THE FATE OF ANALYSIS, #11–The Tractatus in Context, & A Simple Picture of its Basic Structure.
By Robert Hanna
TABLE OF CONTENTS
V.2 The Tractatus in Context
V.3 The Basic Structure of the Tractatus: A Simple Picture
V.4 Tractarian Ontology
V.5 Reconstructing Wittgenstein’s Reasoning
V.6 What Are the Objects or Things?
V.7 The Role of Logic in Tractarian Ontology
V.8 Colorless Objects/Things
V.9 Tractarian Ontology, Necessity, and Contingency
V.10 Some Initial Worries, and Some Possible Wittgensteinian Counter-Moves
VI. Wittgenstein and the Tractatus 2: Propositions 2.013–5.55
VI.1 What is Logical Space? What is Real Space?
VI.2 Atomic Facts Necessarily Are in Manifest or Phenomenal Space, But Objects or Things Themselves Necessarily Aren’t in Manifest or Phenomenal Space
VI.3 Logical Space is Essentially More Comprehensive than Manifest or Phenomenal Space
VI.4 Why There Can’t/Kant Be a Non-Logical World
VI.5 A Worry About Wittgenstein’s Conception of Logic: Non-Classical Logics
VI.6 What is a Tractarian Proposition?
VI.7 Naming Objects or Things, and Picturing Atomic Facts
VI.8 Signs, Symbols, Sense, Truth, and Judgment
VI.9 Propositions Again
VI.10 Language and Thought
VII. Wittgenstein and the Tractatus 3: Propositions 4–5.61
VII.1 The Logocentric Predicament, Version 3.0: Justifying Deduction
VII.2 The Logical Form of Deduction
VII.3 Logic Must Take Care of Itself
VII.4 Tautologies and Contradictions
VII.5 What is Logic?
VII.6 Logic is the A Priori Essence of Language
VII.7 Logic is the A Priori Essence of Thought
VII.8 Logic is the A Priori Essence of the World
VIII. Wittgenstein and the Tractatus 4: Propositions 5.62–7
VIII.1 Tractarian Solipsism and Tractarian Realism
VIII.2 Tractarian Solipsism
VIII.3 Tractarian Realism
VIII.4 Is the Tractatus’s Point an Ethical One?
VIII.5 The Meaning of Life
VIII.6 Three Basic Worries About the Tractatus
VIII.7 Natural Science and the Worry About the Simplicity of the Objects or Things
VIII.8 Natural Science and the Worry About the Logical Independence of Atomic Facts
VIII.9 Tractarian Mysticism and the Worry About Metaphilosophy
IX. Carnap, The Vienna Circle, Logical Empiricism, and The Great Divide
IX.1 Carnap Before and After the Tractatus
IX.2 Carnap, The Vienna Circle, and The Elimination of Metaphysics
IX.3 The Verifiability Principle and Its Fate
IX.4 The Davos Conference and The Great Divide
X. Wittgenstein and the Investigations 1: Preface, and §§1–27
X.1 From the Tractatus to the Investigations
X.2 The Thesis That Meaning Is Use
X.3 A Map of the Investigations
X.4 The Critique of Pure Reference: What the Builders Did
XI. Wittgenstein and the Investigations 2: §§28–242
XI.1 The Picture Theory and the Vices of Simplicity
XI.2 Wittgenstein’s Argument Against The Picture Theory: A Rational Reconstruction
XI.3 Understanding and Rule-Following
XI.4 Wittgenstein’s Rule-Following Paradox: The Basic Rationale
XI.5 Wittgenstein’s Rule-Following Paradox: A Rational Reconstruction
XI.6 Kripkenstein’s Rule-Following Paradox: Why Read Kripke Too?
XI.7 Kripkenstein’s Rule-Following Paradox: A Rational Reconstruction
XI.8 How to Solve The Paradox: Wittgenstein’s Way and Kripkenstein’s Way
XI.8.1 Wittgenstein and The Rule-Following Paradox: A Rational Reconstruction
XI.8.2 Kripkenstein and The Rule-Following Paradox: A Rational Reconstruction
XII. Wittgenstein and the Investigations 3: §§242–315
XII.1 What is a Private Language?
XII.2 The Private Language Argument: A Rational Reconstruction
XII.3 Is Wittgenstein a Behaviorist? No.
XII.4 Wittgenstein on Meanings, Sensations, and Human Mindedness: A Rational Reconstruction
XIII. Wittgenstein and the Investigations 4: §§316–693 & 174e-232e
XIII.1 Linguistic Phenomenology
XIII.2 Two Kinds of Seeing
XIII.3 Experiencing the Meaning of a Word
XIII.4 The Critique of Logical Analysis, and Logic-As-Grammar
XIV. Coda: Wittgenstein and Kantianism
XIV.1 World-Conformity 1: Kant, Transcendental Idealism, and Empirical Realism
XIV.2 World-Conformity 2: Wittgenstein, Transcendental Solipsism, and Pure Realism
XIV.3 World-Conformity 3: To Forms of Life
XIV.4 The Critique of Self-Alienated Philosophy 1: Kant’s Critical Metaphilosophy
XIV.5 The Critique of Self-Alienated Philosophy 2: Wittgensteinian Analysis as Critique
XV. From Quine to Kripke and Analytic Metaphysics: The Adventures of the Analytic-Synthetic Distinction
XV.1 Two Urban Legends of Post-Empiricism
XV.2 A Very Brief History of The Analytic-Synthetic Distinction
XV.3 Why the Analytic-Synthetic Distinction Really Matters
XV.4 Quine’s Critique of the Analytic-Synthetic Distinction, and a Meta-Critique
XV.5 Three Dogmas of Post-Quineanism
XVI. Analytic Philosophy and The Ash-Heap of History
XVI.1 Husserl’s Crisis and Our Crisis
XVI.2 Why Hasn’t Post-Classical Analytic Philosophy Produced Any Important Ideas in the Last Thirty-Five Years?
XVI.3 On Irad Kimhi’s Thinking and Being, Or, It’s The End Of Analytic Philosophy As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
XVI.4 Thinking Inside and Outside the Fly-Bottle: The New Poverty of Philosophy and Its Second Copernican Revolution
This installment contains sections V.1.
But you can also read or download a .pdf version of the complete book HERE.
V.2 The Tractatus in Context
As Wittgenstein stresses in the Preface, he “makes no claim to novelty in points of detail” and does not care whether he is borrowing ideas from other philosophers, especially Frege and Russell.
Moreover, it’s obvious from the 1914–1916 notebooks that Wittgenstein was also heavily influenced by Schopenhauer.
Indeed, as we’ve seen above, Wittgenstein told Von Wright that “he had read Schopenhauer‘s Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung in his youth and that his first philosophy was a Schopenhauerian epistemological idealism.”
And we’ve also seen that in 1920 Wittgenstein told Frege about “deep grounds for idealism.”
However, Von Wright also says that
I know nothing about how this interest was related to [Wittgenstein‘s] interest in logic and the philosophy of mathematics, except that I remember his saying that it was Frege‘s conceptual realism which made him abandon his earlier idealistic views.[i]
But in view of the self-admitted fact that Von Wright “knows nothing about how” Wittgenstein‘s idealism is related to his interest in logic and the philosophy of mathematics, then is Von Wright likely to be correct that in the Tractatus Wittgenstein actually abandons his earlier idealism in light of his reading of Frege?
Or it rather the case that Wittgenstein merely reformulates his earlier idealism in light of his reading of Frege?
My proposal is that it’s the latter.
So I can now motivate a general interpretation of the Tractatus by situating it in its historico-philosophical context.
More precisely —
- Wittgenstein accepts the basic framework of Kant‘s transcendental idealism and theory of cognition but rejects Kant‘s modal dualism of analytic vs. synthetic a priori necessary truths and replaces it with a modal monism of logically necessary truths.
- Wittgenstein accepts Schopenhauer’s reduction of both the epistemic subject and the epistemic object (or “thing in itself”) of Kant’s transcendental idealism, to the will, i.e., to the metaphysical subject.
- Wittgenstein accepts the basic project of logical analysis as implicit in Fregean logicism, but rejects Frege’s fundamental appeal to set theory.
- Wittgenstein accepts the Frege-Russell idea that logic is “first philosophy,” but rejects both of their conceptions of logic: for Wittgenstein, logic is neither the science of laws of truth nor the absolutely general science of deduction: instead, logic is transcendental in Kant’s sense.
- Wittgenstein accepts Frege’s semantics of sense and reference/Meaning — that is, he accepts what Von Wright calls “Frege‘s conceptual realism” — but rejects Frege’s platonist ontology of the “third realm” and also rejects Russell’s one-factor or ‘Fido’-Fido theory of meaning, except for names.
- And finally, Wittgenstein accepts Russell’s distinction between knowledge-by-description and knowledge-by-acquaintance, and Russell’s theory of descriptions, and also Russell’s radically simple correspondence theory of truth, but he rejects Russell’s multiple-relation theory of judgment.
V.3 The Basic Structure of the Tractatus: A Simple Picture
Here’s a simple picture of the basic structure of the Tractatus, as divided into an “upper” or essence level (roughly, a transcendental level), and a “lower” or natural/ordinary level (roughly, an empirical level); poised between the upper (essence or transcendental) and lower (natural/ordinary or empirical) levels, equally participating in both, is the subject who uses language to represent its world, the world of facts.
[i] G.H. Von Wright, “Biographical Sketch of Wittgenstein,” in N. Malcolm, Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Memoir, with a Biographical Sketch by G.H. Von Wright (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1984), p. 6.
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