"Experiencing a change of aspect is characterized by our recognition that something has altered and nothing has altered." —from Fat Wednesday
In Fat Wednesday, John Verdi probes how the inexplicable connections of words can help us understand the ever-changing connections of things that we actually see in everyday experience. In his preface he writes, "I explore two related concepts: aspect-seeing and experiencing the meaning of a word."
Verdi considers how our experience of seeing aspects, wherever they appear, helps us imagine possible meanings for philosophy's opening question: "What is there?" He illuminates Ludwig Wittgenstein's ideas on language and perception while challenging readers to think through for themselves the different ways in which we see.
A major influence in the development of analytic philosophy, Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889—1951) was a leading thinker in the study of logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language. Bertrand Russell described him as "the most perfect example I have ever known of genius as traditionally conceived, passionate, profound, intense, and dominating."
"A representational painting is essentially ambiguous: it is both paint on canvas and a representation of people and objects. We are not fooled by the painting; we see that it is both paint and picture. We take an interest in it because we take an interest in aspects." —from Fat Wednesday
John Verdi has taught at St. John's College in Annapolis and Santa Fe since 1975. His areas of special interest have included the writings of Wittgenstein and Nietzsche, the foundations of mathematics, and the common ground between psychology and philosophy.