Friday, September 01, 2023

Wittgenstein: 13:00 Gospel in Brief


  1. Ludwig Wittgenstein had a unique perspective on politics that was deeply influenced by his encounter with Leo Tolstoy's work, "The Gospel in Brief." Wittgenstein was captivated by Tolstoy's minimalist interpretation of the Gospels, which emphasized simplicity and the rejection of worldly attachments. This encounter left a profound mark on Wittgenstein's thoughts on politics.

    Wittgenstein believed that politics, like theology, often became overly complicated and detached from its core principles. Tolstoy's emphasis on the essential teachings of Jesus, stripped of institutional dogma, resonated with Wittgenstein's belief that political ideologies should be simplified to their fundamental moral values. He argued that politics should prioritize ethical principles over intricate systems, advocating for a return to simplicity and authenticity.

    Wittgenstein's own life reflected his commitment to simplicity. In his final years, he withdrew from the academic world and sought solitude in rural Austria. He lived a frugal and contemplative existence, aligning with Tolstoy's vision of a life unburdened by material possessions. Wittgenstein's death in 1951 marked the end of a philosophical journey that emphasized the importance of stripping away complexity and returning to the essence of human existence.

    At Wittgenstein's burial, the priest's final words resonated with his philosophical ideals. The priest spoke of a man who had devoted his life to seeking truth and simplicity, reminding those in attendance of Wittgenstein's quest to strip away the layers of human thought and language to reach a deeper understanding of the world. In his death, Wittgenstein found a kind of unity with Tolstoy's vision of a simpler, more authentic existence.

    In conclusion, Ludwig Wittgenstein's thoughts on politics, profoundly influenced by his encounter with Leo Tolstoy's "The Gospel in Brief," believed in simplifying political ideologies to their core moral values, echoing Tolstoy's emphasis on simplicity and authenticity. Wittgenstein's own life exemplified this commitment to simplicity, and his death and burial reflected the priest's recognition of his lifelong pursuit of truth and authenticity. 

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    1. Does this represent Wittgenstein's political insights in your opinion? Why or why not?

  2. Yes? No? Why or why not?


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