The World Explored, the World Suffered Science and tech Issue Nr. 12 November 2018(clone) - Page 16

Wittgenstein  is  not  mentioned  in  this  lecture  but  for  someone  trained  in  the  school  of   Wittgenstein  the  school  of  the  Lyceum  is  a  necessary  education  if  one  is  to  avoid  using   Wittgenstein's  earlier  and  later  Philosophy  dogmatically  and  skeptically.  Wittgenstein's   Tractatus  is  indeed  a  dogmatic  document  carrying  with  it  the  logician's  conviction  that   the  solutions  to  Philosophy  have  all  been  provided  in  this  10,000-­‐word  work.   Wittgenstein's  later  work  cannot,  against  this  background  seem  to  commentators  to  be   anything  but  a  skeptical  reaction  to  his  earlier  commitment  to  a  scientific  brand  of   logical  atomism.  Wittgenstein,  however,  acknowledged  the  faults  of  his  earlier  work   without  violating  the  Aristotelian  norm  of  the  golden  mean  and  flying  off  to  another   extreme,  that  of  skepticism.  Wittgenstein's  later  work  I  am  maintaining  had  a  distinctly   Aristotelian  quality  about  it.  Here  I  am  thinking  in  particular  about  his  remarks  on   language-­‐games  and  forms  of  life  as  well  his  remarks  concerning  the  final  court  of   appeal  or  justification  for  a  concept  or  a  practice.  "This  is  what  we  do"  he  claims  is  the   termination  of  all  justification.  Our  justifications  come  to  an  end  in  what  we  do.  He  also   suggests  in  his  examination  of  language  games  that  some  kind  of  termination  point  is   reached  in  "This  is  what  we  say":-­‐-­‐This  is  how  language  is  used.     Wittgenstein  was  part  of  the  movement  to  establish  a  central  concern  for  language  in   Analytical  Philosophy  which  largely  inherited  its  assumptions  from  previous  empirical   philosophers  whose  task  was  to  overturn  Aristotle  and  make  a  fresh  start.  This  "new   beginning"  very  quickly  condensed  the  cloud  of  empirical  Philosophy  into  a  drop  of   truth  conditions.  The  meaning  of  language  being  logically  connected  to  truth  conditions,   of  course,  dismantled  broader  concerns  for  the  diverse  uses  of  language  which  would   have  included  the  way  in  which  the  word  "good"  is  used  in  both  ethical  and  political   science  contexts  to  praise  whatever  is  being  referred  to  in  connection  with  the  term.   Wittgenstein's  language-­‐games  and  the  concept  of  forms  of  life  retreated  from  this   position  back  to  something  very  similar  to  an  Aristotelian  position  in  which  language   comes  to  be  examined  by  practical  rather  than  theoretical  reasoning.     Professor  Smith  in  this  lecture  is  engaging  with  the  question  of  our  political  regimes  and   whether  they  are  artificial  or  natural  constructions.  Aristotle  sees  a  city  as  naturally   constituted  through  a  series  of  developmental  stages  of  human  association:  the  family,   the  tribe,  the  village,  up  to  the  telos  of  the  city-­‐state.  What  is  driving  this  evolution  to  a   higher  and  more  complex  form  of  life  is  a  striving  toward  independence,  a  striving   toward  what  Aristotle  calls  self-­‐sufficiency.Basically  what  we  are  seeing  here  is  an   argument  for  the  Socratic  position  in  the  Republic  that  there  is  a  fundamental   isomorphism  between  the  soul  and  the  city.  The  soul  in  its  evolution  toward  its  telos   learns  what  it  needs  to  know  in  previous  lives  and  moves  through  a  number  of  stages  in   its  actualization  process.  Aristotle  does  claim  that  knowledge  of  the  soul  is  the  most   important  knowledge  we  can  acquire  but  he  also  claims  more  broadly  that  the  natural   essence  of  the  regime  is  the  more  holistic  concept  of  human  nature.  Smith  has  this  to  say   on  the  issue:     "In  the  Politics  Aristotle  talks  about  the  naturalness  of  the  city  and  man  being  a  political   animal.  Every  polis  exists  by  nature.  This  is  connected  to  the  fact  that  man  alone  is   driven  by  Logos-­‐-­‐by  speech  and  reason  in  contrast  to  animals  who  are  merely  endowed   with  sounds  to  indicate  their  pleasure  and  pains.  Logos  enables  man  to  have  a   perception  of  the  good  and  the  bad,  the  just  and  the  unjust.  It  is  speech  and  reason  that   help  to  create  the  family  and  the  city.  He  offers  two  accounts  of  the  polis.  Firstly,  that  in   terms  of  the  natural  organic  growth  from  families  to  tribes  to  villages  to  the  city-­‐polis