All Your Philosophical Problems are Belong to Us: Wittgenstein Shows Philosophy the Door

So, I’ve been a bit obsessed with Wittgenstein lately.  Once you understand the guy’s arguments, though, it’s pretty hard to shake them.  There are no philosophical problems, we find, only empirical, aesthetic/moral (not moral philosophy, mind you), and logical ones.

The gist of his thinking is that the meaning of most words are determined by human behavior.  Some words are not.  We are tempted into believe that words that are determined by human behavior are like those words that are not.  Take, for example, the classic “is my color red the same as your color red” problem.  He shows us that the phrase “my color red” is nonsense, as in it doesn’t mean anything, like the word shnibble.  The concept is simply not something that we can speak about, as “my experience of the color red” has no shared referant to ground the communication.  We fall victim to the illusion because the grammar of the word “red” is like the word “chair,” but, alas, common grammar means nothing for our purposes.  For more, check the Mark Alford website (a physicist whose website I have been reading compulsively in a desparate attempt to understand quantum mechanics) out or this alternately annoying and hilarious (as per the usual) David Foster Wallace essay.
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Old Philosophers Would have Known Ryan Leaf was a Bust or Ryan Leaf and the Marshmallow Test

Ryan Leaf Midway Through the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment

What could be a better measure of a man’s virtue than his quarterbacking ability? A quarterback has to exercise several kinds of intelligence, lead in the face of well-trained and motivated opposition, and appease a widely varied group of people off of the field. By comparing Ryan Leaf and Peyton Manning, we see many of the ways that western philosophers have been right about the characteristics necessary to be good quarterbacks and, by extension, good humans.
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Tim Tebow, Lefty

Today’s New York Times has an article about what may be the last remaining new angle on Tim Tebow–his left-handedness.

The headline: Tim Tebow Gives Left-Handers Someone to Cheer.

I’m left-handed. I’m not the only DUFLer who is–Anthony T is definitely a lefty, and I’m not sure about Diana, but she acts like a lefty.

I won’t be cheering Tim Tebow, and the fact that he and I share a hand will not enter in to that decision. My dislike of Tebow stems from his outspoken opposition to abortion rights, his insensitive missionary work, and his general football shittiness. (I also sometimes mock his virginity.)

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Freud, Rilke, and some rambling thoughts on choice

“The poets and philosophers before me discovered the unconscious; what I discovered was the scientific method by which the unconscious can be studied.” – Sigmund Freud

In the last half of the 19th century, an Austrian doctor with a penchant for smoking cigars did something remarkable. He shocked the medical community by saying that most of our behaviors were not a matter of conscious choice but were a result of the unconscious, a vast reservoir of memories, repressed feelings, and desires that were the actual motives to our behaviors.
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