Mar 10, 2013

Wittgenstein, Barbara Minto, and Me

I am now reading Ludwig Wittgenstein's "Tractatus Logio-Philosophicus." Of course it is hard to understand it and I have to read the same sentence again and again to understand what Wittgenstein meant, but I am really enjoying reading it.

In the preface of this book, Wittgenstein wrote, "Perhaps this book be understood only by someone who has himself already had the thoughts that are expressed in it ― or at least  similar thoughts." I have been thinking about the same problem, about which Wittgenstein wrote in "Tractatus Logio-Philosophicus," even though my thoughts are so shallow.

My problem is how to write and how to make a presentation in business. I use Barbara Minto's "The Minto Pyramid Principle: Logic in Writing, Thinking, and Problem Solving" as a reference. One of good points of this book is that it deals with not just how to write but also how to think at the same time. I think that writing and thinking are indivisible, because if one thinks illogically, they cannot write logically. If people want to write or to make a presentation logically, they must think logically.

In "Tractatus Logio-Philosophicus," Wittgenstein wrote about thinking logically and expressing it in a language. He thought about this problem radically and in principle, and Barbara Minto thought about it quite practically, but both of them dealt with the same problem in similar way.

I think that Barbara Minto was apparently influenced by "Tractatus Logio-Philosophicus," because her "pyramid principle" was along the same line as writings in "Tractatus Logio-Philosophicus," which has the strict structure. In fact it is difficult to understand "Tractus Logio-Philosophicus," because Wittgenstein's thoughs are so deep, but the way of writing, itself, is quite simple to understand. In this sense, "Tractus Logio-Philosophicus" is a good example for us on how to think and to write logically.

I am frequently told that I am argumentative and sophistic, and I answer back that I am just logical. Sometimes I make people angry because I make a quite logical assertion persistently. But Wittgenstein was far more logical and persistent than I. Wittgenstein's biography encourages me, and I have confidence that I should be more logical and persistent, whatever people tell me.

Wittgenstein's life seems to have been eccentric and unhappy for people around him, but I guess that he might have been satisfied with his life, even if it could not be said that it was happy, because he lived his life in the way he believed. I also want to live my life in the way I believe.

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