May 30th, 2004

Ideally

While packing, I drifted into the Philosophical Investigations in an effort to push back my stress. Here's what Wittgenstein has to say about the ideal (Part I, #103):
The ideal, as we think of it, is unshakable. You can never get outside it; you must always turn back. There is no outside; outside you cannot breathe. -- Where does this idea come from? It is like a pair of glasses on our nose through which we see whatever we look at. It never occurs to us to take them off.
So is Louie saying that the ideal is "like a pair of glasses" or the idea of the ideal? I'd warrant that he means the latter. This is one of those passages where his work can be productively contrasted to theories of ideology, particularly the one Althusser unfolds in his essay on the ISAs. I'm pretty fond of that one, but can also see the advantages to moving beyond the abstraction of regarding ideology as the air we breathe.
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    Caetano Veloso from the computer next to me