Would you agree or disagree with someone who said that Wednesday is fat, Tuesday lean? Does the ordinary use of words provide all we need to know about their descriptive power? In "Fat Wednesday: Wittgenstein on Aspects," John Verdi thinks about how the inexplicable connections of "words" can help us understand the ever-changing connections of "things" that we actually see in everyday experience.
According to Wittgenstein, the key to understanding what we see lies in what we say and in how we learn language. The questions we should be asking about aspect perception are these: "How did we learn to talk about visual ambiguity in the first place?" and "How do we use 'seeing' words in all their complexity?"
John Verdi considers how our experience of seeing aspects, wherever they appear, helps us imagine possible meanings for philosophy's opening question, "What is there?" He illuminates the philosopher's ideas on language and perception while challenging readers to think through for themselves the different ways in which we see.
John Verdi has taught at St. John's College in Annapolis and Santa Fe since 1975. Over the years his areas of special interest have included the writings of Wittgenstein and Nietzsche, the foundations of mathematics, and the common ground between psychology and philosophy.