Feb 19Liked by Stefene Russell

Another amazing article!

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Feb 18Liked by Stefene Russell

This fascinating article is about a little known frequenter of the Saint Louis Library during the late ‘40s and ‘50s, Peter M. Kosta. As the article informs us, he came to believe that if there were a universal language there would be world peace. He set about creating such a language and named it Versalian, creating the alphabet and a dictionary for this very purpose.

Whether he was aware of it or not, this goal thrust him into the predominant philosophical issue of his time in Anglo-American philosophy: what is the relationship of words and sentences with the world? If what the words say is true, then what the words mean has to be real, actual. How?

A groundbreaking thinker in this area was Ludwig Wittgenstein, an Austrian Professor of Philosophy at Cambridge University. His Philosophical Investigations, published posthumously in 1953, is still a seminal work in the philosophy of language.

Among other questions Wittgenstein raises is whether a Private Language is possible? I like to imagine Kosta studying Wittgenstein at the Saint Louis Library. And I wonder what Wittgenstein would have made of Kosta’s achievement.

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