Kant’s Dove & Wittgenstein’s Ice-Walker


Channel: Philosophy Overdose
Duration: 16:42
Description: James Conant compares and discusses a metaphor from Kant and the later Wittgenstein.
“Deceived by such a proof of the power of reason, we can perceive no limits to the extension of our knowledge. The light dove cleaving in free flight the thin air, whose resistance it feels, might imagine that her movements would be far more free and rapid in airless space.”
-Immanuel Kant (Introduction of the Critique of Pure Reason)
“The more narrowly we examine actual language, the sharper becomes the conflict between it and our requirement. (For the crystalline purity of logic was, of course, not a result of investigation: it was a requirement.) The conflict becomes intolerable; the requirement is now in danger of becoming empty.—We have got on to slippery ice where there is no friction and so in a certain sense the conditions are ideal, but also, just because of that, we are unable to walk. We want to walk: so we need friction. Back to the rough ground!”
-Wittgenstein (Section 107 of Philosophical Investigations)
This from the 5th Wittgenstein Summer School in Kirchberg am Wechsel in Lower Austria, 2013.
Published: September 3, 2017 3:30 am

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