Showing posts from March, 2024
  Not only is private language possible, not only is private language actual, not only is Wittgenstein's own writing an example of private language, but anyone who studies Wittgenstein deeply enough will inevitably begin communicating in private language.  Not only will the general public not know what they are talking about, but even other Wittgenstein scholars will cease to understand them.  I'm tempted to say that they will no longer be capable of understanding themselves. ...And yet, as you fall into Wittgensteinism, the transition to private language will be so slow and so subtle, that you will not have any awareness that you are slipping into private language.  Thus it is true that, from the perspective of Wittgensteinism , there is no such thing as private language.  It is like falling into a supermassive black hole: in the reference frame of the person falling in, there is no event horizon - everything occurs normally as they pass through.  It is only from our perspecti

In Defense of Identity Politics

  A certain tendency (Marxists, largely, and some anarchists, but also many conservatives - what's the diff, amirite?) moralistically berates us and tells us we should avoid "identity politics".  If they weren't such preachy jerks about it, it would actually be kinda sweet.  And of course, they're right - in a perfect world, that would be the morally right thing to do - to totally abolish all identity politics, whatever that means.  A world without identity politics is unimaginable - literally.  But it's sad that identity politics exist.  It's a shame.  It's a nightmare.  I will even go all the way and say that it's a tragedy.  And yet it is a reality.  Identity politics are a kind of vicious cycle, which just gets deeper and deeper, and seems impossible to escape.  There's no way to avoid it.  We can be in denial of identity politics, we can be angry about identity politics, we can be depressed about identity politics, we can try to bargain wi

The Concept of "Tailism" is a Stupid Immaterial Abstraction

  I suspect that the reason that the neologism "tailism" has not caught on is, in part, because it is such a useless term which only causes confusion and lack of theoretical rigor whenever it is thrown around.  This movement is accused of "tailing" such-and-such political party.  That party is accused of "tailing" some other tendency.  For instance, in America, one supposedly Marxist group may accuse another Marxist group of "tailing" the Democrats.  But what is "tailing"?  What does it mean, to tail?  Upon close examination, the verb "to tail" does not have any material meaning.   To adopt Marx's schema, the apparent phenomenon of "tailing" appears strictly on the level of the superstructure, and never at the material base of society.  The superstructure includes the political and legal levels, as well as specific forms of consciousness appropriate to these interests.  The unhappy consciousness sees evil all aro
The argument from authority is not a valid philosophical move.  But it can be a persuasive rhetorical move, when appealing to an authority that is revered by the person for whom you are making the argument.  If I cite an authority to bolster my position, it's not because I revere that authority, but because I think you do. (Sometimes the greatest authority that people revere is themselves; and you can use that authority against them as well.)