Sunday, April 26, 2009
THE CLASSIC PHILOSOPHER
Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) is considered to be one of the top philosophers of the 20th Century.
Ludwig was born into a wealthy Jewish family in Vienna.
Ludwig's tyrannical father, Karl, was one of the Austro-Hungarian Empire's top oligarchs, dealing in steel, banking and arms. ('The House of Wittgenstein,' by Alexander Waugh. )
Karl became a Protestant; this was a wise move at a time of anti-semitism.
Ludwig himself became a Catholic.
Of Ludwig's four brothers, three committed suicide.
Oldest brother Hans, who was gay, died in 'mysterious circumstances'.
Rudi, another gay brother, killed himself at a restaurant bar in Berlin.
Kurt, another brother, shot himself in the head.
Adolf Hitler attended the same high school as Ludwig.
While he was a student in Vienna, Ludwig, who was gay, sometimes 'cruised' the Prater, a large public park, where he picked up 'rough trade' boys.
By 1912, Ludwig was studying at Trinity College, Cambridge.
Fellow student John Maynard Keynes got Ludwig into the 'gay' Cambridge society known as the Apostles.
Ludwig became a schoolteacher in a poor Alpine village. He used to slap the children, and he was forced to leave.
By 1939, Ludwig was a professor of philosophy at Cambridge.
Reportedly, Ludwig "believed in mystical truths that somehow cannot be expressed meaningfully but that are of the utmost importance...
"He opposed interpretations of religion that emphasize doctrine or philosophical arguments intended to prove God's existence, but was greatly drawn to religious rituals and symbols..." (Ludwig Wittgenstein [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy])
Ludwig believed that scientists and theologians play different language games.
Ludwig is believed to have had long-term 'affairs' with people such as the philosopher Frank Ramsey and the architect Francis Skinner.