Rewriting Wittgenstein’s opening ‘Remarks’

I have returned time and again to Wittgenstein’s opening statements on method from ‘Remarks on Frazer’s Golden Bough‘:

One must start out in error and convert it into truth.

That is, one must reveal the source of error, otherwise hearing the truth won’t do any good. The truth cannot force its way in when something else is occupying its place.

To convince someone of the truth, it is not enough to state it, but rather one must find the path from error to truth.

In a philosophical conversation, I want to revise the claims so that they fit the genre of philosophical inquiry. Thus:

We must start out in bewilderment and convert it into illumination.

That is, we must reveal the source of our puzzlement, sometimes stating the same question time and again, sometimes posing some other question (its cousin, its neighbor), otherwise things will remain mysterious and it will do us not good. For illumination cannot force its way in when something else is occupying its place.

To guide someone to self-understanding, it is not enough to state it, but both of us must find the path from bewilderment to illumination.

This path is one of fullness.

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