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Ý-THỨC LÀ GÌ? (phần 3)/THE ONTOLOGY OF CONSCIOUSNESS (Continued from the Second Part)

Xin lưu-ý: Vì lý-do chuyên-môn, kể từ kỳ này bản Việt-ngữ là bản tóm tắt những ý chính. Độc-giả muốn biết thêm chi-tiết xin tham-khảo phần Anh-ngữ. Thực ra ngay cả phần Anh-ngữ cũng vẫn cần bổ-túc rất nhiều. Xin cảm-ơn độc-giả. NQ


Thực ra chúng ta vẫn chưa rõ ý cúa Wittgenstein khi ông bàn về vấn-đề “Kỳ-bí”, khi ông nói: 6.522 Es gibt allerdings Unausprectliches. Dies zeigt sich, es ist das Mystische. Thưc vậy, có những điều không sao diễn-tả được bằng lời, tự chúng hiện ra, nên chúng ta gọi chúng là điều Kỳ-bí. Chưa hoàn toàn đúng. Có những điều chúng ta biết rõ nhưng thiếu từ ngữ để miêu-tả. Hoặc từ-ngữ cần đi theo hình-đồ, ví dụ: Quỹ-tích. Các dẫn-chứng trong khoa-học không thể diễn-tả bằng lời, chúng hiện ra trong phòng thí-ngiệm hoặc linh-động trong áp-dụng như là đời sống (virtual), chẳng hạn phi-thuyền Voyager. Virtual philosophy là triết-học về sự suy-nghĩ và hoạt-động, như vi-tính, thường được gọi là “artificial intelligence.” Hoạt-động ấy, đời-sống ấy không phải là điều Kỳ-bí. Hoạ chăng chính khối óc của con người là điều Kỳ-bí.

Ý-niệm về Kỳ-bí trong Thần-học là tưởng-tượng của con người. Cho nên nó không có giá-trị về kiến-thức vì thế nó không phải là điều Wittgenstein quan-tâm vì ông suy-nghĩ trong tinh-thần khoa-học thực-chứng (Positivism). Nhưng vì quá nặng về Luận-lý nên ông đã nghĩ tiếng chim hót cũng có lý-tính. Nói như thế chỉ là đễ nói chứ không phải là ý-thức. Trong thời văn-chưong Tiền-chiến ở Việt-nam, có một nhà thơ (dường như là Xuân-diệu) đã nhận xét về tiêng chim thế này: “Kêu tự-nhiên nào biết bởi sao kêu!” Thực ra vấn-đề “kỳ-bí” chỉ thấy hay cảm thấy rồi được trưng ra chứ không thể cắt-nghĩa dược. Nhận-định như thế chắc Russell không còn thắc-mắc. Nhưng Russell vẫn có lý-do bởi cái gì chúng ta không biết thì chúng ta nêu lên làm gì, nhất là trong một luận-cương về luận-lý và ngôn-ngữ. Wittgenstein cũng có lý-do riêng khi ông chợt thấy có vấn-đề kỳ lạ, bất-ngờ. Chỉ có điều ông không bàn thêm về tính-chất lạ-lùng gọi là Kỳ-bí. Nên nhớ trưng ra hiện-tượng Kỳ-bí khác với cắt-nghĩa một hiện-tượng Kỳ-bí (It is difference between showing and understanding the mystical).

Ecstasy là một tình trạng lạ-lùng, nửa tỉnh nửa mê, thiên về đức-tin và tâm-lý. Như vặy, Ecstasy cỏ phải là hiện-tượng kỳ-bí không? Không! Ecstasy chỉ là hoang-tưởng (hallucination). Bức tượng nữ-thánh Theresa của Bernini được miêu-tả rõ ràng về sự thăng-hoa qua đấng thiêng-liêng và chỉ đến mức toàn-vẹn khi trái tim bị mũi tên cắm vào. Đó là lúc tuyệt-vời nên xác-thân không cảm thấy gì. Ecstasy là một trạng-thái “lên-đồng” hoàn toàn vô ý-thức, nhưng được hậu-thuẫn của đức-tin hay dị-đoan, như trường-hợp nữ-thánh Theresa. Chúng ta không hiểu Bernini có ẩn-ý gì khi ông thêm vào tác-phẩm một thiên-thần với nụ cười “khóai tỉ” sắp sửa cắm mũi tên vào tim thánh Theresa. Tựa hồ như thiên-thần muốn nói: “Liệu có đau không?” hoặc “Liệu có ý-thức gì không?” Hoặc là một cách muốn tìm sự-thực: “Có thật Ecstasy không?”

Ý-thức là hoạt-động tự-nhiên của trí-tuê, như khi chúng ta đặt câu hỏi về Thượng-đế hay Tạo-hóa, tức là đụng vào Bản-thể vô-biên. Nhưng suy ra từ đoạn mở-đầu của chuyên luận này, ý-thức là thức về mọi vấn-đề, ngay cả ý-thức về thế-gian hữu-hạn, về con người, về vạn-vật, về lịch-sử, về chính-trị và về xã-hội…Ý-thức không bao giờ toàn-vẹn, ngay cả những chuyện nhỏ bé hằng ngày như, cái bình-đîện xe hơi này làm ở đâu, có bảo-đảm đúng hạn-kỳ không.

Cũng vậy, sự Kỳ-bí không chỉ nằm trong vấn-đề vô-hạn mà còn là vấn-đề hữu-hạn, ví dụ những cái bất ngờ. Chuyện bất-ngờ không phải luôn luôn là chuyện trong tương-quan của “nhân-quả”, của tác dụng bên ngoài đã tạo thành những vấn-đề như lịch-sử và xã-hội khiến chúng ta thắc mắc. Ví-dụ, nghĩa chính của từ-ngữ Animalism có nghĩa “con-người không hơn con vật”. Từ ý-thức đó, Animalism liên-quan đến cảm-xúc trong tâm-lý và trong tính-dục. Chúng ta có thể biết cảm-xúc suy ra từ kinh-nghiệm hoặc từ mắt thấy tai nghe. Nhưng cắt nghĩa ý-thức về cảm-xúc theo phương-pháp là một chuyện vô-cùng vất vả. Và đây chính là điều “Kỳ-bí” như Wittgenstein đã nói: 6.45 …Das Gefülht der Welt als begrenztes Granzes ist das myystische./Đúng là Kỳ-bí khi chúng ta cảm thấy thế-gian có nhiều hữu-hạn.

Phương-pháp học của Descartes, đặt nặng ý-thức về cái tôi “Cogito ergo sum”. Theo đúng văn-phạm Latin, câu này phải hiểu là: “Tôi đang suy-tư, cho nên tôi biết tôi hiện-hữu.” Tiếp theo đó ông trình-bày Sáu Suy-tư về ý-thức bằng hai phần gồm có: Bảy (7) Phản-biện/Objections và Bảy (7) Trả-lời/Replies. Ngày nay, chúng ta biết rõ, Ý-thức trong phương-pháp học của Descartes hoàn-toàn dựa vào Ý-thức nội-tại (Self-understanding), được trình bày minh bạch trong tinh-thần Duy-lý (Reason), chứ không phài theo Luận-lý. Chính vì thế Husserl đã đến Paris làm sáng tỏ ý-nghĩa về cái Thức trong Cogito của Descartes. Không phải chỉ là tự-thức của Cái Tôi, cho riêng tôi, mà phải biết đến cái Tôi của tha-nhân, trong ý-nghĩa hội-thông nhân-loại, một thức rất căn cơ sau khi đã thấy tất cả những điều không thật gọi là hiện-tượng.

Hiện-tượng Luận của Hegel về thân-phận thiếu tự-do của con người là cái nhìn sâu sắc về hai trường-hợp: (1) Thân-phận công-bộc (serf) và (2) Thân-phận nô-lệ (slave). Ở trường-hợp thứ nhất vua chúa hay chính-thể độc-tài ban ơn cho một nhóm người để nhóm này chịu ơn xả thân trâu ngựa, nhưng luôn luôn hoang-tưởng: “Rằng ơn Thánh-đế rồi rào!” Thế là hạng công-bộc cha truyền con nối. Cháu chắt họ hàng quên rằng “Mình đội quần què!” Ở trường-hợp thứ hai con người nô-lệ bị tước bỏ nhân-tính và bị coi như con vật, tối ngày đào sâu cuốc bẫm, dưới quyền giai-cấp công-bộc. Trong khi ấy, giai-cấp lãnh-đạo không khác gì vua chúa tự hào là “Trẫm thương dân như thương con!”

Để luận về ý-thức theo tinh-thần khoa-học thì chúng ta không thể quên Spinoza về phưong-pháp luận của ông. Theo Spinoza, để có một ý-thức uyên-áo về vấn-đề A, thì trước hết, chúng ta phải trưng ra những lẽ về A, theo thứ-tự sau đây:

1) Phát-đoan luận (Premise/Proposition), Ví dụ: Đây là A

2) Trình-bày (Demonstration) thật rõ luận-cương A

3) Chứng-minh bằng giả-thiết (Lemma) liên-quan tới A

4) Dùng tất cả những điểm liên-quan tới vấn-đề A (Scholium)

5) Kết-luận (Corollary) dựa trên những yếu-tố kể trên, tức là đúng hiến-nhiên (deductive)

Cuối cùng trong phần kết-luận của Tractatus, Wittgenstein tránh không đụng đến “Kỳ-bí”, ông chỉ khuyên rằng” 7. Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muβ man schweigenβ/Điều gì chúng ta không thể nói ra, chúng ta phải yên-lặng.” Tuy-nhiên “yên-lặng” cũng là một ý-thức. Như thế “yên-lặng” không có nghĩa là giải quyết được vấn-đề.

V. VẤN-ĐỀ NGÔN-NGỮ TRONG TRACTATUS

Phần bàn về ngôn-ngữ trong Tractatus của Wittgenstein coi như một chương dài nhất, từ câu 4.001 đến câu 4.53, cả thẩy 26 trang,

Theo Wittgenstein, ngôn-ngữ là một thực-thể (Wirklickeit) với những liên-hệ gắn bó chặt chẽ với nhau được gọi là một thứ “trò chơi” có quy-tắc rõ ràng như sau này Wittgenstein bàn đến trong tập Philosophical Investigations. Ngay tại đây ông đã khẳng-định như sau.

4.001. Thực thể của một mệnh-đề là vấn-đề ngôn-ngữ. (Die Gesamtheit der Sätzs ist die Sprache). Nghĩa là có những phần liên-hệ và bổ-túc cho nhau trong câu nói cũng như câu viết. Tuy nhiên, chúng ta nên để ý đến câu 4.002 khi Wittgenstein trưng ra năm điểm gọi là bản-chất hay thực-thể của ngôn-ngữ như sau. Theo ông:

1. Ngôn-ngữ có khả-năng diễn-tả mọi ý-nghĩa (cảm-thức ‘sense’ khác với nghĩa ‘meaning’).

2. Chúng ta nói nhưng chúng ta không rõ nghĩa của chữ.

3. Chúng ta không có khả-năng tạo ra luận-lý trước khi có ngôn-ngữ.

4. Ngôn-ngữ không thấy được tính và thể của tư-tưởng,

5. Hiểu được ngôn-ngữ dùng hằng ngày là một vấn-đề vô cùng phức-tạp,

Nguyên-tác tiếng Đức [4.002 Der Menschh besittzt die Fähigkeit Sprachen zu bauen,womit sich jeder Sinn ausdrücken llässt, ohne eine Ahnung dawon zu haben, wie und was jedes Wort bedeuner – Wie nub auch spritcht, ohne zu wiussen, wie die einzelnen Laureherforgebracht warden.

Die Umgangssoache ist ein Teil des menschlichen Organismus und nicht weniger kompliziert als dieser,

Es ist menschenunmöglich, die Sprachlogigik aus ihr unmittelbar zu entnehmen.]

Một bài thơ cho chúng ta “cảm-thức” về một chữ chứ không phải về nghĩa. Thơ, nghệ-thuật và tâm-lý gợi ra cảm-thức chứ không bàn về nghĩa. Cảm-thức cho phép chúng ta thấy có chuyện vượt ra ngoài đối-thoại thông thường. Câu thứ nhất của Wittgenstein nghjch với bốn câu sau vì ngôn-ngữ không có khả năng diễn-tả mọi ý-nghĩa.

Chúng ta phải hiểu thế nào về nhận-định của Wittgenstein: “Những vấn-đề sâu sắc nhất thực ra không phải là vấn-đề”.

Tôi đặt vấn-đề và đề nghị mấy điểm sau đây:

1. Thế nào là vấn-đề sâu-sắc nhất và tại sao vấn-đề sâu sắc nhất không phải là vấn-đề? Có lẽ theo ông vấn-đề sâu sắc nhất vượt ra ngoài trí-tuệ và ý-thức của chúng ta?

2. Có thể là Wittgenstein chỉ quan-tâm đến vấn-đề đơn-giản. Nhưng không phải chỉ có vấn-đề đơn-giản mới là vấn-đề của ngôn-ngữ.

3. Xét theo luận-lý, chúng ta có ba thể so sánh; tương-đối, so sánh hơn kém và đỉnh cao không thể so-sánh được. Vậy thì chúng ta có thể làm ngơ trước vấn-đề gay cấn nhất không?

4. Bản-chất của ngôn-ngữ không giản-dị cho nên ngôn-ngữ hằng ngày cũng không luôn luôn giản-dị.

5. Có thể ý của Wittgenstein luận rằng cái gì gọi là sâu-sắc nhất là cái con người không đủ khả-năng thẩm-định giá-trị. Nếu đúng thế tại sao ông lại bảo “không có vấn-dề”, thay vì nói “không nên đặt vấn-đề về cái “sâu sắc nhất”..

Để tránh chuyện mập mờ trong ngôn-ngữ, Wittgenstein khuyên chúng ta nên dùng luận-lý trong ngôn-ngữ, tức là dùng luận-lý của văn-phạm còn gọi là cấu-trúc luận-lý về vị-trí của từng chữ trong câu (logical syntax, trong câu 3325). Đây cũng là phương-pháp của Occam để làm sáng-tỏ tư-duy. Xin xem câu 3328.

Tuy nhiên, lý-luận về ý-nghĩa (logical semantic) trong câu mới chính là đời sống bởi vì có trường-hơp ý hay chữ bất ngờ và quan-trọng tham dự vào để làm cho mệnh-đề chắc và trọn-vẹn. Một mệnh-đề thường có ký-hiệu và biểu-tượng (sign và symbol). Tuy rằng chúng có nội-dung khác nhau nhưng có thể thay thế cho nhau nếu hợp-lý. Thường thì Biểu-tượng (symbol) có lịch-sử và ý-nghĩa trong khi đó ký-hiệu chỉ có tính tự-định. Do đó biểu-tượng và ký-hiệu không thể thay thế cho nhau. Khi nghĩa của ký-hiệu (sign) trong cơ-cấu văn-phạm rõ ràng thì ký-hiệu đó trở thành biểu-tượng (symbol).

Khi mọi thành-phần kể cả ẩn-dụ (metaphor) trong câu liên-kết chặt chẽ với nhau, thì câu đó sáng-sủa về cả hai mặt cơ-cấu văn-phạm (syntax) và nghĩa lý (semantic), do đó câu ấy là một tư-tưởng vững-vàng.

(Còn tiếp)


THE ONTOLOGY OF CONSCIOUSNESS

Continued from the Second Part

IV. GLORY AND PARADOX

To entertain German readers and all those who are interested in the original text, I would like to copy the original propositions 6.44, 6.45 and 6.522 in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus:

6.44 Nicht wie die Welt ist, ist das Mystische, sondern daβ sie ist.

The English version of Pears and McGuiness clarifies Wittgenstein’s text by adding the word “things” to connect proposition 6.44 to the previous ones while my reading is simply that:

The world is not just what it is; there is the mystic as well.

6.45 Die Anschauung der Welt sub specie aeterni ist ihre Anschauung als —begrenztes —Ganzes.

Das Gefühl der Welt als begrenztes Ganzes ist das mystische.

The word aeterni may cause trouble for English readers, especially for those of whom the English language is not their mother tongue; this problem even challenges those who do not have a foundation in philosophy. The word aeterni (eternity) is a Latin noun whose singular form reads aeternus, meaning, an attribute to God, also denoting the quality of showing. To say “sub specie aeterni” would mean “lesser eternal being” for arts, aesthetics, ethics and mathematics following Wittgenstein’s definition in his Notebook (Black, 1964, pp). It also means something already at the beginning. Rhetorically, the expression “sub specie aeterni” seems only intelligible in thought. Thus, to say showing the world as a less eternal thing means to describe the world as limited in totality. That Wittgenstein speculates on “sub specie aeterni” means it impresses on his mind, an idea of some sort of “totality” existing only as a mystical thing. In fact, for us, the phrase “sub specie aeterni” must be supported by shown experiences. That the whole of the world is limited against eternity would also mean such a limitation is in fact eternal, that the world is a forever limited totality, something above our heads and above episteme. Yet, we cannot deny that it irks our mind to frustration — and that is the reason for Wittgenstein to believe it is mystical.

6.522 Es gibt allerdings Unausssprechliches. Die zeigt sich, es ist das Mystische.

My translation runs as

The mystical is something that cannot be put in words but only by its showing.

What kind of “mystical thing” does Wittgenstein really want to discuss? Certainly theological concepts do not interest him, but for him as well as for us some other unknown thing might have tricked human imagination to believe there is something called the “supernatural”, the gist of religious faith. Is this what we should call “the mystical”? Once on the train with his Italian friend, a bird’s song suddenly caught Wittgenstein’s attention, and so he said to his friend: “There must be logic in that bird’s song.” His friend made a hand gesture, known to Italian people as something nonsense, to respond to Wittgenstein’s unworthy remark. The bird’s song and the logic are two different entities. How did he know they were correlated? He would have surmised that they were, and although his interpretation was intelligible, we might guess, it only functioned in rhetoric and not on a cognitive level. What does this anecdote say about the mystical? In essence, the “mystical” as a phenomenon only makes sense by “showings” supported by anecdotes, not by way of explanations. This could quiet Russell’s mind.

While in response to Wittgenstein’s consciousness of something called “the mystical” we might have an array of questions about the mystical ourselves as we begin to question our experiences on mystical things. Is God the mystical Being? Wittgenstein said God never manifests himself in the world. Clearly, he dismissed any belief that God ever exists as the “mystical”. So, from Wittgenstein’s view, would Bernini’s sculpture of the Ecstasy of St. Theresa represents a hallucination of the subject, or would it be about the subject’s experience called the mystical? Wittgenstein’s consciousness clearly reflects his positivist background. However, when he touches on subjects like “the mystical”, he is drawn into metaphysical mind that carries him away from scientific certainty.

Would Wittgenstein’s comment of the “accidental” be connected to “the mystical”? He said that in logic there is nothing “accidental”. It is only true in logic.

2,012 In der Logik ist nichts zufällig: Wenn das Ding im Sachverhaltvorkommen kann, so muβ die Mörglichkeit des Sachverhaltes im Ding bereits präjudiziert sein.

2.012 In logic nothing is accidental: if a thing can occur in a state of affairs, the possibility of the state of affairs must be written into the thing itself.

Logic is the art of argument based on propositions analyzable by logical language. Logic cannot deal with the complex content and context of a subject in which overlapped variables, some put, others open, necessarily exist for interrelated sources. Furthermore, this sudden multiplicity builds up complex levels of contextualization. This challenges investigation, especially of the unknown. And this is not the job of logic at all.

Not only is it true that consciousness as a priori activity of our mind only deals with reality in a narrow sense, it absorbs the fact and manifests it regarding all possible confronting issues that requires our attention and analysis. There is consciousness of variety as well as particularity, or example educational consciousness, historical consciousness and philosophical consciousness to mention a few modes of consciousness (Heidegger, 1988, p. 27). It also concerns the definition of the nature of ontology, classical and modern, bringing them all to light as the givens to be treated in the present. Heidegger’s concept of the present as what is at our hand because of all of its truth is urgent, immediate or even arbitrary.

The first quarter of the Twentieth Century witnessed new methods of criticism and investigation into the fact. Among which philosophical Hermeneutics dealt with unalterable and inexplicable fact called “Facticity”. As early as 1923 Heidegger’s lectures on Facticity at the University of Marburg contributed one important volume titled Hermeneutics of Facticity (1988), in which Heidegger argued that Hermeneutical theory as a strong method encompassing crucial points to grasp the nature of man containing engaging, approaching, accessing, interrogating and explicating. In fact, his lectures on Hermeneutics are preparatory notes for his major work Being and Time (Sein und Zeit), namely on the concept of existence (Sein) and existence-there (Dasein), minus the notion of time. In brief, Hermeneutics explicated the nature of man (human being) by pointing out man’s object or Facticity; namely the immediate present of man’s life. He drew the evidences from the case of Kierkegaard and Van Gogh. However he cautioned that these two cases only dealt with personal consciousness rather than Hermeneutics of Facticity. 7

Heidegger wrote the introduction to his book OntologyThe Hermeneutics of Facticity, in which he made it clear that the word “Ontology” as the principal element of the book’s title above should have been removed because it was vague. He argued, as a new doctrine of consciousness the idea of Hermeneutics is different from the classical one. Heidegger strongly recommends us to consider Hermeneutics as a method to critique different unknown domains generally about the things or tributes to humanity, particularly dealing with the power of human soul. The subject of the soul is primordially and immensely attracts the mind of Continental philosophers, such as Hegel, Heidegger and Gadamer for whom the soul devoid of theological contexts is related to existential being (Seien), having no accord with theological and metaphysical doctrine at all speaking in terms of modern sense of the concept of the soul, which must be related to being at hand.

To be clear, Hermeneutics is a method of investigation of the truth beginning with reflection. It means reflection on the truth in every single subject for genuine consciousness be clarified. Exactly it begins with the problem of consciousness. By way of reflection, Hermeneutics returns to the pre-consciousness. Thus, Hermeneutical reflection looks for all clues in history making up present reality. Gadamer points out the implicit case that goes against Christian theology by Bultmann’s concept of demythologizing or Enlightenment contrast to theological standpoint without a check of history (Gadamer, 1977, 52). Gadamer agrees with Bultmann such a theology has no historical background except mysticism, once it is believed that at the beginning Christianity was but a cult. This relates to the true but provokes the Church and her followers. We also need to pay attention to the eminent subject of the soul in Continental and Oriental culture that has no historical background in terms of Fact and Facticity, save it is a belief. However, in Continental thought the soul appears as a philosophical point parallel to the mind, most evident in the philosophy of Descartes in his section on Arguments that he tried to distinguish between soul and body. In fact, this whole section devotes to “mind (thinking) and body” instead of soul and body. These two opponents exist apart from each other. Spinoza in his attempt to write on (or to clarify) Descartes thought also concentrates on the characteristics of mind and body quieting on the word “soul” itself and thus making no connection of mind ever to theology at all. We have already contoured this subject in the preceding paragraphs.

Verily, the word soul has never been in the spotlight of British and American philosophy. This is typically clear in the case of Santayana (The sense of Beauty). He only accepted the word “soul” as an equivalent to “essence” and to him the concept of God is a mere metaphor. For him, in his early philosophical career, the beauty and the beautiful in arts are just for entertaining. Likewise if we try to grasp the meaning of the soul we would see that it is an extremely difficult thing, if not baseless one for grasping and for elaborating in philosophical discourse as well as in life. Therefore, the problems on the eternal and the mystical in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus would be just the mode of feeling and we cannot be certain if fact and faticity could be employed to decipher Wittgenstein’s accidental remark on the eternal and the mystical, simply in the absence of evidences to support his claim.

What do we think about some images in religious dogmas? For example can we be sure of our knowledge of the image of the Buddha and Jesus Christ; namely what do they look like? They are the products of feeling and awe-inspiring rather than by sheer knowledge. Their images are “off the wall concept” impresses religious church goers that Jesus is vindicated as the only Son of God, and Buddha the Compassionate. How do the face of the Son of God and that of his mother Mary the Virgin bear the Italian traits? And how have such images become some sort of sub specie eternal and mystical to their adherents? Surely, such images are not universal, even not public in terms of “publicness” according to the concept of Husserlian phenomenology as well as of Hermeneutics. Yet, in terms of theological doctrine, for instance Calvinism, human beings make themselves in the image of God, which is a belief of traditional Hermeneutics, but which is provocative as well as non-scientific in contemporary mind. How do human beings know the Face of God, even Moses only saw God’s back. Without having evidence of the Face of God how could human beings make themselves in the image of God? Even it is harder for human beings to emulate God’s ethics. In fact, these images have been in history and historicity for some thousands of years despite criticism arising from fact and Facticity if we have ever questioned about the everlasting being of such images. Religious dogmas are not true consciousness in modern philosophy because, generally speaking, it contemplates on self-understanding.

The consciousness of knowledge of God in the philosophy of Descartes (Meditation III, pp. 81-89) 10 asserts God’s existence as the infinite while everything else including humans as the finite. God does not only truly exist but also has power to conserve all beings in heaven. For Descartes, the word “heaven” substitutes for the word “universe” that comes from God’s creation. As such in his corollary drawn from the preceding principles, he concludes that God is the One or the only Substance and so God is Infinite or simply put, Descartes reasons that from the stand point of the finite of human being, God is the sole Creator. In that sense, there is absolutely no Hermeneutical reflection on God’s beginning and history. As such, God creates the entire universe, not just the earth planet on which all beings are finite so they contemplate the infinite or God. The attempt to search for the existence and the substance of God remains open to the future of science. If science discovers the substance of God it would not make human being happier for human being would face self-alienation or emptiness (the feeling) as assumed by the late famous British theoretical physicist, Stephen Hawking.

For Spinoza, God is the substance and also the source of Ethics (Ethics, pp. 355 -372) 11

For Heidegger, these two modes, fact and facticity exist as a priori in human life so that Heidegger reasons that Hermeneutical experiences are not just about personal experiences or about the ego. They are, in reality, must be existing being facing itself “right there” (Dasein), awakening our consciousness of the truth, even the one in history that exhibits itself in the mode of inexpressible fact versus the mode of Facticity.

We will return to this subject after we thoroughly finish the claims of Wittgenstein called an act of authority versus freedom, in his Tractatus. For some Wittgenstein’s thought or style of expression in the Tractatus is tyrannical; namely it is given. In part it is due to his aphoristic writing, terse and eager commanding, and in part it is due to his overly assertive mood. The exchange between Karl Popper and him over the problem of philosophy, though not quite clear about the content to us, unveils his preference of authority, if not harassing, when he challenged Popper on the problem of morality. In fact, we even do not know how did Karl Popper respond to Wittgenstein, especially about problems of moral philosophy?

In fact, moral philosophy is a subject on human equality, a sort of unwritten constitution about what is right or wrong among social members. It asserts human freedom unless there are false and empty moral points. Alienation of other’s voice of quality in life as well as disrespect to other’s thought for fair exchange, especially in professional milieu, should be avoided. All different well put voices deserve serious attention and cannot be judged on the basis of prejudices on personality, ethnicity, culture, education and social status. Authority initiated by totalitarian system is clearly immoral and violation of human rights. In such a system the moral codes are falsely invented (mandated) to the interests of the ruling class whose voice is similar to God’s and whose ruling (executive and judiciary) underlies its immanence and therefore it is without contest.

Hermeneutical research and investigation of truth, according to Gadamer clarifies inescapable points left behind by Heidegger. Essentially, it should rework on the problem of reflection to determine if there is prejudice and alienation prior to making judgment according to which even the process of sciences should also be challenged. This point is absent in Wittgenstein’s early philosophy (the Tractatus). This point also challenges Heidegger’s concept of being in language. For Gadamer the consciousness of being, for example the being in language is untouched in Heidegger’s Being and Time.

At the onset of my book, I have already highlighted the modes of consciousness, not yet in depth, prior to true understanding. But then I have also not warned against myself about self-understanding and complete understanding. Here is how we should do. To the point, I recommend the reading of Gadamer’s lecture On the Problem of Self-Understanding in regard of the history of the “myth” and the “logos”. If the issue of the “myth” exists in everything concerning the finite and the infinite, then the quest of the Scripture coming out the myth requires great investigations. God’s Word reflecting God, or the Word is but God, comes into being in the form of Scripture or Logos, which is the power of manifested by human mind.

The theme on the Logos (Thought) excites man’s mind for Wittgenstein to muse on “myth” or the “mystical”, which he proclaims but not follow, either by philosophical hermeneutics or positivist method. This problem even gives us some trouble with Gadamer who tries to show that the consciousness reflecting knowledge necessarily leading to the claim of truth, we have patiently follow his exposé but we have missed him at his expository style, more about rationality than about explicit evidence.

Although the seventeenth century heralded the scientific method for preliminary effort to modern philosophy about true consciousness, neither Descartes nor Spinoza went beyond self-understanding. The twentieth century philosophers like Gadamer stresses on historical reflection using theological truth as indisputable instance. He shows the evolution from the unknown or the myth to the Logos or human thought. In fact, this method of demystification supporting the myth as the truth evidently for the defense of Scripture in whose very essence there is nothing but the Word, an attribute to God. That is the central point of Gadamer’s lecture. And metaphorically speaking while we read his lecture on the Word we patiently wait and only turn our face skyward where we are engulfed in nothingness, or nothing about Enlightenment. Simply put, we are not convinced.

V. THE QUESTION OF LANGUAGE IN THE TRACTATUS

This section on language covers the largest so-called chapter of the Tractatus, roughly from proposition 4.001 through 4.53 with some related problems touching on auxiliary issues all totaling about 26 pages. And this is truly the main corpus of Wittgenstein’s philosophy of language.

For Wittgenstein, the idea of Wirklickeit or reality in language represents the operative connection of the parts of speech that was later called “the language game” well discussed in Philosophical Investigations. He asserts the reality of language as follows

4.001. The reality of propositions is language. (Die Gesamtheit der Sätzs ist die Sprache). This means the parts of speech in writing and speaking are actually about language. However, in remark 4.002, Wittgenstein presents five points about the nature or reality of language.

1) Language is capable of expressing every sense.

2) The speaker does not know “how each word has meaning”.

3) We are not capable to create logic before language.

4) Language cannot see the form and essence of thought.

5) Understanding of everyday language is “enormously complicated”.

The original reads as[4.002 Der Menschh besittzt die Fähigkeit Sprachen zu bauen,womit sich jeder Sinn ausdrücken llässt, ohne eine Ahnung dawon zu haben, wie und was jedes Wort bedeuner – Wie nub auch spritcht, ohne zu wiussen, wie die einzelnen Laureherforgebracht warden.

Die Umgangssoache ist ein Teil des menschlichen Organismus und nicht weniger kompliziert als dieser,

Es ist menschenunmöglich, die Sprachlogigik aus ihr unmittelbar zu entnehmen.]

Of the five points paraphrased in my text, number one and number two contradict each other, and so it contradicts all the rest of his claims. If language is capable of “expressing every sense” then while speaking man does not know “how each word has meaning”. This is what Wittgenstein means there is no co-ordination between “thought” and “word”. As a result, is this true that man always talks nonsense? In reality, man uses word similarly to a game playing that is conventionally constituted, although in retrospection man realizes that there are some cases that his choice of word does not carry his message correctly. Or in some case man uses word without live experience, never been familiar with, or only heard of, for example “recursive” (adj.) an expression giving successive terms of a series in mathematics, or “Sappho” (The Greek poetess, in 600 B.C.E, author of Lesbos; hence lesbian, woman homosexuality). Or even a newly invented word like “instagram” for public sharing of videos and photos information. Man may use such terms arbitrary without knowing their specific meanings, their reality or their radical. In this case misuse of word is normal and unveils man’s ignorance that is not always detected or questioned in everyday dialogue. We may conclude, following point five of Wittgenstein, that daily communications are “enormously complicated.”

The contradiction between number 1 and number 4 is clearer. The latter holds language cannot see the form and essence of thought. This is true but how Wittgenstein holds that language can express every sense. Does the word “sense” have no relation to thought and thinking? Yet, word cannot capture the form and essence of thought faithfully; it points to thought as an inquisitiveness suggesting a research on which paradigm may reveal. This small paragraph is an example. Exception is in the case of sciences and mathematics word is unable to capture their forms and essences therefore man must have a solid background dealing with different levels of mathematic and scientific discipline plus intuition. In reality, there are limits or even off-limit to people outside such fields.

The word “sense” in poetry, arts and psychology is no less complicated. It is open to unlimited interpretations for cases that go beyond convention or daily conversations (number five) to successfully capture the form and essence of the issues in question. If a proposition is found “nonsensical” as is in 4.003, in philosophical text, which means it has a problem of logic of language. Does this also mean a grammatical problem, too?

How do we understand Wittgenstein’s claim that “The deepest problems are in fact not problems at all.” Does this mean the word “deepest” is similar to “unfathomable”? Let us turn this problem to the Word of God.

Since God is the infinite Creator, and everything else in the universe including human being is finite, God’s Word cannot be detected by human thought, either by speaking or by writing. How does man dare to proclaim the meaning of God’s Word? To do this some human being must be equal to God in order to present the dialogue between God and man. Any sort of holly text is the product of faith that cannot be contested because such a text is the particular not the universal. How do we understand Wittgenstein’s claim that “The deepest problems are in fact not problems at all”. It would mean we are unable grab them or does it mean they do not exist? As such, God’s Word does not exist or God’s language is off-limited. So the search of God’s Word frustrates our mind and wastes our time. It is true that God does not speak human language. We simply picture God in human language, portraying God n the image of a big Daddy and wrongly call God by masculine gender; Him!

Modern cosmology is silent about what created universe, so staying away from all different concepts of myth about the existence of God. Instead for some decades in the twenty first century the age of the universe has been increasingly calcuted, up to about 13.8 billions of years as the universe continues to expand about 60 kilometers per second, according to Popular Sciences Report on January 13, 2921. This is a big challenge to any claims of God’s language.

If God’s language is prevalent, then man would detect the logic of God’s language. At this point it is clear that man’s mind projects everything from his own “self-understanding”, not his life experience. Self-understanding may easily end up becoming hallucination. Therefore, Scripture is a sort of “placebo” to hold man up from seeing the nightmare of falling into abyss. A placebo cannot cure any kind of sickness because it is psychological make-believe or emotional pacifier.

Thought and language have their own different forms that are so complicated in ordinary language following convention or game rule. And it does not only occur in everyday language it occurs in philosopher’s writings as well. Wittgenstein sees this problem being the lack of logic. Probably it could save Popper’s time if he showed this problem to Wittgenstein as a specific point of problem in philosophy responding Wittgenstein’s question. In fact, problem in philosophy is already pointed out in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus, for example: 3324 …The most fundamental confusions are easily produced (the whole philosophy is full of them).

Instead of showing some specific problem of logic in philosophical works, Wittgenstein unexpectedly changes subject to the good and the beautiful, a metaphor of the tough choice causing confusion of expression. He provides no specific case in history where philosophical writings lack logic. I would like to paraphrase his points and add to such problems my own observation.

6. It seems for Wittgenstein some problem in philosophical writings disclose the conflict of thought and logic.

7. In such a case the problem of “nonsense” and “falsity” are not clearly demonstrated.

8. But he does not see in some case “nonsense” and “falsity” are connected because they are interrelated, like cause and effect, for example, the Chinese believes that the moon being a palace where the angles dance is for us “false” and “nonsensical”.

9. Here is the problem of Wittgenstein’s aphoristic expression on “nonsense” and “falsity”. While he tacitly cautions that philosophers must be clear that the “good” and the “beautiful” are two different issues that must be treated separately, He should also be clear that the latter concerns sensation, the former ethics.

10. However, when he says the deepest problems are in fact no problems at all. [4.003] he does neither support his claim above nor providing examples. Probably he means such problems must be avoided as in 7. Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muβ man schweigen; namely philosopher should avoid incomprehensibleness of issue.

11. How deepest a problem is and how is it considered “no problem”? Would he mean such a problem is so deep to man’s mind and consciousness?

12. It would mean that Wittgenstein only prefers working on simple subject matter. It is fine but it is not all about language.

13. As the matter of logic is concerned, the degree of relative, comparative, and superlative, only exists in specific measure. It is impossible to pinpoint the deepest or superlative degree at al. As such can we ignore the toughest and untouchable issue? Is humanity a toughest or deepest problem?

14. Although the ontology of language is not simple, daily language is not always simple as well.

15. Probably, for him there is nothing called “the deepest” because it is an inconceivable subject matter for man’s evaluation?

To evaporate such confusions, Wittgenstein suggests the use of linguistic logic, which means .using logical grammar or logical syntax. (3325) Following syntactical rule means getting the meaning of language symbol that is easy for man, according to Wittgenstein, to demonstrate the clarity of thought, also this is in the very sense of Occam’s logical tenet quoted by Wittgenstein (3.328).

Yet, to demonstrate a proposition by using logical syntax, it is always sharp and clear to discriminate linguistic form, in which similar signs are in fact not the same due to their different content. However, logical semantic would show its existence in a proposition if accidentally its claim makes sense to secure propositional integrity. It is quite easy to use sign replacing symbol provided sign and symbol are interchangeable. In fact, while symbol has meaning and history, sign does not. Therefore, they cannot be a substitution for each other, for example the American flag.

Once the meaning of a sign in logical syntax is clear, that sign becomes a symbol.

Consider this statement:

President Trump claims that the election is fraud. The Electoral College’s investigation agreeing with the court’s outcomes all clear this charge. So President Trump has met his Waterloo.

We do not have sign for Waterloo, but symbol, which means the critical defeat.

All parts of speech of this statement work and support each other as well as the metaphor (symbol). Once, the statement is semantically and syntactically good the thought stands firmly unquestionably.

(To be continued)

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