Thomas Basbøll

P H I L O S O P H I C A L   I N V E S T I G A T I O N S

Thinking isn't always easy. Feelings get involved, the concepts become unclear, we lose our way about. Sometimes it is a lonely business too.

If you are facing some specific difficulty in your thinking, and if you think it might help to have someone show you your concepts, you might consider hiring a philosophical investigator. Someone like me. I will follow your concepts around for a few days. I'll "tail" them, if you will, and try to "get wise" to their movements. I'll see what they're up to in your thinking and try to pinpoint where they are leading you astray.

The purpose of a philosophical investigation, said Wittgenstein, is to give us a clear view of the language, of how we use our words. In particular, we want to understand how they led us into the contradiction that blocks our way forward. "The civil status of a contradiction," he said, "or its status in civil life: that is the philosophical problem." It is solved by penning a series of philosophical remarks, arranged in a surveyable manner. A "perspicuous presentation," he called it.

William S. Burroughs called it a "naked lunch": "that frozen moment when everyone sees what is on the end of every fork."