Which if any philosophers might be considered affiliated with Wittgenstein's school of thought or have expressed similar views?

In my view, some of the moderators here on Philosophy SE seems to be closing questions just for the heck of it, and I'm starting to become really fed up with this.

  • 1
    First, please note that closing is not intended as a punishment and does not have to be permanent. I have left a comment indicating why I felt your question was inappropriate as currently formulated. The key issue is that the question is not reasonably specific -- asking for a substitute for a philosopher or work is entirely open-ended, and even somewhat nonsensical as there simply is no "alternative" to a specific work or writer. I had also provided a suggested reformulation that would be closer to our on-topic line.
    – Joseph Weissman Mod
    Feb 7 '12 at 20:53
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    "In my view, some of the moderators here on Philosophy SE seems to be closing threads just for the heck of it, and I'm starting to become really fed up with this." Can you provide a list of threads which were closed "just for the heck of it" and we can try to address that. There are times when a number of threads are closed on the front page yes, but so far as I can tell it hasn't been without good reason. Remember, this is philosophy—not physics or CS—so good questions are perhaps naturally less easy to pose (esp. by newcomers) such that they fit appropriately for the site.
    – stoicfury
    Feb 7 '12 at 21:40
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    I'm surprised Joseph waited so long to close the question. As a regular opponent to "closing questions just for the heck of it", even I can't get behind your original question. It just came off as a rant without any philosophical content at all. As an experiment, consider what you would have done if I'd asked the same question, but about James Joyce. Just because a question is about a philosopher doesn't mean it's a philosophy question. Is not the thrust of the question that you aren't getting anything from Wittgenstein? If so, why not skip him altogether? Feb 7 '12 at 23:22

I think your feigning shock and offense that the original question was closed is a slightly absurd, considering the circumstances surrounding its closing.

Putting aside whether or not I personally think the question should have been closed, Joseph repeatedly left comments to your question, suggesting/prodding/requesting you to modify it and bring it into conformance with the acceptable question guidelines in the FAQ.

First, he says:

Can you be a bit more specific about the challenges you encountered trying to read Wittgenstein?

Then he tries again, a bit more forcefully and with a concrete suggestion:

Is there any chance I might be able to persuade you to reframe the question line here? My suggestion might be: "what are some strategies and/or secondary literature to make wittgenstein approachable?" (The basic suggestion is to avoid an open-ended question.)

As is clear from the question's revision history, you ignored all of these suggestions and simply waited for the question to be inevitably closed. And sure enough, it was.

Since you couldn't come to an agreement about if and how to modify the question, Joseph closed the question and left a comment explaining his decision (and even, once again, providing a suggestion regarding a "way out"):

I am concerned that this really isn't entirely appropriate as currently formulated. Asking for "alternatives" to a philosopher is a bit too open-ended, and perhaps even somewhat nonsensical: there is no substitute for reading a book or author.

Do note that the closing of a question is not permanent. In fact, closing can be merely temporary to prevent questions from accumulating a bunch of answers in the meantime while they are reformulated and improved (either by the asker or by other members of the community). Then, once that happens, they can be re-opened (again, either by community members or by flagging a moderator), without having accumulated a sludge of now-inapplicable answers.

But responses like this are not particularly useful nor accomodating:

Seriously, could the moderators at SE Philosophy stop with their extremely aggressive and highly subjective closing of threads? If this isn't within the boundaries of what is allowed, I don't know what is (bear in mind that the question has received two upvotes and three answers; obviously, the community doesn't deem it as either nonsensical or open-ended.

And as for the general inflammatory remarks about the moderators "closing threads just for the heck of it", you've hardly demonstrated a pattern of behavior in highlighting a single closed question. If you'd like to put together a list of other questions that you think should not have been closed and provide links in your question, we could have a productive discussion about those questions.

-- begin my personal opinions --

I think the question in question is, to put it quite bluntly, nonsense. It would be perfectly reasonable to ask for suggestions on reading/understanding Wittgenstein's writing. It would be valid and constructive to ask for suggestions or references for secondary literature explaining and clarifying Wittgenstein's thought. (And I feel compelled to point out that Joseph does, in fact, make both of these suggestions.)

But neither of those are actually your question. No, in fact you ask:

are there any other good philosophers who writes more clearly (when I say "clearly", think Russel or Hume) that I could read?

which doesn't appear to have anything to do with Wittgenstein at all! Some other philosopher who writes about related issues isn't going to teach you a thing about Wittgenstein. He covered a broad range of topics, including the philosophy of mathematics, language, and logic. There are tons of other people who write about those topics, but listing them would be equivalent to composing a "dictionary of philosophers".

The question you're actually asking seems to be

What else can I read other than Wittgenstein [since I find his work confusing]?

and I simply do not understand how that is any different than

Which philosopher would you recommend that I read?

It's quite clear to me from the What kind of questions should I not ask here? section of the FAQ why that question is not a good fit for this site.

  • 2
    +1 Exactly... I couldn't write it better myself.
    – stoicfury
    Feb 7 '12 at 21:36
  • @Cody Gray you're not doing the questioner justice. That's not what he is asking. Read my answer
    – Chuck
    Feb 8 '12 at 22:03
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    @Chuck: That's not how I read the question, and your reformulation is still borderline as far as I'm concerned. Yes, I'm probably quite put-off by the ranting and the response to suggestions to reform the question, but I'd also be concerned that the response to your Deleuze question is basically "no". If you want to read and understand Deleuze, you need to read Deleuze. I could recommend a third-party who attempts to clarify and comment on Deleuze's works, but there's no reasonable substitute. I guess I fundamentally don't understand the sense of the question.
    – Cody Gray
    Feb 9 '12 at 7:01
  • @Cody Gray The point of this website is not to question a questioner's method and taste but to answer the question he is asking. If I were to ask 'Who was Kant's most prominent critic?' and you respond by saying 'Don't worry about those; just go and read Kant' because you 'fundamentally don't understand how anyone could criticize Kant' that is not in any way an attitude that justifies calling the question inappropriate. You are letting personal taste cloud your judgement - a minimum amount of charity, surely, is in order.
    – Chuck
    Feb 9 '12 at 14:47

(I put this as a comment in the original question but will add it here too.)

If I were to ask: 'I find Deleuze impenetrable; is there anyone affiliated to his school of thought that has expressed similar views, or is widely considered to have held similar views, that I could read in order to get a handle on Deleuze's ideas?' Surely that's an acceptable question - it asks for historical context and scholarly help, two categories philstack ought to accommodate. And this, I feel, is exactly what the questioner was after.

I think you guys are getting put off by the rant in the beginning, but it really has nothing to do with the actual question, which seems to be no more than a bibliographical request. I maintain my position to re-open.

  • 2
    I think the "rant" portion needs to be rewritten or omitted. Feb 9 '12 at 1:42
  • @Jon Wait, mine or Speldosa's?
    – Chuck
    Feb 9 '12 at 3:53
  • Sorry for the confusion, Chuck. I meant the non-bolded portion of Speldosa's original question. You're right, in my opinion, that the beginning of the question set the wrong tone. The rest of the question isn't that great either, but if we edit the first paragraph, I would be willing to vote to reopen. Feb 9 '12 at 17:03

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