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Philosophy, Biography,
Family History

The homepage of Robert Wesley Angelo - roangelo.net.

PHILOSOPHY: First and Last Questions

In the early years this concerned Wittgenstein's logic of language (logic-philosophy) only, but now in later years the historical Socrates (and Xenophon) as well as Plato and Immanuel Kant.

Forty-five years later I would say this, that you must first use Wittgenstein as an antidote to philosophy and then philosophy as an antidote to Wittgenstein. Because, if despite many instances of conceptual confusion (mystification by language) in philosophy, there is nevertheless a metaphysical use of language, then Wittgenstein's project to banish metaphysics loses it point. And because, far more importantly, "the riddle" (TLP 6.5) of existence does, after all, exist.

Pages of this section are revised on most days. About Wittgenstein, Plato, and Socrates, my most recent thoughts. In my view Wittgenstein contributed nothing to philosophy except a "logic of language" (in my jargon), as fundamentally important (essential) as that is.

Logic of Language

• The elements of Wittgenstein's later logic of language: a description of the selected definitions, metaphors and methods Wittgenstein used to make the distinction between sense and nonsense objective (verifiable) in philosophy, by identifying logic with rules of meaning rather than with rules of form, revising the concepts 'grammar' and 'language meaning', as well as his view of philosophy as clarification of what is in plain sight rather than as speculation about what it seems is not.

The context described in the Introduction is necessary for understanding what Wittgenstein (1889-1951) was about in philosophy.

• About Ockham's nominalist logic of language, which has much in common with Wittgenstein's, as has Ockham's ethics.

• The logic of language of the historical Socrates: words are names and the meaning of a name is the thing the name stands for. Induction is used to find the defining common qualities of ethical words such as 'piety' and justice' (which respectively name right conduct towards God and towards men). And if the meaning of a word is the thing the word names, then we can speculate about what the true nature of that thing is, and thus metaphysics is possible. If however the meaning of a word is a mere description of the conventions for the word's use in the language, then metaphysics so-conceived is not possible. The description of language use is logic and does not rise to the level of philosophy: "to solve the riddle of the world and the meaning of human existence" (F. Copleston).

"Wisdom is the only good, ignorance the only evil." The Socratic method for distinguishing what you know from what you don't know (but think you do): "If a man knows anything, he can explain what he knows to others."

Socrates said "I don't know", and that's what philosophy is (Socratic ignorance).

Historical Aside: Wittgenstein at Cassino

• Wittgenstein at Cassino, my interlinear translation of selections from Franz Parak's Wittgenstein prigioniero a Cassino: the Austrian philosopher was held at the prisoner of war camp at the base of the monastery at Monte Cassino from November 1918 to August 1919. When Wittgenstein was taken prisoner he had in his knapsack the manuscript of his "Logical-philosophical Treatise", which was later published as the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.

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BIOGRAPHY: Robert Schumann (1810-1856)

Franz Schubert

"The Poet Speaks" - Life of Robert Schumann. Narrative biography of the composer, written in 1985 when I was last at school. (The storyboard drawings used on the Web page were never intended to replace the original works they represent, although they are used that way here.)

Note: I have not done research in family history for many years now, and almost all my research was done long before I first had access to the Internet (which was circa 1996-1997). Although you are still welcome to write to me about family history, my Italians are long dead now, Camden's Italian colony as gone and forgotten as last year's leaves, swept away like Christopher Columbus.

On this page. Next are my maternal ancestors, followed by my paternal ancestors.


Documents for the Family History of Giovanni VALENTE (1887-1969) and Nunziata DiRENZO (1897-1983), spouses of Gambatesa, Molise, Italy, and Camden, New Jersey, USA, and their Ancestors back to 1690.

Village History Background - Gambatesa

Gambatesa on the map of Italy
Gambatesa is a village in central southern Italy, beyond the Apennines from Naples and Rome.

• Gambatesa: Fragments of History and of Art by Salvatore Abiuso, with the collaboration of Palmiro Di Maria, my English language translation with photographs and maps. Gambatesa is a comune ("village and its agricultural territory"), a paese ("native land") in the Province of Campobasso, Region of Molise, Italy.

• Special pages from Our Correspondent in Geneva (Angelo Abiuso):

Holy days: The Christmas Zampognaro, the bagpipe player who visited the village each year. And Easter in Gambatesa.


Documents for the Family History of Giuseppantonio IACOVELLI (1895-1929) of Gambatesa, Molise, Italy, and his Ancestors back to the 1700s.

Documents for the Family History of Donato Luciano ABIUSO (1906-1998) of Gambatesa, Molise, Italy, and his Ancestors back to 1690.

Family Names, Map, and Glossary

• The Family Names from Gambatesa found on this site, with surnames originally from a few other villages as well, alphabetically listed, and linked to records from the Italian Civil Register.

Note: only names that belong to the family histories of this Web site are listed on the page above. There are many other surnames from Gambatesa; many of them appear in the Family Registrations of Mons. Donato Venditti, 1688-1880.

• Map of central southern Italy showing the places named in the Italian family histories of this site, with traveler's companions.

• Italian to English Vocabulary, a glossary to help with the reading family history documents.

• Short Postscript to this Family History: Descriptions of what the lives of our ancestors in southern Italy were like, in the words of various writers.

HISTORICAL MEMOIR of late 19th Century Italian National Service

Journal of What I Endured During 32 Months of National Service in the Italian Army, 1881-1883 / Ricordo del mio penare sotto le armi by Michele Fuschino, a stone worker of Vinchiaturo, Molise, Italy, transcribed and translated from the dialect.

My Paternal Ancestors


Documents for the Family History of Raffaele ANGELILLO, later Ralph ANGELO, (1888-1965) of Sant'Angelo d'Alife (CE), Italy; and Bristol Borough, Bucks County, Pennsylvania; and Maple Shade, Camden County, New Jersey; and his Ancestors back to the 1700s.

Village History - Sant'Angelo d'Alife

Sant'Angelo on the map of Italy
The village of Sant'Angelo d'Alife is thirty-five miles north of Naples.

• The Origins of Sant'Angelo d'Alife, a comune ("village and its agricultural lands") in the Province of Caserta, Region of Campania, Italy. There are also photographs of Sant'Angelo and the Castle of Rupecanina, and a brief traveler's catalog and several maps.

Sant'Angelo is the borough where my own birth and that of my Angelillo ancestors is recorded. My father's grandfather Nicola (1853-1920) was the first of our family to come to America and it was Nicola who (informally) gave us our family name "Angelo". Nicola worked for the railroad in Bristol Borough, Pennsylvania, where in the end he was a gate tender.

We are in origin southern Italians. Our history is not one of art and high culture (except for the city of Naples and the birth of classical music), but of poverty. What the south of Italy does have, that the rest of Italy does not have, is our ancient Greek heritage.


Documents for the Family History of Andreas SCHLECTWEG, (1836-1891), later Andrew SLACKWAY, of Gehaus, near Vacha, Thuringia, Germany, and his wife Mary Jane DICKINSON of northern Ireland, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and their descendants to the Influenza Pandemic of 1918; and the Family History of Wilhelm BECKER (1822-1901) of Baden, Germany, and his wife Margarett KIEHL of Alsace, France; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and their descendants. These are ancestors of my father's mother.

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Copyright © 15 July 1998 by Robert Wesley Angelo and others as noted. All content of this site is original. If no other source is named, then I myself am the author.

Please send Internet mail or Form-mail to Robert with corrections or criticism. Scrivetemi in italiano. Escribamé en español.

The URL of this Web page: https://www.roangelo.net/
This page was last revised: 7 June 2024: 2024-06-07

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