strangeness Category

Seeing The Familiar More Clearly and The Unfamiliar More Fairly
Text: Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations

It is a bit of common wisdom that the things that are most familiar are sometimes the things we see least clearly.  The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein has put it this way: “The aspects of things that are most important for us are hidden because of their simplicity and familiarity. (One is unable to notice something—because it is always before one’s eyes.)”1 To help us counter that tendency, Wittgenstein suggests that we try to be amazed by things that we usually take for granted. This outlook gives us a more complete view, not only of familiar, comfortable things, but also of unfamilliar things that make us uncomfortable. Full essay.