خوبی، خوش‌کامی و پذیرش جهان از دیدگاه ویتگنشتاین متقدم

نوع مقاله : مقاله علمی- پژوهشی

نویسنده

Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Institute for Cognitive Science Studies (ICSS)

چکیده

اخلاق به عنوان یکی از موضوع‌های مهم و اساسی در رسالة منطقی- فلسفی دست کم از سال ۱۹۱۶ ویتگنشتاین را به خود مشغول داشته بوده است. وی «خوبی» را به خوش‌کامی و «خوش­کامی» را به پذیرش جهان تعریف کرده است. با این همه کامیابی چنین برنامه‌ای وابسته به داشتن درک روشنی از مفهوم «پذیرش جهان» است. نویسنده در این مقاله به بررسی دو تعبیر از این مفهوم خواهد پرداخت. مطابق با تعبیر اول، «فرضیة جهان واقع»، مقصود ویتگنشتاین از «پذیرش جهان» پذیرش و هماهنگی با جهانِ واقع بوده است. بر پایة نظریة جایگزین، یعنی «فرضیة جوهرِ جهان»، منظور پذیرش و هماهنگی با جوهرِ جهان بوده است. موریس و گریور نمونه‌ای از مفسرانی­اند که از فرضیة نخست استقبال کرده‌اند. در این مقاله نویسنده می­کوشد نشان دهد گریور و موریس دلایل مناسبی برای دفاع از فرضیة جهان واقع و مخالفت با فرضیة جوهرِ جهان ارائه نداده­اند. در انتها با استفاده از آرای مگینیس راهی برای فهم توضیح «پذیرش جوهرِ جهان» نشان خواهد داد که گرفتار ایراد گریور بر فرضیة جوهرِ جهان نشود. سرانجام استدلال خواهد کرد که به رغم سرنخی که در آرای مگینیس وجود دارد خود وی در فهم ارتباط پذیرش جهان واقع و پذیرش جوهر جهان به خطا رفته است.

تازه های تحقیق

Early Wittgenstein’s View on Goodness, Happiness, and Acceptance of the World

 

Reza Mosmer

Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Institute for Cognitive Science Studies (ICSS) Email: rezamosmer@yahoo.com

Abstract

Ethics is one of the main concerns of Wittgenstein in his writings from 1916 to the time of publication of the Tractatus Logico-philosophicus. He explicates the notion of “good” in terms of “happiness” and defines the latter as “accepting the world as it is.” Obviously, this reductionistic philosophical program could not get off the ground unless there is a pretty clear conception of the notion of “acceptance of/being in agreement with the world.” In this paper, I shall explore two alternative accounts of this concept. According to the first account, which I dub “the actual world hypothesis,” Wittgenstein had meant accepting the actual world by the term “being good.” The alternative account, “the substance of the world hypothesis,” suggests accepting the substance of the world as the best reading of the Tractatus

   Morris and Graver have endorsed the actual world hypothesis, as opposed to the substance of the world hypothesis. In this paper, I try to show that they fail to provide good arguments for the former and against the latter. Additionally, I borrow ideas from McGuinness to illustrate “accepting the substance of the world” in a way that it avoids Graver’s objections. I argue that acceptance of the world ought to be interpreted as “acceptance of/being in agreement with the fact that the world exists.” Finally, I shall point out that despite his insight about the acceptance of the world, McGuinness misrepresents the relation between accepting the actual world and accepting its substance.

Keywords: Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Ethics, Happiness, Acceptance of the World. 

Introduction

Wittgenstein’s discussion of ethics in the Tractatus does not go further than a few remarks at the end of the book. The main question that Wittgenstein seems to be trying to answer concerns the nature of the good character. He argues that a good person is one who is happy and a happy individual is one who accepts the world and is in agreement with it. The notion of “acceptance of/being in agreement with the world”, however, has been subject to controversies. In this paper, I will explore different interpretations of this notion. I shall first explain the content and the context of Wittgenstein’s remark §6.43. Then I propose that Wittgenstein’s identification of “goodness” with “happiness” and “happiness” with “acceptance of/being in agreement with the world” Ought to be read as conceptual, rather than empirical, identities. In section 3, I discuss Morris (2008) and Graver’s (1994) interpretations of Wittgenstein’s notion of “acceptance of/being in agreement with the world.” They defend what I call the “actual world hypothesis” (AWH) and argue against the “substance of the world hypothesis” (SWH). I will reason that their arguments for the former are not convincing. In the final section, I shall use Mcguinness’s (2002) insight about acceptance of the world to interpret (SWH) in a way that it resists Graver’s objection. I end the paper with the note that in spite of his helpful insight McGuinness has gone astray in understanding Wittgenstein’s meaning of “being in agreement with the world.”

Remark 6.43: meaning and context

In §6.43 Wittgenstein addresses the issue of ethics and makes a few points: that the subject of ethics is human will; the will as the subject matter of ethics cannot be identified with the will that is investigated in psychology; human will cannot change facts of the world, but it is capable of changing the limits of the world. And there is a relation of identity between goodness and happiness.

Goodness as being in agreement with the world

There are two ways to read the identity of goodness with happiness: empirical reading and conceptual reading. According to the first reading goodness and happiness are identical in the same way that water is identical to H2O: it is a matter of contingency and they might have not been identical. In some possible worlds, good people are not happy at all. The second reading entails that this relation is conceptual in the sense that nobody in any possible world can be a good person but not a happy one. Wittgenstein entertains the conceptual identification of happiness and goodness. His understanding of “happiness,” however, is rather stoic. Accordingly, a happy individual is one who is, by definition, in agreement (Ubereinstimmung) with the world. With this, Wittgenstein draws the conclusion that goodness consists in being in agreement with the world. 

 

 

Morris and Graver’s interpretations of being in agreement with the world

Morris (2008) and Graver (1994) have tried in different ways to make sense of Wittgenstein’s notion of “being in agreement with the world.” Despite their differences, they share an assumption which I call the “actual world hypothesis” (AWH). It entails that by “being in agreement with the world” Wittgenstein means being in agreement with the actual world. Morris presents two interpretations of §6.43. According to the first interpretation, happy and unhappy individuals see the same possibilities in the actual world, except that the happy person would accept them as the only possibilities, whereas the unhappy individual would look for more possibilities. For the happy person, the actual world is the only possible world that could have occurred. The second interpretation entails that the happy individual is aware of more possibilities in the actual world, than unhappy people. Morris dismisses the latter interpretation based on that it does not fit biographical evidence from Wittgenstein’s life. I argue that there are philosophically more interesting reasons against this latter interpretation. Furthermore, I try to show that Morris’s first interpretations are not plausible either.

   Graver considers and eventually repudiates an alternative interpretation: the possibility that Wittgenstein means being in agreement with the substance of the world by “being in agreement with the world.” I call this the “substance of the world hypothesis” (SWH). Graver believes that (SWH) is an incorrect reading of §6.43. His reason is this: acceptance of (SWH) entails that happy person is one who would accept all possible worlds, and a moral person would not have any problem with this morally wicked actual world because it has been as possible as other possible worlds. The problem is that this understanding makes it difficult to make sense of the concept of “being in agreement with the world.” I argue that Graver’s arguments against (SWH) are not sufficient and effective. 

Acceptance of the existence of the world

McGuinness (2002) believes that there is a relation between the existence of the world and the fact that the world has a substance. That the world has a substance is nothing over and above the fact that there are things or objects, instead of that there are not. These objects bring about a variety of different possible worlds. McGuinness argues that acceptance of the world or being in agreement with it, ought to be understood as acceptance of this fact: that there are objects, i.e., there is a world. A moral agent, thus, is one who has accepted the existence of the world and is in agreement with it. I call this the “revised SWH”: by “being in agreement with the world” Wittgenstein means having accepted/being in agreement with the fact that there is a world instead of nothing.  

McGuinness, however, goes further and claims that a person who has accepted the existence of the world, will be in agreement with facts of the actual world too. This, I will argue, is not faithful to Wittgenstein’s account of morality in the Tractatus. Wittgenstein makes it clear that seeing the world from an ethical perspective is seeing it as a whole (§6.421 and §6.45). The ethical subject views the world from the perspective of eternity. He does not stand in the midst of things (NB, p. 83). This subject does not have anything to do with contingencies of the actual world and the question of acceptance or rejection of a particular fact about the actual world is not relevant to it. 

References

-        Graver, Newton (1994) This Complicated Form of Life: Essays on Wittgenstein. Chicago, IL and La Salle, IL: Open Court.

-        McGuinness, Brian (2002) Approaches to Wittgenstein; Collected Papers. London and New York: Rutledge.

-        Morris, Michael (2008) Wittgenstein and the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. London and New York: Rutledge. 

-        Seneca (2010) Hardship and Happiness, E. Fantham, H. M. Hine, J. Ker, and G. D. Williams (trans.).Chicago and London: University of Chicago.

-        Wittgenstein, Ludwig (1979) Notebooks: 1914–1916. Edited by G. H. von Wright and G.E.M. Anscombe and Translated by G.E.M. Anscombe. 2nd edition. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Wittgenstein, Ludwig (2001) Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Edited and Translated by D. F. Pears and B. F. McGuinness. London: Rutledge

کلیدواژه‌ها


عنوان مقاله [English]

Early Wittgenstein’s View on Goodness, Happiness, and Acceptance of the World

نویسنده [English]

  • Reza Mosmer
استادیار گروه فلسفه ذهن، مؤسسه آموزش عالی علوم شناختی (پژوهشکده علوم شناختی)
چکیده [English]

Ethics was the major issue in Wittgenstein’s writings from 1916 to the time of publication of the Tractatus Logico-philosophicus. He explicates the notion of “good” in terms of “happiness” and the latter as “accepting the world as it is.” Nonetheless, this reductionistic philosophical program could not get off the ground unless there is a pretty clear conception of the notion of “accepting the world.” In this paper, I shall explore two alternative accounts of this concept. According to the first account, which I dub “the actual world hypothesis,” Wittgenstein had meant accepting the actual world by the term “being good.” The alternative account, “the substance of the world hypothesis,” suggests accepting the substance of the world as the best reading of the Tractatus.
Morris and Graver have endorsed the actual world hypothesis, as opposed to the substance of the world hypothesis. In this paper I try to show that they fail to provide good arguments for the former and against the latter. Additionally, I use ideas from McGuinness to illustrate “accepting the substance of the world” in a way that it avoids Graver’s objections. I argue that acceptance of the world ought to be interpreted as “accepting the fact that the world exists.” Finally, I shall point out that despite of his insight about the acceptance of the world, McGuinness misrepresents the relation between accepting the actual world and accepting its substance.

کلیدواژه‌ها [English]

  • Wittgenstein
  • Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus
  • ethics
  • Happiness
  • Acceptance of the World
-        Graver, Newton (1994) This Complicated Form of Life: Essays on Wittgenstein. Chicago, IL and La Salle, IL: Open Court.
-        Hosseini, Malik (2010) Wittgenstein and Wisdom. Tehran: Hermes Press [In Persian].
-        Mauns, Howard (2000) An Introduction to Wittgenstein's Treatise. trans.. Sohrab Alavinia. Tehran: New Design [In Persian].
-         McGuinness, Brian (2002) Approaches to Wittgenstein; Collected Papers. London and New York: Rutledge.
-        Morris, Michael (2008) Wittgenstein and the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. London and New York: Rutledge.
-        Mulhaull, Stephen (2007) “Words, Waxing and Waning: Ethics in/and/of the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus”. In: G. Kahane, E. Kanterian, and O. Kuusela (Eds.) Wittgenstein and His Interpreters: Essays in Memory of Gordon Baker. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. pp. 221-247.
-        Pihlstrom, Sami (2019) “Wittgenstein on Happiness: Harmony, Disharmony and Antitheodicy,” Philosophical Investigations, 42:1, pp. 15-39.
-        Seneca (2010) Hardship and Happiness, E. Fantham, H. M. Hine, J. Ker, and G. D. Williams (trans.) Chicago and London: University of Chicago.
-        Wittgenstein, Ludwig (1369) A logical-philosophical treatise. Trans. Mahmoud Ebadian. Tehran: University of Tehran Jihad Publications [In Persian].
-        Wittgenstein, Ludwig (1971) Prototractatus: an early version of Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, B. F. McGuinness, T. Nyberg and G. H. von Wright (Eds.), trans. D. F. Pears and B. F. McGuinness, London: Rutledge.
-        Wittgenstein, Ludwig (1979) A logical-philosophical treatise. Trans. Soroush Tannery. Tehran: Hermes Press [In Persian].
-        Wittgenstein, Ludwig (1979) Notebooks: 19141916. Edited by G. H. von Wright and G.E.M. Anscombe and trans. G.E.M. Anscombe. 2nd edition. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
-        Wittgenstein, Ludwig (2000) A logical-philosophical treatise. Second Edition. trans. Mirshamsuddin Adib Soltani. Tehran: Amir Kabir Publications [In Persian].
-        Wittgenstein, Ludwig (2001) Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Trans. & edit. D.F. Pears and B.F. McGuinness. London: Rutledge.
CAPTCHA Image