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Hard Choices: Why do we do what we do?

Imagine a psychological experiment. You set up a “shop” where the people taking part in the experiment have to purchase a washing power from a choice of 12 available. They have to pay for the washing power with their own money, but they get to keep it after the purchase. The psychologists running the experiment […]

Hard Choices: Why do we do what we do? is a post from: Wittgenstein and Freud

Wittgenstein and Freud

A Change of Focus

When I started this blog two years ago, I was planning to write about Wittgenstein; I am not sure what aspects of Wittgenstein I planned to write about, but in the years before starting the blog I had not spent much time thinking about philosophy, so the blog was part of a wish to reawaken […]

A Change of Focus is a post from: Wittgenstein and Freud

Wittgenstein and Freud

Does Wittgenstein offer a talking cure for philosophers?

Wittgenstein often emphasised the difference between his way of doing philosophy and traditional approaches – indeed, he sometimes suggests that what he does should be seen as a successor activity to philosophy. Partly, this is about giving up a certain kind of ambition – the later Wittgenstein is not aiming to discover deep truths about […]

Does Wittgenstein offer a talking cure for philosophers? is a post from: Wittgenstein and Freud

Wittgenstein and Freud

Interpreting Dreams or Explaining Dreams?

In a typically provocative move, Freud called the book that forged his reputation “The Interpretation of Dreams”. He presents the book as a contribution to science – it is an attempt to show that a set of apparently random and meaningless mental phenomena can in fact be explained scientifically and shown to have meaning. But […]

Interpreting Dreams or Explaining Dreams? is a post from: Wittgenstein and Freud

Wittgenstein and Freud

Dreams, Meanings and Causes

Last night I had a dream. It was hard to understand and yet seemed full of significance and I wanted to tell other people about it and try to work out what it meant. This sort of experience raises various questions – the most obvious are: “what caused my dream?” and “what did it mean?”. […]

Dreams, Meanings and Causes is a post from: Understanding Wittgenstein

Understanding Wittgenstein

The Lightning Speed of Thought

Imagine the following conversation: A: I was thinking the other day about Casement. B: Oh yes. A: I think the way he was treated was terrible. B (looking puzzled): what do you mean? (suddenly understands) oh you mean Roger Casement the Irish Nationalist and poet? I thought you meant Patrick Casement the psychoanalyst. So what […]

The Lightning Speed of Thought is a post from: Understanding Wittgenstein

Understanding Wittgenstein

Wittgenstein and Freud in Heaven

Wittgenstein and Freud meet in heaven and, after some time discussing what Vienna was like in the early part of the twentieth century, they get down to business. Wittgenstein goes first. With the slightly ironic, knowing smile that denizens of heaven tend to adopt when talking about earthly things, he starts to talk: “Well, Sigmund, […]

Wittgenstein and Freud in Heaven is a post from: Understanding Wittgenstein

Understanding Wittgenstein

Why on earth is it so difficult to describe the Contents of my Consciousness?

The contents of consciousness are supposed to be what I am most directly aware of – they are the only things I know with certainty and perhaps the only things I really do know. Describing them should be the easiest possible task for anybody – all you need to do is to say what you […]

Why on earth is it so difficult to describe the Contents of my Consciousness? is a post from: Understanding Wittgenstein

Understanding Wittgenstein

Apology for Interrupted Service

It is always sad to see a blog where the blogger has run out of steam and this may well be what this site looks like (or even is!?). The truth of the matter is that this site signalled my wish to get back to thinking and writing about things and that has not changed […]

Apology for Interrupted Service is a post from: Understanding Wittgenstein

Understanding Wittgenstein

What Wittgenstein disliked in Freud

Wittgenstein was interested in Freud and thought he had something to say, but he also warned about his approach, indeed, he suggested that it was a way of thinking that needed to be combatted. So what was it that he didn’t like? One thing Wittgenstein disliked is the presentation of psycho-analysis as a science. Wittgenstein […]

What Wittgenstein disliked in Freud is a post from: Understanding Wittgenstein

Understanding Wittgenstein