Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wittgenstein, contra Hawking

Stephen Hawking recently said that philosophy is "dead" because it simply hasn't kept up with science in recent years. Hawking is not the first to make this sort of charge. A number of people have written replies to Hawking's charge, and I won't cover that ground again.  Instead, let me simply offer a reply from Wittgenstein:

“Philosophy has made no progress?  If somebody scratches where it itches, does that count as progress?  If not, does that mean it wasn’t an authentic scratch?  Not an authentic itch?  Couldn’t this response to the stimulus go on for a long time until a remedy for itching is found?”