having a check fight at Schrafft’s on 77th and Madison” and dismiss the entire concept of Realism as incoherent, especially if you’ve ever been to a wedding in Malibu. As Wittgenstein himself clearly postulates in Realism and Antimatter, “That which can be expressed through language is inherently meaningful, as long as the language of expression is public, not private, but in any case is probably not worth mentioning.” I rest my case.

Yours,
Dr. Ford Nutbugle

Sir,

Of all the outrageous claptrap I have ever read, your recipe for Prawns a la Wittgenstein takes the cake. My wife and I, or to be perfectly honest my ex-wife and I (she discovered my affair with the euphonium player at Carnegie Hall, about which I wrote to you some months back), decided to throw one of those voguish cocktail parties themed after the great philosophers. I wanted to do a Kant theme because then we could save money on drinks by filling the liquor bottles with water and claiming to guests that as subjective reality is a dialectic illusion, all they had to do was drink the water and say, “boy, this is some yummy scotch”, and in an hour they’d be blowing .063 on any Breathalyzer in the state. In any case the old harpy insisted on Wittgenstein, probably because she knew damn well I’d never mastered his principle of Certainty.

The upshot of this was while reading back issues of Thinker’s Digest I stumbled upon, figuratively speaking, your interesting article Recipes of the Great Philosophers. Perhaps not apprehending the humorous nature of the piece, I prepared not one, but two large platters of these prawns, at considerable cost. The hardest part was making the little crepe-paper tuxedoes, although citrus Hollandaise sauce is no walk in the park, either. When our cocktail guests started reacting to the psilocybin mushroom garnish, the party was ruined; I would guess the quantity you stipulate in the recipe is ten times the dose required to make an elephant think it’s Carlos Castaneda. I will never make another recipe on your say-so again, although the batter-fried Nietzsche Pops look tempting.

Chastened,
Grisholm H. ‘Chet’ Rooter

Mr. Tripp,

I am not in the habit of writing letters to fools, for which reason I avoid writing letters at all. You can never tell who will turn out to be a fool next. You, sir, are next in this instance. Wittgenstein not only was not a native of Prussia, he never lived on Bleecker Street. And he certainly (as certainly as anything can be certain, certainty being derived only from direct immutable fact such as “I am holding this object in my hands” or “that woman has a face like a baboon”) never stated that although mathematics could not be reduced to a logical postulate, you should still avoid any funny business on your income tax. Nor, for that matter, was his mentor Bertrand Russell a journeyman electrician, as you suggest. But the most preposterous assertion you make in the course of this piece is that this great thinker had a male lover in the Semantics Department at Cambridge named ‘Plenty O’Toole’. This is purest flibber-flabber and I deplore it.

Disgusted,
Hugh Jorgen, DDS

Dear Sir,

Wittgenstein’s work in the field of rational analysis was a vital contribution to the debunking of mathematical reductionism in metaphysical postulates, although some would argue that his theories are ultimately self-serving because they deny conclusibility, which characteristic marks most of his later works and especially his Ontological Postulates and Reality: This Time It’s Personal. However, I cannot agree with your idea that Wittgenstein should probably have gone into the pants business, simply because he had the legs for it. It’s this kind of thinking that has gotten us into the mess we’re in today.

Yr Obt Svt
Enid Clams
1st Euphonium, Carnegie Hall

BEN TRIPP is an independent filmmaker and all-around swine.
His book, Square In The Nuts, may be purchased here, with other outlets to follow: http://www.lulu.com/Squareinthenuts . Swag is available as always from http://www.cafeshops/tarantulabros . And Mr. Tripp may be reached at credel@earthlink.net.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

Weekend Edition
December 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
A Tale of Two Cities
Peter Linebaugh
The Significance of The Common Wind
Bruce E. Levine
The Ketamine Chorus: NYT Trumpets New Anti-Suicide Drug
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fathers and Sons, Bushes and Bin Ladens
Kathy Deacon
Coffee, Social Stratification and the Retail Sector in a Small Maritime Village
Nick Pemberton
Praise For America’s Second Leading Intellectual
Robert Hunziker
The Yellow Vest Insurgency – What’s Next?
Patrick Cockburn
The Yemeni Dead: Six Times Higher Than Previously Reported
Nick Alexandrov
George H. W. Bush: Another Eulogy
Brian Cloughley
Principles and Morality Versus Cash and Profit? No Contest
Michael F. Duggan
Climate Change and the Limits of Reason
Victor Grossman
Sighs of Relief in Germany
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Robert Fantina
What Does Beto Have Against the Palestinians?
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Sartre, Said, Chomsky and the Meaning of the Public Intellectual
Andrew Glikson
Crimes Against the Earth
Robert Fisk
The Parasitic Relationship Between Power and the American Media
Stephen Cooper
When Will Journalism Grapple With the Ethics of Interviewing Mentally Ill Arrestees?
Jill Richardson
A War on Science, Morals and Law
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Evaggelos Vallianatos
It’s Not Easy Being Greek
Nomi Prins 
The Inequality Gap on a Planet Growing More Extreme
John W. Whitehead
Know Your Rights or You Will Lose Them
David Swanson
The Abolition of War Requires New Thoughts, Words, and Actions
J.P. Linstroth
Primates Are Us
Bill Willers
The War Against Cash
Jonah Raskin
Doris Lessing: What’s There to Celebrate?
Ralph Nader
Are the New Congressional Progressives Real? Use These Yardsticks to Find Out
Binoy Kampmark
William Blum: Anti-Imperial Advocate
Medea Benjamin – Alice Slater
Green New Deal Advocates Should Address Militarism
John Feffer
Review: Season 2 of Trump Presidency
Rich Whitney
General Motors’ Factories Should Not Be Closed. They Should Be Turned Over to the Workers
Christopher Brauchli
Deported for Christmas
Kerri Kennedy
This Holiday Season, I’m Standing With Migrants
Mel Gurtov
Weaponizing Humanitarian Aid
Thomas Knapp
Lame Duck Shutdown Theater Time: Pride Goeth Before a Wall?
George Wuerthner
The Thrill Bike Threat to the Elkhorn Mountains
Nyla Ali Khan
A Woman’s Selfhood and Her Ability to Act in the Public Domain: Resilience of Nadia Murad
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
On the Killing of an Ash Tree
Graham Peebles
Britain’s Homeless Crisis
Louis Proyect
America: a Breeding Ground for Maladjustment
Steve Carlson
A Hell of a Time
Dan Corjescu
America and The Last Ship
Jeffrey St. Clair
Booked Up: the 25 Best Books of 2018
David Yearsley
Bikini by Rita, Voice by Anita
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail