Human Transparency

Ludwig Wittgenstein. Culture and Value.

It is important that we consider this: there are people about whom someone feels he will never know what’s going on inside of them. That he will never understand them.

Es ist fur unsre Betrachtung wichtig, dass es Menschen gibt, von denen jemand fuehlt, er werde nie wissen, was in ihnen vorgeht. Er werde sie nie verstehen.

Euripides. Hippolytus. 925-931.

Theseus to Hippolytus:

People need some way of establishing
who their friends are, and what’s on their minds;
who is true, and who is not in fact a friend.

People need everyone to have two voices,
one given to right talk, the other could care less.
Should the proper voice refute the unjust voice
in the name of right, we would be spared being duped.

φεῦ, χρῆν βροτοῖσι τῶν φίλων τεκμήριον
σαφές τι κεῖσθαι καὶ διάγνωσιν φρενῶν,
ὅστις τ’ ἀληθής ἐστιν ὅς τε μὴ φίλος,
δισσάς τε φωνὰς πάντας ἀνθρώπους ἔχειν,
τὴν μὲν δικαίαν, τὴν δ’ ὅπως ἐτύγχανεν,
ὡς ἡ φρονοῦσα τἄδικ’ ἐξηλέγχετο
πρὸς τῆς δικαίας, κοὐκ ἂν ἠπατώμεθα.

Ludwig Wittgenstein. On Certainty.

One is often bewitched by a word–for example, the word “know.”

Man wird oft von einem Wort behext. Z. B. vom Wort »wissen«.

Profile xray of a human skull looking right

Larry Benn has a B.A. in English Literature from Harvard College, an M.Phil in English Literature from Oxford University, and a J.D. from Yale Law School. Making amends for a working life misspent in finance, he’s now a hobbyist in ancient languages and blogs at