• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

Book chapter

Boundary experience and "transcendentals" in philosophy М. M. Mamardashvili and L. Wittgenstein

Merab Mamardashvili repeatedly mentions Ludwig Wittgenstein in his writings.  But even when Mamardashvili does not refer to Wittgenstein directly, there is a recognizable echo of Wittgenstein in the thinking of the Russian philosopher. This article follows the closeness of their philosophical approaches to determine in what sense the school of transcendentalism is relevant to both philosophers, and to see  how Mamardashvili displays his Wittgensteinian critique of the idea that consciousness is "put forward" to the world. Wittgenstein argued that the subject does not belong to the world, but to the boundary that forms this world. The similar idea we find in Mamardashvili. The latter writes that when we "speak of consciousness and not of anything else, we are speaking of such things for which it is impossible to show (substitute) their empirical and, by a finite number of operations, controllable equivalents. In turn, Wittgenstein compares consciousness to an eye that cannot see itself in its field of vision. Mamardashvili calls the same phenomenon "minimum-transcensus" and states that "it is impossible to pass continuously from empirical facts explained by theoretical concepts to those concepts by which they are explained, that is, to deduce them in a purely logical way. "Minimum-transcensus" belongs to the boundary of experience, so it cannot be found within experience itself, "put forward" within that which constitutes the objectivity and objective manifestation of our experience.