Tuesday, January 11, 2011
A Wittgenstein anecdote
A few days ago colleague and POSP stringer Tim sent me the following...
Ludwig Wittgenstein sat on a battlefield as bullets and shrapnel whizzed by writing furiously in a notebook working on mathematical equation after mathematical equation and came to realize that there is no language capable of producing a truth. language sets limitations on our human rationalization. all great thinkers sought an axiom equivalent of 2 plus 2 equals 4.
I don't recall the anecdote but I believe that Wittgenstein is correct. The "2+2=4" mathematical representation is an explanation from a fixed frame of reference...our universe as we see it. It may well be meaningless [a non-truth] at the edge of the universe. It is presumptuous and somewhat arrogant to postulate that what we observe and construe as the truth to be universal.