One thing that has always perplexed me while reading philosophy is the odd use of punctuation. — Namely, the use of em dashes to begin a sentence. I find this most prevalent in Hegel and Wittgenstein who both wrote in German.
From Hegel's Encyclopedia Logic:
One thus sees, for example, an electrical phenomenon, and asks for the ground of it; if we receive the answer, the electricity is the ground of this phenomenon, then this is the same content that we had immediately before us, merely translated into the form of something internal. — Furthermore, however, the ground is not merely what is simply identical with itself, but also different from itself and, for this reason, diverse grounds can be put forward for one and the same content, a diversity of grounds that proceeds according to the concept of difference, then further to opposition in the form of grounds for and against the same content. — If, for example, we consider an action, more specifically a theft, then this is a content relative to which several sides can be distinguished.
From Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations:
- In what sense does an order anticipate its fulfilment? — By now ordering just that which later on is carried out? — But this would surely have to run: “which later on is carried out, or again is not carried out”. And that says nothing.
Any ideas why this style is favoured and if it can be considered valid use? Thanks.