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Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Feelers: Wittgenstein


File:Spiny Forest Ifaty Madagascar.jpg

2.141. The picture is a fact.

2.15. That the elements of the picture are combined with one another in a definite way, represents that the things are so combined with one another.

This connexion of the elements of the picture is called its structure, and the possibility of this structure is called the form of representation of the picture.

2.151. The form of representation is the possibility that the things are combined with one another as are the elements of the picture.

2.1511. Thus the picture is linked with reality; it reaches up to it.
2.1512. It is like a scale applied to reality.

2.1513. According to this view the representing relation which makes it a picture, also belongs to the picture.

2.1514. The representing relation consists of the co-ordinations of the elements of the picture and the things.

2.1515. These co-ordinations are as it were the feelers of its elements with which the picture touches reality.

File:Badwater DeathValley California.jpg

From Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus: Ludwig Wittgenstein, 1921 (trans. C. K. Ogden)
Spiny forest at Ifaty, Madagascar, featuring various adansonia (baobab) species, alluadia procera (Madagascar ocotillo) and other vegetations: photo by Jialiang Gao, 2007
Salt lake at Badwater, Death Valley National Park, California (lowest point in North America): photo by Jialiang Gao, 2004



Dear Tom,
What a pleasure to find this (!) thank you thank you how timely. . . . "the picture IS a fact"

TC said...

"the picture IS a fact"

Well, both Wittgenstein and I are perhaps taking something for granted in that regard. Still there are certain enduring propositions the subscription to which continues to generate at least a smidgeon of pleasure.

In any case, thank you very much, Steve. BTW I thought of you, with that lower image. Standing bemused and becalmed before the brackish salt lake, board under one arm, Heidegger under the other!

(The baobab treetop fingers in the upper image made me think of Triffids... thus, "Feelers". Bit of the old ekphrasis, when in doubt.)

Unbelievably the sun appears to have come out, for a moment.

gamefaced said...

this picture was a fact.


Thanks Tom, for that 'glimpse' -- just got back from great surf session up at Drake's, howling offshore winds, cloudless blue sky, sunlit silver-blue-green water, waves. . . . And I open up your page to find THIS --- Thus the picture is linked with reality; it reaches up to it. Yes indeed. And speaking of 'our author' (Heidegger), this --- "But the unconcealing of the concealed into unconcealment is the very presencing of what is present" (from Early Greek Thinking, an essay called "Logos (Heraclitus, Fragment B 50)."

TC said...


Many thanks, I have now lived that brilliant day at Drake's (the picture is a fact) through you, here, in this endarkened night.

What is left of failing memory recollects that essay. I believe it may have contributed to the complex of sensings that occurred on one of the stranger nights of this long winter of strange nights... the record of which occasion we assembled together, in our parallel universing, here.



Thanks for this link ("here") to "The Helmsman," which I remember well of course -- had no idea Heidegger played some part in it, quite amazing how the circles keep turning/intersecting. Reading our 'talking back and forth' on the comments there brings back a night in January (01.22.10, a palindrome!) as if it were still yesterday -- but completely clear here now w/ sun coming up through the leaves. . . .

J said...

The picture may be a "fact", but is the fact...part of the world? Really, tho not all facts...are pictures--

spring brings Los Zopilotes up eastside on occasion. Black vultures---like "carrion carrier" in aztec

Interesting post, tho' I am of the opinion that the TLP and St. Ludvig are overrated. Vultures on the other hand, perennial

TC said...

Thanks J,

And I very much appreciated your post today on the Zopilotes.

Rated highly.

I take the Tractatus to be a poem. Unrated.

Word games shall pass and the vultures will pick the bones.

(Doesn't mean it's not fun to play a bit, though, meanwhile.)