Dave's Progress. Chapter 20: The Detective, Tractatus Logico Philosophicus and Schizophrenia.

Forgive me, but I may be well over my own head in what I am about to talk about. So expect errors, erroneous and fulsome, of which I am entirely to blame.
I don't know why, but I've been thinking about the nature of schizophrenia, in particular delusions of reference. These occur when we somehow misinterpret the world. The paranoiac, for example, reads conspiracy into every action. But if, as I have been taught, we see the universe, in particular, language, as one giant, signifying system, isn't it just our inherent nature which sees us falter when trying to interpret events.
The detective would seem like a good place to start in analysing this postulation. In the Sherlock Holmes model he is a master of deductive reasoning, clues pointing the way to a somewhat inevitable conclusion. In other novels, however, such as Thomas Pynchon's "The Crying of Lot 49", the detective is used as an instrument to portray the unreliability of following any clues or apparent signs. In the end the reader is left wondering whether a truly bizarre conspiracy has been uncovered, or that the detective, in this case Mrs. Oedipa Maas, is just another paranoid, typical of sixties LA.
This "unreliability" seams to be echoed in one of the most important philosophical works of the twentieth century, Ludwig Wittgenstein's "Tractatus Logico Philosophicus". In it, as far as I know and understand, Wittgenstein postulated that no one can ever actually know "the truth". Reality itself is elusive and, as such, philosophy was rendered redundant- dead.
So, if we see things as one giant signifying system, and "the truth" is somehow beyond our grasp, doesn't that leave us all in the somewhat precarious position of the schizophrenic, where connections are made, signs are read, only to lead us into paranoiac despair.
Indeed, it would seem to me that the very nature of genius is to make connections- to somehow connect things together in a way that has previously never been done but which somehow illuminates the world. The schizophrenic, on the other hand, makes connections where there are none, eventually dissolving into delusion, paranoia and misunderstanding. But if, as Wittgenstein seems to say, we can never actually know "the truth" or reliably construct "reality", then isn't schizophrenia and its nature a closer approximation of the truth about the truth?
I don't know. But by linking the detective, Wittgenstein and schizophrenia, I may just be making up a delusional framework- seeing connections where there are none. On the other hand, I just might be a genius! Now that really would be delusional!
That's all for now from your normal, average, paranoid and delusional man.

Comments

dcrelief said…
Hi David,
Exceptional. The fact that I understand what you are saying scares the h*ll out of me.
Peaceful regards.
Dixie
klahanie said…
Dear David,
A terrific posting, as per usual, or, is that per unusual?
Well David, my blogging buddy, I think you are truly a genius. Then again, some people may think I'm delusional.
Thanks for your ongoing interaction between our blogs.
Warm wishes Gary.
David said…
Dear dc and Gary,
Thankyou both for doggedly continueing to follow my blog. It can't be easy, what with all the stuff about detectives and Wittgenstein. Suffice to say I have recently looked up the Tractatus on Wikipedia, and needless to say my reading of it is woefully over-simplified and maybe just plain wrong. Anyway, it certainly proves I'm no genius, but still perhaps your loyal and dedicated friend, the normal, average paranoid and delusional man.
Hope to see you soon again in blogland.
With Very Best Wishes to You Both,
David.
dcrelief said…
Dear David:
This is an exceptional blog. It could be a regular program running every Saturday evening!
Really a re-write for that "down-home" cobblestone... oh c'mon, you know. Maybe a detective and psychologist work together to solve badly botched madness! oooh.
Not to offend any of your normal listed items. LOL.
The option is my blog which, as promised, is placed for you. I'm sure you'll understand, and I allow anonymous comments.
~Anonymous

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