Breakfast with Wittgenstein

Filed under: by: PBC

This is an excerpt from an email that I wrote to Jacob. K-Lande requested that I post it. Enjoy.

Eating Breakfast with Wittgenstein:
I say, "there is an egg." What if I approach it with the intention of procurement, and suddenly the egg disappears from sight? Then we conclude that it was not an egg, but an illusion. Breakfast can be so frustrating. But suddenly, the egg re-appears, and we can touch it and eat it. Is this still an egg? We cannot know the meaning of "egg" because we are not equipped with rules for every application of "egg." If we assert that it is still an egg, we admit that we attach no meaning to the word "egg." Breakfast is hopeless, and this happens to me every time I eat!
Then I think of Humpty-Dumpty and the tragic case of the egg becoming irreparably cracked, a sad commentary on the existential sorrows that we must weather whether we sit on walls or not. Of course if we are overly cautious, we end up living our lives as though we are "walking on eggshells," a rather crunchy state of affairs. If we place all our eggs in one basket, we can make an excellent still-life painting. Lovely. Dump all the eggs out of the carton, set them on fire, and watch them roll down the road. Stop answering the door and never open packages.