This question had a fair answer that has disappeared. It was at -2 but then got 2 upvotes, then I checked again soon after and it had gone.

Also, this question on Palestine had two +5 answers appear to me hours after they were written.

What's going on?

  • 1
    The two answers in the second question were both -1 and deleted by their own authors.
    – E...
    Aug 9, 2019 at 14:21
  • so i assume they're getting upvoted while deleted so that the author changes their mind. ok @Eliran
    – user38026
    Aug 9, 2019 at 17:33
  • 1
    I don't know what you're talking about. They're still at -1, and it's not possible to upvote deleted answers.
    – E...
    Aug 9, 2019 at 17:35
  • oh ok. i don't understand your first comment then: why the two answers at +5 (when i first looked there were two or three answers) suddenly appeared 10+ hours after they were written
    – user38026
    Aug 9, 2019 at 17:36
  • Maybe we're talking about different things. I thought you were asking about the two deleted answers in that question. If you're talking about the other answers then I'm pretty sure I saw them when they were posted. Maybe you just missed them?
    – E...
    Aug 9, 2019 at 18:05
  • ah yeah probably, thanks for the comments @Eliran
    – user38026
    Aug 9, 2019 at 18:12
  • Deleted, closed, or just put on hold? Those closed/put on hold can be reopened by 5 votes, moderators can undelete posts, although that happens very rarely. Upvotes are not decisive, if a post is off-topic it can be closed/deleted even if it is upvoted.
    – Conifold
    Aug 17, 2019 at 7:36
  • ah my mistake @Conifold i meant answers (not questions)
    – user38026
    Aug 31, 2019 at 23:47

1 Answer 1


Thanks for bringing up the deletion of the answer of background for reading Wittgenstein.

(I am assuming its my answer we are talking of)

These are the...

Facts from my side

  • A person who has asked just two questions so far on phil-SE
  • Who in his earlier question admited to being 15 years old(!)
  • That earlier question has a single +4 accepted answer by myself which elaborates on the link between Wittgenstein and linguistic relativity. (That's not to boast but to simply point out that that Wittgenstein-related answer was found helpful by this young man)
  • Was followed a few days later by this question expressing a wish but also with trepidation of grappling with Wittgenstein on his own territory, ie un-watered down.

Taking all these factors into account, in order to encourage this young man – there's only one chance one gets at being a 15-year old! – I encouraged him to "dive in the deep end".

[Personal note: My grandpa dunked me into Socratic dialogues in my teens – one of the many things for which I thank gpa. Yes Wittgenstein is harder than Plato but (I maintain) the hardness is inherent and not from lack of background reading]

@Eliran objected to the connection:

Wittgenstein → Spinoza → Euclid


Tractatus Logico-philosophicus → Tractatus Theologico-politicus → Axiomatic method

To answer this objection I found it necessary to

Orthogonalize the form of the Tractatus from the content

In adding that addendum I thought it necessary to show the history:

TLP → Tolstoy's gospels → Original gospels → Christianity → Religion

And ended with a sarcastic remark about those who dislike admitting this connection.

Up to this point I believe it received 4 downvotes and 3 upvotes

Next I found...

Answer deleted!

...by a moderator.

Assuming that the sarcastic comment was the offender, I deleted it and flagged it.

Here is my flag comment

I'm not quite sure why my post was deleted. Yeah there was a sarcastic comment; note that it was not against Christians but against those who get all riled up if Christianity specifically and religion(s) generally are juxtaposed with their favorite figures, in this case Wittgenstein.

In any case Ive removed that last para

I hope that removes whatever is objectionable

No response

When I checked, the flag was marked as "helpful". I've no idea how to interpret that!

I'd like to say that my answer should be restored because it

  1. Encourages a 15 year old
  2. Distinguishes form and content
  3. Highlights an accepted divergence in Wittgenstein community between how far he is a logical positivist and how far he approves mysticism
  4. Note the divergence is acknowledged in the Wittgenstein tag on this site itself:

    Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein (1889 – 1951) was an Austrian-British philosopher, professor in philosophy at the University of Cambridge (1939-1947). He worked in foundations of mathematics and on mathematical logic, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language. He played a central, if controversial, role in 20th-century analytic philosophy.

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