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Secret lives of the philosophers

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• Is the world eternal? YES
• Do humans have contra-causal free will (i.e., can humans do otherwise)? NO
• Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? YES
• Do humans have souls? YES
• Are there natural rights? YES
• Is it morally permissible to eat meat? NO
• Is the unexamined life worth living? NO
• Is truth subjectivity? YES
• Is virtue necessary for happiness? YES
• Can a computer have a mind? YES
• Can humans know reality as it is in itself? YES
• Is hell other people? YES
• Can art be created accidentally? NO
• Can we change the past? NO
• Are numbers real? NO
• Is it always better to know the truth? YES

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Here’s an interesting article on Wittgenstein’s screwy family.



  1. Rob says:

    For an excursion into the depths of Wittgenstein’s self-loathing (particularly disturbing to me because so much of it is mediated by Christianity) this book is a good resource:


  2. Rob says:

    Interesting podcast interview with author of House of Wittgenstein:

    “I go along with Nietzsche on this. I think the death bed is an area for general showing off, and I would suggest that [Wittgenstein’s assertion that he’d had ‘a wonderful life’] was a bit of pantomime.”


  3. Huenemann says:

    I have always thought Witt’s last words sounded a bit staged and calculated.


  4. Rob says:

    I had always taken it as an inspiring remark, by someone with the authority of a genuinely unhappy life, about the consolations of philosophy — that it offers a kind of fulfillment that can compensate for, or even redeem (in this life), the unhappiness. But after reading the intense torment and self-loathing in the notebooks linked in the first comment above, and especially after seeing how mired in Christianity his attempts at self-improvement were, I’ve lost my faith in his assertion.


  5. Huenemann says:

    I’ve thought it was a remark calculated to put his friends’ minds at ease. But this only shows how out of touch he was with them, I think. No one (I’m guessing) could have thought he meant it when he said he had a wonderful life.


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