Tuesday, October 31, 2006
...A key notion used by Wittgenstein when discussing these issues is ‘depth’. To return to his Remarks on Frazer, in particular the consideration of the Beltane fire festival, Wittgenstein wrote (p143) ‘Besides these similarities, what seems to be most striking is the dissimilarity of all these rites. It is a multiplicity of faces with common features which continually emerges here and there. And one would like to draw lines connecting these common ingredients. But then one part of our account would still be missing, namely that which brings this picture into connection with our own feelings and thoughts. This part gives the account its depth.’ Then, later, when considering the part of the ritual which involved a make believe thrusting of a man into the fire, ‘It is now clear that what gives this practice depth is its connection with the burning of a man’. The important thing about a ritual action, that which allows it to have the character of a ritual action, is this dimension of depth.
(look at the photo closely. Happy Halloween :o)