Seminar with Radek Schuster

Radek Schuster (Západoceské univerzity v Plzni) visits the Wittgenstein Archives in the period 11.-19.11.2010. In this context, a seminar is organized:

Picture Theory, Self-Reflexivity and Horror Infinity

Thursday, 18 November 2010, 15.00-16.30, Wittgenstein Archives, Uni Digital, Allégt. 27, meeting room, 1st floor.

The main thesis of the talk is that self-reflexivity is the fundamental principle of language, which enables the expression of very general issues concerning the essence of the universe. In particular it enables conceiving an infinity, i.e. naming an infinity, paradoxically, by finitely many expressions. In other words, the self-referential feature of language makes possible to philosophically reflect the fluid reality. Any attempt to dispose of self-reflexivity or self-reference thus renders language lifeless. From this perspective any description of the essence of language which tends to be sufficiently general must also encompass itself. Wittgenstein’s Picture Theory motivated by the saying-showing distinction will be treated as an example of such general description. But in a negative sense: Wittgenstein’s attempt to determine and express the boundary between meaningful expressions and senselessness is so general, i.e. self-referential, that it becomes itself senseless.