THE FATE OF ANALYSIS, #20–How Logic Rules The World.

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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VII.3 Logic Must Take Care of Itself

This can also be construed as a solution to the general logocentric predicament.

That is: in a certain sense, it’s impossible to make mistakes in logic, so it’s self-justifying, because if we have indeed already cognitively constructed a logic, then this logic is perfectly in order just as it is (5.475).

“Self-evidence” (self-intimation, self-manifestation) is thus entirely internal to the process of cognitively constructing a logic (5.4731).

VII.4 Tautologies and Contradictions

But the total class of all atomic and molecular can be cross-classified into two disjoint classes: (i) contingent (sometimes true and sometimes false) versus (ii) necessary (always true or always false).

Propositions that are always true are tautologies, and they can be shown to be tautologous by constructing their truth-tables, which come out T under every line of their main connective.

Tautologies are also called “propositions of logic,” because they’re true by virtue of their logical form alone.

But there are no “primitive propositions of logic”: every tautology is equally primitive (6.1271).

Propositions that are always false are contradictions, and similarly to tautologies, mutatis mutandis, they can be shown to be contradictory by constructing their truth-tables, which come out F under every line of their main connective.

There’s a deep connection between valid deductions and tautologies: for every valid deduction there is a tautology in modus ponens form, consisting of a conditional proposition containing each of the premises as distinct conjuncts in one big conjunction in its antecedent, and the conclusion in its consequent (6.1264–6.1265).

What this means is that the tautologies logically encode and “give” all the valid deductions of logic, thereby yielding the entire theory of deduction via the theory of tautologies (6.124–6.127).

Proof is of only psychological relevance, to help us recognize tautologies, but not in any way necessary for logic itself (6.1262).

Now Wittgenstein is fully committed to the thesis that the logical constants do not represent anything (4.0312, 4.441, 5.4), sharply unlike Russell, who thought that they represented abstract objects of a peculiar kind, and correspondingly encountered the problem of the unity of the proposition and Bradley’s Regress, which Russell could avoid only by recourse to psychologism.

But for Wittgenstein, the logical relations between propositions cannot be represented, and in particular the logically necessary relations between the parts of tautologies or contradictions cannot be represented: so the problem of the unity of the proposition and Bradley’s Regress are dissolved from the get-go.

In other words, tautologies and contradictions cannot picture atomic facts, and cannot represent complex facts.

As a consequence, tautologies and contradictions are “senseless” in that they “say” nothing (4.461), and do not provide logical pictures of reality (4.462).

But at the same, they are also not unacceptably nonsensical (4.4611), although strictly speaking they are nonsensical, in that they are other than what conveys a sense.

So Wittgenstein is implicitly using a distinction between

(i) logically unacceptable nonsense, and

(ii) logically acceptable nonsense.

This distinction is crucial for understanding the Tractatus, since it will turn out that what can only be shown and not said wth respect to logic is equivalent with logically acceptable nonsense.

For our present purposes, then, tautology and contradiction are logocally acceptable nonsense, and thus only showable and not sayable with respect to logic.

VII.5 What is Logic?

In earlier sections of this chapter, we looked at one part of Wittgenstein’s answer to this question: logic is how we make manifest propositional forms and deduction, and logic must also “take care of itself,” in that it justifies deduction internally via tautologies.

But Wittgenstein also wants to connect the nature of logic directly with the nature of language, the nature of thought, and the nature of the world, as per the following propositions:

3.221 Objects I can only name. Signs represent them. I can only speak of them. I cannot assert them.

A proposition can only say how a thing is, not what it is.

5.471 The general form of the proposition is the essence of the proposition.

5.4711 To give the essence of the proposition means to give the essence of all description, therefore the essence of the world.

5.4731 Self-evidence, of which Russell has said so much, can only be discarded in logic by language itself preventing every logical mistake. That logic is a priori consists in the fact that we cannot think illogically.

5.552 The “experience” which we need to understand logic is not that such and such is the case, but that something is; but that is no experience.

Logic precedes every experience — that something is so. It is before the How, not before the What.

5.5521 And if this were not the case, how could we apply logic? We could say: if there were a logic, even if there no world, how then could there be a logic, since there is a world?

5.6 The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.

5.61 Logic fills the world: the limits of the world are also its limits.

We cannot therefore say in logic: This and this there is in the world, that there is not.

For that would apparently presuppose that we exclude certain possibilities, and this cannot be the case since otherwise logic must get outside the limits of the world: that is, if it could consider these limits from the other side also.

What we cannot think, that we cannot think: we cannot therefore say what we cannot think.

6.12 The fact that the propositions of logic are tautologies shows the formal — logical — properties of language, of the world.

6.124 The logical propositions describe the scaffolding of the world, or rather they exhibit (stellendar) it. They “treat” of nothing. They presuppose that names have Meaning, and that elementary propositions have sense. And this is their connexion with the world. It is clear that it must show something about the world that certain combinations of symbols — which essentially have a definite character — are tautologies. Herein lies the decisive point. We said that in the symbols which we use something is arbitrary, something not. In logic only the latter expresses: but this means that in logic it is not we who express, by means of signs, what we want, but in logic the nature of the essentially necessary signs speaks for itself. That is to say, if we know the logical syntax of any sign language, then all the propositions of logic are already given.

6.13 Logic is not a theory but a reflexion of the world. Logic is transcendental.

Obviously these propositions are not self-explanatory.

But three basic theses emerge from them.

1. Logic is the a priori essence of language.

2. Logic is the a priori essence of thought.

3. Logic is the a priori essence of the world.

For my purposes in this book, to say that something is “a priori” is to say that its truth or meaning or justification is necessarily underdetermined by (that is, neither identical with nor supervenient on) any and all sensory experiences and/or contingent empirical facts.

And to say that something X is “essential” is to say that X is metaphysically necessary and metaphysically sufficient for something else, Y, so that X is Y’s nature, X grounds Y, and Y flows from X.

But apart from that, what do these theses actually mean?

Does Wittgenstein have any arguments for them?

And quite apart from what Wittgenstein actually argues, are there any good reasons to think that his these are true?

Let’s consider the three of them in turn.

VII.6 Logic is the A Priori Essence of Language

Nothing will count as a language unless it satisfies logical constraints and anything that meets all logical constraints is at least a possible language.

Otherwise put, logic tells us how to construct a language.

Obviously, “language” here means a totality of propositions or rational-information-bearing signs, and not signs insofar as they are or might be used for other purposes.

So Wittgenstein‘s thesis is that logic captures the underlying semantic and syntactic structure of any actual or possible natural or ordinary rational-information-bearing language.

We can distinguish two Tractarian arguments for this thesis.

The first argument starts from logical analysis as an actual given fact, and then concludes to the thesis that logic must take the precise form that Wittgenstein spells out in the Tractatus: bivalent truth-functional propositional and polyadic first-order and second-order predicate logic (i.e., classical logic).

One critical question we could raise here is whether logic analysis in Wittgenstein’s sense actually exists.

Another critical question is whether, even on the assumption that logical analysis is or must be precisely as Wittgenstein assumes it to be, it still follows that logic must be of this precise form.

E.g., even if logical analysis in Wittgenstein’s sense actually exists or must be, as such, then must logic also be classical?

The second argument abstracts away from the specific existence of logical analysis and starts instead from the assumption that, as an actual given fact, there are natural or ordinary rational-information-bearing languages, and then concludes to the claim that some logic or another must be the a priori essence of all such languages: some logic or another must tell us how to construct and understand any natural or ordinary language.

Otherwise, what accounts for the unity of language across all the many different natural or ordinary languages?

Notice that even if the first argument fails, the second argument might still be sound.

VII.7 Logic is the A Priori Essence of Thought

The idea here is that the mental language is not merely contingently private, but instead inherently private, i.e., necessarily and sufficiently private, i.e., logically private, i.e., solipsistic.

So the thesis that logic is the a priori essence of thought means that logic captures the underlying semantic and syntactic structure of any actual or possible lingua mentis, namely, any actual or possible logically private or solipsistic language.

The general picture here is that all language is first constructed by us internally, and then secondly externally, by means of logic.

Not only does each of us possesses both an inner, mental language — as it were, mentalese — and also at least one outer, natural or ordinary language — say, English, German, or whatever — but also the former is more basic than the latter.

Notice that Wittgenstein‘s thesis here isn’t that our logical construction of language always or even usually occurs consciously or self-consciously: indeed it can and apparently does occur mostly unconsciously or at least unself-consciously.

As in the case of the first thesis (namely, that logic is the a priori essence of language, we can also distinguish different sorts of arguments for the second thesis (namely, that logic is the a priori essence of thought.

The first argument assumes that thought or thinking is essentially propositional activity, proceeds as a first step to the intermediate conclusion that thinking must be nothing but inner discourse in a logically private or solipsistic language, and then proceeds as a second step from language to logic as per the first thesis.

Obviously, the second step of the argument will be subject to the same criticism as the first thesis.

One critical question about the intermediate conclusion contained in the first step of the argument, moreover, is whether we have good reason to believe that thought or thinking is essentially propositional activity.

Another critical question is whether, even on the assumption that thought or thinking is essentially propositional activity, then it must be nothing but inner discourse in a logically private or solipsistic language: why can’t thoughts be shared, as Kant, Frege, and Husserl all held?

The second argument abstracts away from the notion of a logically private or solipsistic language and argues from the assumption that thought or thinking is essentially propositional activity, as a first step, to the intermediate conclusion that thought must be sufficiently like public natural or ordinary language in order to account for the construction of a public language by means of thought, then argues, as a second step, from language to logic, again as in the case of the first thesis.

Again, obviously the second step of the argument will be subject to the same criticism as the first thesis.

It should be noted, however, that even if the assumption that thought is essentially propositional activity is false, the intermediate conclusion, that thought must be sufficiently like public natural or ordinary language in order to account for the construction of such a language e by means of thought, could still be true.

In other words, thought could be largely non-propositional activity, provided that public natural or ordinary language is also largely non-propositional in nature.

VII.8 Logic is the A Priori Essence of the World

Wittgenstein’s answer is that since language enters directly into the constitution of the world, along with the objects, and since the essence of language is logic, it follows that logic enters directly into the constitution of the world.

Otherwise put: since logic captures the underlying semantic and syntactic structure of language, and since the world of facts, given by the objects, is constructed by the language-using subject or ego, then it follows that the structure of the world is essentially semantic and syntactic, and that logic captures that structure.

So Wittgenstein holds that logic is the a priori essence of the world precisely because he is a linguistic and logical neo-Kantian transcendental idealist.

Otherwise put, the world of facts is nothing but a structured totality of phenomena (i.e., mind-dependent entities) constructed by a talking and thinking subject or ego via language and logic, given by the objects, and not a totality of things in themselves (wholly mind-independent entities, constituted by their non-relational essences), and the structure of that totality directly reflects the innate constructive capacities of the subject or ego.

What is Wittgenstein‘s argument for this thesis?

One possibility is that he is arguing that this thesis is the unique a priori presupposition of the fact that logical analysis actually exists.

This is then a transcendental argument.

Another possibility is that Wittgenstein is arguing that this thesis is the best overall explanation of logic, language, & the world, considered as given data or facts.

This is then an “inference-to-the-best-explanation,” aka IBE, argument.

Put this way, as an IBE argument, one could ask the question: are there any other better overall explanations?

If not, then the Tractarian hypothesis stands until further critical notice.

AGAINST PROFESSIONAL PHILOSOPHY REDUX 469

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