A philosophy webcomic about the inevitable anguish of living a brief life in an absurd world. Also Jokes

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Wittgenstiein vs Socrates

Some beautiful day in the distant future, the project of philosophy will be complete. It will only occur when a great person arises, and through careful study of all past philosophers figures out how to become the most annoying person to ever live. Only then can humanity finally rest.

Wittgenstein believed that negative facts ultimately could not be known, even obvious truths like "there is no rhinoceros in the room". In order to have certain kinds of doubts, one must first know everything, and then know one additional thing: that there are no more things to know. So if we are to take Socrates literally, that he really doesn't know anything, in a way he'd have to "know all the things he doesn't know" in order to be certain he doesn't know them. Sort of a reverse of Donald Rumsfeld's famous "unknown unknowns". He would have to know a lot to know that he didn't know things (which is of course in a way what he is saying). Of course in reality Socrates is more describing a certain attitude, rather than a kind of absolute certain that he literally doesn't know anything, but I think he'd be very pleased that future philosophers try to work out what it means to actually know things to a much higher degree than happened in Ancient Greece.

Wittgenstein believed that negative facts ultimately could not be known, even obvious truths like "there is no rhinoceros in the room". In order to have certain kinds of doubts, one must first know everything, and then know one additional thing: that there are no more things to know. So if we are to take Socrates literally, that he really doesn't know anything, in a way he'd have to "know all the things he doesn't know" in order to be certain he doesn't know them. Sort of a reverse of Donald Rumsfeld's famous "unknown unknowns". He would have to know a lot to know that he didn't know things (which is of course in a way what he is saying). Of course in reality Socrates is more describing a certain attitude, rather than a kind of absolute certain that he literally doesn't know anything, but I think he'd be very pleased that future philosophers try to work out what it means to actually know things to a much higher degree than happened in Ancient Greece.

Philosophers in this comic: Ludwig Wittgenstein, Socrates
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