Practical Ethics on how tin ears
hold you back.
The tin ear to public reaction is the same one that is deaf to the deeper aspects of being human that are at the centre of other philosophical traditions. I recently attended a seminar on Wittgenstein and Heidegger at which it was asked whether Wittgenstein (a hero of the analytical tradition) was right in thinking that Heidegger’s arguments were ‘nonsense’. In posing this question, the enormous richness and depth of Heidegger’s thought would be judged according to the stringent precepts of logic, to see whether his arguments could be declared non-sense. Simply by posing the question the work of the twentieth century’s most influential philosopher is eviscerated. If you go to Heidegger’s work with a view to running the analytical ruler over it, then don’t bother. It is all nonsense. But those who approach it in that way risk marginalizing themselves from the broad sweep of human concerns.