Friday, 15 August 2014

A Welcome Reminder of the Sixties

Assembling Reminders for a Particular Purpose 

The ninth print in the Suite is captioned, (in German at the top, in English at the bottom), with two paragraphs from the later (posthumously published) major Wittgenstein work, Philosophical Investigations: 

126  Philosophy simply puts everything before us, and neither explains nor deduces anything.—Since everything lies open to view there is nothing to explain.  For what is hidden, for example, is of no interest to us.  One might also give the name "philosophy" to what is possible before all new discoveries and inventions. 

127  The work of the philosopher consists in assembling reminders for a particular purpose.
In the Philosophical Investigations, Wittgenstein advanced the idea that ‘problems’ are to be solved in a variety of ways, not by a single formal, structured method.  Rather than providing a thought ‘tool’ by which questions can be answered, philosophy’s purpose is to make clear that such a ‘tool’ does not exist and to suggest other ad-hoc approaches – i.e. ‘reminders’ or cues to past or other-context experiences.  I think this principle is symbolised in the print by the use of shapes and patterns, (very aesthetically pleasing in their own right), which give the impression of, but do not actually portray, conventional symmetry – a feature of some of my own painting:


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