In ‘Wittgenstein and Qualia’ Ned Block argues for the existence of inverted spectra and those ineffable things, qualia. The essence of his discussion is a would-be proof, presented through a series of pictures, of the possible existence of an inverted spectrum. His argument appeals to some remarks by Wittgenstein which, Block holds, commit the former to a certain ‘dangerous scenario’ wherein inverted spectra, and consequently qualia live and breath. I hold that a key premise of this proof is incoherent. Furthermore, (...) Block’s dangerous scenario does not follow from Wittgenstein’s innocent one, as Block believes it does, but rather is in conflict with it. (shrink)
This book is a philosophical examination of the main stages in our journey from hominid to human. It deals with the nature and origin of language, the self, self-consciousness, and the religious ideal of a return to Eden. It approaches these topics through a philosophical anthropology derived from the later writings of Wittgenstein. The result is an account of our place in nature consistent with both a hard-headed empiricism and a this-worldy but religiously significant mysticism.
1. The early philosophy--language as picture -- 2. Logic and ontology -- 3. "My world and its value" -- 4. The later philosophy--views and reviews -- 5. Method and essense -- 6. Meaning -- 7. Criteria -- 8. Knowing, naming, certainty, and idealism -- 9. The private language argument -- 10. Logical necessity and rules -- 11. Philosophy of mathematics -- 12. Persons -- 13. Psychology and conceptual relativity -- 14. Aesthetics, ethics, and religion -- 15. Elective affinities.