Ackermann on W’s Sanitation Philosophers

Robert John Ackermann
Wittgenstein’s City

Last chapter – “Philosophy” – opens by casting this image forth:

The basic thrust of Wittgenstein’s view of philosophy as a descriptive critique of language remains in place as his survey reveals more and more of the City. Wittgenstein’s philosophers function as sanitation corps within the City. They speak the local language while they sweep up and dispose of the trash, leaving the City clean and orderly. Philosophy is not the teaching of a set of philosophical doctrines but the activity of putting the City in order. At one point, Wittgenstein compares philosophy to arranging the books of a library, in which putting a few books on the same topic together is a modest sign of progress. In the same way, when order is established in any part of the City, the condition of the whole City is improved.

A call to the dignity of work? A reminder of recurrence?

And so for day 2803

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