Understanding The Nature Of The Essence Of A Given Experience

1146 words - 5 pages

“It is as if at first all these more or less inessential processes were shrouded in a particular atmosphere, which dissipates when I look closely at them” (§173). This last sentence of section 173 of Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations expresses the concern around which the rest of this section largely revolves. In this section of the Investigations (and those around it, at times) Wittgenstein concerns himself with problems one faces in defining the ‘essence’ of a given sort of experience (in other contexts speaking also of the associated ‘process’ and ‘concept’) such as reading and ‘being guided’/‘guidedness’. He points directly and somewhat indirectly to certain obstacles which arise when we try to investigate these experiences, particularly inasmuch as we try to figure out what is essential to, or constitutive of, such experiences.
In aiming to define the ‘atmosphere’ shrouding experiences of reading, he first intuits in 169-170—particularly when he reads slowly and self-consciously—that a feeling of ‘guidedness’ is essential to reading. In 171, he dismisses this as misleading insofar as one doesn’t necessarily feel such ‘guidedness’ when one reads ‘as usual’, but only when hyper-conscientiously, as does the philosopher-investigator. Yet in 172 he regardless investigates ‘guidedness’ in a broader context, perhaps to see if it might still be relevant—or: humoring his hard-headed interlocutor, we may presume. Here he is perplexed when faced with the task of finding a common strand among the examples (an ‘essence’ which might bind them), but his interlocutor, still stuck on a sort of ‘guidedness’ being essential to the reading experience, demands that “being guided is surely a particular experience!” (§173). Wittgenstein subsequently rebuffs the interlocutor: “you are now thinking of a particular experience of being guided”, he says (§173). This first moment in the section seems intended to remind us with an oblique remark that we may conflate multiple concepts when we assume them to be just one—especially a problem when they have the guise of just one name among them (as here, with the case of ‘guidedness’). This, then, poses a first problem for discovering the essences of experiences such as ‘reading’ and ‘being guided’.
Another problem addressed here is the lack of a single reliable way to investigate the essences of these experiences: heightened self-consciousness (or ‘carefulness’ or hyper-conscientiousness) when engaging in the activity to be understood does not always work, inasmuch as some experiences are incompatible or impracticable with such ‘carefulness’, and thus demand different modes of investigation. If we wish to investigate what happens to someone when s/he loses control of something (say, a tea-tray) that s/he is balancing, will conscientious engagement in such an act be sufficient to understand its essence—or even get us a little bit closer to doing so—if we assume it to have such an essence? “Imagine a servant...

Find Another Essay On Understanding the Nature of the Essence of a Given Experience

The Essence of Humanity Essay

686 words - 3 pages gives us a glimpse into that society and it's people emphasizes the idea that society is the essence of humanity. For example, there is a character in the story that has lived in the wilderness for his entire existence, Enkidu. He is described as being " innocent of mankind; he knew nothing of the cultivated land," in other words society. ( Epic 63) Enkidu lives just like an animal until a Shepard boy brings him a harlot that seduces him. After that

The Essence of Teamwork Essay

1420 words - 6 pages The Essence of Teamwork “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their hard work. For if one of them should fall, the other one can raise his partner up. But how will it be with just the one who falls when there is not another to raise him up?” – Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10 As the scriptural text quoted above implies, teamwork can accomplish what the individual cannot do on his or her own. Teamwork is defined as “a small

The Essence Of Empowerment

1363 words - 5 pages The Essence of Empowerment      Empowerment is certainly not a new idea within the business arena. In fact, its concept has been around since the 1960's when American car manufactures suddenly realized that they were losing their butts to the Japanese producers. An extensive and extremely well-funded investigation for answers to the recurrent question, how do I get more out of my employees while simultaneously

The Essence of a Love Poem

868 words - 3 pages The Essence of a Love Poem What is a love poem? Many believe that a love poem is supposed to be sweet and romantic. That is the basic tone of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem “How Do I Love Thee?” However, William Shakespeare’s “My mistress‘ eyes are nothing like the sun” takes a much different approach to the typical love poem. Both poems are noticeably love poems, but they respond to the ideal in different ways. Browning describes

Do Capra's movies accurately reflect the nature and essence of politics? A detailed paper on the answer to this

563 words - 2 pages is last. I believe that the government is the same then as it is now. Not always doing things just right, but it still is the best governmental system going today.I try to think of it as a compromise between the righteous and self serving groups and we the people will survive id these groups find a middle ground to work things out. Omit what doesn't work and build on those that has worked out will.We as the whole must believe in a cause and fight

The Essence of Time Management

1581 words - 6 pages size of executives, their unique area of specialization, and the nature of our work we couldn’t apply that in knowledge work. However, the lesson I learned was that the ‘team management’ system is a very useful tool in ‘time management’ because a team management facilitates prompt decisions by the responsible person and group for the level and tasks where problems arise, information sharing between group members, and the focus of group members

Santiago - The Essence of Honor

1019 words - 5 pages The Old Man and the Sea is a simple story that teaches many complex lessons. Santiago, an aging fisherman, has failed to catch a fish in almost three months. People start to lose respect for him and Santiago decides to go on an adventure to restore what has been lost. A magnificent marlin twice the size of any fish Santiago has ever caught takes the bait and battles for his life to avoid death. After many days of fighting the fish, nature, and

The Essence of Building a Strong Brand Identity

660 words - 3 pages A young Steve Jobs once quipped, that ‘chance to make a memory, is the essence of brand marketing.’ A great brand stands out. It dares to be bold and different, thereby creating innovative products or offering first-rate services that people remember, respect and value. It also has an established reputable brand identity, which sets it apart from other competitions. Indeed, for a business to prosper and succeed, it needs to build a brand

News Media - The Essence of A News Organisation

1054 words - 4 pages Time of great change brought on by technology - redefining journalists role and news organisations products"h 'We are living in the "late age of print," as new media scholar Jay David Bolter describes it, a time when words printed on paper are being replaced by words flashed on computer screens. In this early stage of new media, we are still in the process of discovering the shape journalism will take in a new age.' From Christopher Scanlan's

The Essence of the Human Spirit

999 words - 4 pages understanding of the notion that it is the nature of man to grow or die. That sense of growth is the essence of exploration. At Oxford, in addition to furthering my technical studies, I will have unique opportunities to better understand the human spirit and hwy exploration is so essential to it.           Apollo astronaut Frank Borman once said, "Exploration is the essence of the human spirit." When humanity

The Essence of Transcendentalism: Henry David Thoreau

627 words - 3 pages Transcendentalism may look like a complex concept, but its true meaning is quite a simple idea; the essence of Transcendentalism is non-conformity and individuality. Living simply and being one with nature, as well as being an individual and not conforming to society, are the main principles of the movement. Henry David Thoreau, author of Walden, was an avid follower of this movement. He abode to the "rules" of Transcendentalism, such as leading

Similar Essays

Plato's Understanding Of What The Essence Of Knowledge

1563 words - 6 pages knowledge, from perception, through belief and reasoned knowledge, to the understanding of ideals. Sense and perception gives the awareness of immediate experience. To produce knowledge, it has to be related in a context, and to be related in a context, it has to be distinguished and characterized first.How can someone distinguish between a false statement and a true one or a false belief and a true belief? There is no trace of truth or falsity. It

Jean Jacques Rousseau And The Essence Of Human Nature

1757 words - 7 pages essence of human nature, and adding facts based on man’s condition in society does not show man’s natural condition. The facts don’t matter for Rousseau because to understand the essence of human nature requires looking to how man is in a completely natural state. Since man is no longer in this state, to determine this state means ignoring how man is now and focusing on man’s traits in a state completely different than the one man is in now. This

Night: Essence Of Nature Essay

683 words - 3 pages air, and are equally mortal. Composed by Louise Bogan, the role of humanity is put into perspective in the poem, “Night.” The speaker emphasizes nature’s immense presence in the universe. As the plot of “Night” develops, the interconnected relationships found in nature are revealed, using imagery to show the power of the environment, a creation superior to mankind. The first stanza begins with the persona describing a scene found in nature. In

The Essence Of Tattoos Essay

942 words - 4 pages The Essence of Tattoos Tattoos have likely been at the top of the list as the most discussed topic amongst the different social classes. There is a divide between societies understanding of tattoos, those who oppose them identify tattoos as being a form of “taboo” and is associated with a type of body modification that is seen as distasteful in nature. Others believe tattoos are a form of one’s own self-expression. Although tattoos are