Wittgenstein and delusion: Letter of mine published in latest issue of LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS
Simon Blackburn remarks that some commentators on Wittgenstein's Tractatus 'have taken [its] framing remarks very seriously'. That sounds like a good thing. Isn't it wise to try to take seriously what an author says about the purpose and nature of their writings? Blackburn suggests that doing so amounts to treating 'the bulk of the Tractatus [as] some kind of Aunt Sally, written merely as something to be jeered at'. That is a grotesque distortion of the efforts of those of us who have been reading the Tractatus for years, frame, body, warts and all. When one takes the frame seriously, one can see the point in the progressive elucidations in the body of the work: namely, to inhabit the physiognomy of philosophical delusion, which inhabits us so deeply that it would be irresponsible to pretend that one can get outside it and jeer at it.
University of East Anglia