“Alan Wilson Watts (6 January 1915 – 16 November 1973) was a British born American philosopher, writer, and speaker, best known as an interpreter and populariser of Eastern philosophy for a Western audience” (ref). He was a friend of poet and novelist Jack Kerouac (ref), had discussions with Carl Jung (ref) and hailed the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein (ref).
One reason I mention Watts now is because of a video where he speaks about science and Buddhism. This can be seen as a follow-up to the earlier post I wrote about distinguishing between science and philosophy. In earlier post I maintained that science is empiric while philosophy is not. Watts on the other hand doesn’t mention empirics at all as a characteristic of science, instead he stresses the method of science as being descriptive and systematic (as opposed to Buddhism). According to how Watts defines science in this video, it seems that the philosophy of Wittgenstein would to a large extent fall into the same category. I see it as an example of how one can view things from different perspectives.
I read that “Watts viewed the writings of Wittgenstein as a form of jnana-yoga, intellectual bending and stretching which makes the mind supple and ready to realise profoundly its identity with It” (ref). I don’t think he really embraced Wittgenstein though. Part of the reason I doubt it is that Watts seemed to rate the Tractatus higher than the Investigations (ref).
EDIT: I don’t mean to say that one should view the philosophy of Wittgenstein as a kind of science. As I see it, the philosophy of Wittgenstein has common traits with science (as pointed out above). But, as I show in other posts, the philosophy of Wittgenstein is also radically different from science. (Here is a post that presents Wittgenstein’s view on philosophy: Task of philosophy is to use ”introvert intuition”?)
Alan Watts tribute to Carl Jung http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgN8m_gIXB8
(perhaps I’ll look deeper into this later on)
Jung’s Typology and Philosophy – In this blogpost I discuss the relationship between Jung’s typology and philosophy
Here is a review of Alan Watts tribute to Carl Jung on stOttilien’s blog.