„Was ist Zeit?“ Wittgensteins Kritik an Augustinus kritisch betrachtet

Andrea Reichenberger


Wittgenstein’s remarks on the Philosophy of Time are aimed at Saint Augustine. In
Book 11 of his Confessiones Augustine asks: “What is time?” He says when no one asks
him, he knows; yet when someone asks him, he no longer knows. Wittgenstein rejects
Augustine’s question and his answer, as well. In the following article I will
concentrate on two aspects of Wittgenstein’s criticism. First, Wittgenstein’s
criticism of Augustine’s Theory of Meaning. Second, Wittgenstein’s criticism of
Augustine’s confusion of two different concepts of time, the (sequential) time of
physics and the phenomenological time of experience. In order to show that both
concepts must be distinguished, but can’t be separated, Wittgenstein compares the
facts of physics with the pictures on a film tape and the immediate experience with
the picture on the screen that is currently projected. It will be shown that this way
of looking at the problem of the relationship of physical and phenomenological time
entails its own problems. With Wittgenstein in mind, one might say: “We have just
used a simile and now the simile tyrannizes us.”


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; language game; picture theory; philosophy of time; simile; laterna magica

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