Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wittgenstein and the Law: 7th Circuit wins

House designed by Wittgenstein
After 20 years of reading Wittgenstein, I still don't get him.  I ask, "Why do I keep coming back to this guy?"  Perhaps because he was an aspiring architect; perhaps because he described footnotes as "some stupid details" (the bachelor's thesis he turned in had no footnotes); perhaps because he rejected Bertrand Russell's offer to write the introduction to the Tractatus; perhaps because he hid out in Norway when people irritated him.

Since we were talking about the 7th Circuit, it should be noted that the 7th Circuit holds the record for most references to "Ludwig Wittgenstein."  Judge Easterbrook has made much use of the philosophical work of Wittgenstein.  (see Continental Can Co. v. Chicago Truck Drivers, 916 F.2d 1154 (7th Cir. 1990))  This photo of Chief Judge Easterbrook in front of a print by Joan Miro seems appropriate.  Miro said, "The works must be conceived with fire in the soul but executed with clinical coolness."  Wittgenstein, likewise, was passionate, yet clinical in his analysis.  The purpose of philosophy is to "show the fly the way out of the bottle."

C.Judge Easterbrook & Joan Miro

No comments:

Post a Comment