THE FATE OF ANALYSIS, #12–Tractarian Ontology.

By Robert Hanna

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

II. Classical Analytic Philosophy

II.1 What Classical Analytic Philosophy Is: Two Basic Theses

II.2 What Classical Analytic Philosophy Officially Isn’t: Its Conflicted Anti-Kantianism

II.3 Classical Analytic Philosophy Characterized in Simple, Subtler, and Subtlest Ways

II.4 Three Kinds of Analysis: Decompositional, Transformative, and Conceptual

II.5 Frege, The First Founding Father of Classical Analytic Philosophy

II.6 Frege’s Project of (Transformative or Reductive) Analysis

II.7 Frege’s Dead End

II.8 Frege’s Semantics of Sense and Reference, aka Meaning

II.9 Some Biggish Problems For Frege’s Semantics

II.10 Husserl, Logic, and Logical Psychologism, aka LP

II.11 What LP is, and its Three Cardinal Sins

II.12 Husserl’s Three Basic Arguments Against LP

II.13 Has Husserl Begged the Question Against LP? Enter The Logocentric Predicament, and a Husserlian Way Out

II. Moore, Brentano, Husserl, Judgment, Anti-Idealism, and Meinong’s World

III.1 G.E. Moore, the Second Founding Father of Classical Analytic Philosophy

III.2 Brentano on Phenomenology, Mental Phenomena, and Intentionality

III.3 Husserl on Phenomenology and Intentionality

III.4 Moore and the Nature of Judgment

III.5 Moore and the Refutation of Idealism

III.6 Meinong’s World

IV. Russell, Unlimited Logicism, Acquaintance, and Description

IV.1 Russell Beyond Brentano, Husserl, Moore, and Meinong

IV.2 Russell and Mathematical Logic versus Kant

IV.3 Russell’s Unlimited Logicist Project

IV.4 Pursued by Logical Furies: Russell’s Paradox Again

IV.5 Russell’s ‘Fido’-Fido Theory of Meaning

IV.6 Knowledge-by-Acquaintance and Knowledge-by-Description

IV.7 Russell’s Theory of Descriptions

IV.8 Russell’s Multiple-Relation Theory of Judgment

IV.9 Russellian Analysis, Early Wittgenstein, and Impredicativity Again

IV.10 Russell and The Philosophy of Logical Atomism

V. Wittgenstein and the Tractatus 1: The Title, and Propositions 1–2.063

V.1 A Brief Synopsis of the Tractatus

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

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But you can also read or download a .pdf version of the complete book HERE.

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V.4 Tractarian Ontology

(i) the world (Welt) or reality (Wirklichkeit) is the totality of facts (Tatsachen), not objects or things

(ii) facts can be either atomic facts (Sachverhalten) or else molecular facts, and all the atomic facts are modally independent of one another (i.e., only contingently related to one another),

(iii) atomic facts can be either positive (existent) or negative (non-existent),

(iv) positive or negative atomic facts are states of affairs (Sachlagen), made up of possible combinations of objects or things, which in turn are simple entities, knowable by acquaintance, and

(v) all the possible combinations of objects or things in atomic facts

(va) are built into the very nature of the objects or things themselves, as their “internal qualities,” and

(vb) are necessarily governed by logic, which specifies the “logical forms” of objects or things (real space, time, and color),

therefore

(vi) the objects or things are the matter or “substance” of the world, and the world‘s overall form or structure is “logical space.”

V.5 Reconstructing Wittgenstein’s Reasoning

My proposal is that we reconstruct Wittgenstein‘s reasoning as follows:

1. Let’s suppose that philosophy is possible only as logical analysis, and that there really is such a thing as logical analysis: then what must be the case?

2. Answer: “Every statement about complexes can be analyzed into a statement about their constituent parts, and into those propositions which completely describe the complexes” (2.0201).

3. Now what, in turn, must be the case if 2. is true?

4. Answer: the world must be ultimately made up of simple objects or things, which in turn can be combined into complexes (the facts), and all the objects and the facts or complexes must together exhaust the nature of reality, and logical analysis must be the correct description of this reality.

V.6 What Are the Objects or Things?

Therefore, although the objects or things are “simple” in that they are primitive and not further decomposable, they nevertheless are not undifferentiated or without distinct natures.

On the contrary, the objects or things are necessarily internally articulated, which is to say that the they must have both “internal qualities” that specify precisely how they can combine or fail to combine with one another, and also general “logical forms” that govern these combinations.

Wittgenstein says that these general logical forms include real (as opposed to purely logical) space, time, and color.

This directly implies that all atomic facts must be spatiotemporal and phenomenal in character, and that simply as a matter of logic, two different colors cannot occur in one and the same place and time.

So simply as a matter of logic, nothing can be everywhere red and somewhere green, or everywhere green and somewhere red, at one and the same time.

V.7 The Role of Logic in Tractarian Ontology

Rather, logic is specifically about the relations of truth-dependency between atomic facts that constitute the molecular facts.

E.g., The fact that P is an atomic fact, and the fact that Q is another atomic fact, but the fact that if P then Q, is a molecular fact.

V.8 Colorless Objects/Things

This is because although we can be directly acquainted with them, nevertheless nothing can be fully cognized until the objects or things are combined into facts.

In other words, although there must be objects/things, in principle we cannot know what they are “in themselves”: rather we can fully cognize objects/things only insofar as they appear to us as constituents of facts.

So we must remain consistently agnostic about the inner nature of the objects: we know that they subsist, and that they must be combined into the facts, but not what they are in themselves.

This of course is a deeply Kantian point: due to the inherent limitations of our innately specified cognitive capacities, and our “human, all-too-human” nature, we cannot know things in themselves, and we can know only objects of experience, namely, the really manifest or phenomenal facts that correspond to true judgments of experience.

Moreover, again as per Kant, we do know something a priori about the general shape or form of objects or things, namely that they must conform to the general shape or form of statements or propositions.

Thus as we’ll discover later, there are basic or atomic propositions that correlate with the basic or atomic facts, and there are one-to-one correspondences between the parts of the atomic propositions and the parts of the atomic facts.

In particular, the subjects and predicates of simple sentences stand for objects or things of different sorts: Fregean individuals, and Fregean concepts (i.e., one-place or many-place universals, i.e., properties and relations).

V.9 Tractarian Ontology, Necessity, and Contingency

First, the natures of the objects or things necessarily determine all the possible combinations of objects into atomic facts.

But second, all atomic facts are modally independent or one another, which is to say that they are only contingently related to one another.

That is, for Wittgenstein precisely how the objects in any one atomic fact stand in relation to one another cannot necessarily dictate how the objects in any other atomic fact stand in relation to one another: but why?

The answer is three-part.

First, if atomic facts necessarily depended one another, then the meaning or truth of an atomic proposition about a single fact would depend on the meaning or truth of another proposition about another fact, ad infinitum, which would entail a coherence or holistic theory of truth or meaning (2.0211–2.0212), in which case the correspondence theory of truth would have to be false, which is absurd because the correspondence theory for Wittgenstein is a necessary condition of the possibility of logical analysis.

Second, if atomic facts necessarily depended on one another, then necessary connections between them could not be merely logical in character, since logic applies only to the relations between molecular facts, and there would then have to be non-logically necessary truths, which is absurd because for Wittgenstein modal monism is a necessary condition of the possibility of logical analysis.

And third, although logic does not determine the exact configuration of objects, it’s a necessary condition of the configurations of objects and frames all facts: so from the standpoint of logic, just how the individual facts are determined is an open question, yet at the same time necessarily every fact is determined according to an a priori repertoire of logical forms (2.013–2.0131).

V.10 Some Initial Worries, and Some Possible Wittgensteinian Counter-Moves

(i) Are the simple objects absolute simples, or are they simple only relative to a given natural or ordinary subject who is doing the analyzing?

If it‘s the latter, then logical analysis is egocentrically private, cannot be shared, and does not generalize: in short, solipsistic psychologism.

[One possible counter-move that Wittgenstein could make here is to stress that the subject or ego of analysis is a metaphysical or transcendental subject or ego, not a psychological or empirical subject or ego.]

(ii) What about the modal independence of atomic facts: is this correct?

If point A is red (positive atomic fact 1), then isn’t it necessarily not the case that point A is green (negative atomic fact 2)? And if point A is brighter than point B (positive atomic fact 1), and point B is brighter than point C (positive atomic fact 2), then isn’t it necessarily the case that point A is brighter than point C (positive atomic fact 3)?

[One possible counter-move that Wittgenstein could make here is to deny that facts like these are really atomic, and assert that instead they’re really molecular.]

(iii) Let’s say that a transcendental argument has the following form:

1. Assume the truth of a factual proposition P.

2. Then find a non-trivial, fundamental a priori presupposition of P, APP.

3. Then, from the truth of P, conclude that, necessarily and a priori APP, and that APP is a (or the) condition of the real possibility of the fact that P.

Since the Tractatus has the general form of a transcendental argument from the fact of logical analysis, then it’s still possible to reject the initial assumption: that is, it’s still possible to reject the assumption that there really is such a thing as logical analysis.

But how can this be shown by Wittgenstein without simply begging the question?

[One possible counter-move that Wittgenstein could make here is to connect, in a metaphysically substantive way, logical analysis with the nature of the exact sciences (i.e., mathematics and the basic natural sciences): that is, he could claim that logical analysis is itself a non-trivial, fundamental a priori presupposition of the exact sciences, which uncontroversially do exist.]

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