Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein (1889 – 1951) was an Austrian-British philosopher, professor in philosophy at the University of Cambridge (1939-1947). He worked in foundations of mathematics and on mathematical logic, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language. He played a central, if ...

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C. D. Broad’s taxonomy of philosophical styles and theories?

I came across a reference to C. D. Broad’s taxonomy of philosophical styles and theories, given in Board’s series of undergraduate lectures, "Elements of Philosophy" in Ray Monk's biography ...
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What does disposition mean in dispositional theory of meaning?

In discussion about rule-following and sceptical paradox, there is one solution called dispositional theory of meaning, which says, that if we are disposed to use a symbol + to denote addition, then ...
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What do Montaigne, Paine, and Wittgenstein have in common?

What do philosophers Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), Thomas Paine (1736-1809), and Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) have in common? I found this question scribbled in the margin of a library ...
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163 views

Do mainstream philosophers believe that Wittgenstein “solved” philosophy?

After finishing his first work, Wittgenstein left philosophy, thinking that he "solved" all philosophical questions. He is now considered one of the most important philosophers of the 20th century, if ...
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171 views

Is philosophy meaningless?

*By meaningless I mean undefined, and by meaning I mean definition. As a student of philosophy, I, like the general public, thought that my difficulty in understanding the concepts of philosophy is ...
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95 views

Was Wittgenstein foreshadowing Godel?

The Tractatus 6.123: 6.123 Clearly the laws of logic cannot in their turn be subject to laws of logic. (There is not, as Russell thought, a special law of contradiction for each 'type'; one law ...
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Is anything known about the content of Sraffa's critique of Wittgenstein's Philosophy?

in the preface to Wittgensteins Philosophical Investigations he says: For since beginning to occupy myself with philosophy sixteen years ago I have been forced to recognise grave mistakes in what ...
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What is the difference between the illogical and the nonsensical?

In the Tractatus, Wittgenstein mentions the following: "3.03 Thought can never be of anything illogical, since, if it were, we should have to think illogically." "3.032 It is as impossible to ...
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How do modern metaphysicians respond to Kant and Wittgenstein?

As far as I've understood, Kant argued that metaphysical knowledge is impossible because the human mind is not capable enough to acquire it. Wittgenstein, on the other hand, claimed that metaphysical ...
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111 views

A quote from Wittgenstein

What does Wittgenstein mean by this sentence: The less somebody knows and understand himself the less great he is, however great may be his talent. For this reason our scientists are not great. ...
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In Wittgenstein, is all the facts being *all* the facts a fact itself?

Wittgenstein writes in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (p.25 in this version): 1. The world is everything that is the case. 1.1 The world is the totality of facts, not of things. 1.11 The ...
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Is the Tractatus considered to have had any permanent influence on philosophy, given that Wittgenstein himself later repudiated it?

I was reading a text book that stated that Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus is rarely criticized in a serious way, since Wittgenstein himself rejected its ideas in his later phase, as ...
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What is the difference between Jerry Fodor's LOT and Wittgenstein's Picture Theory of Meaning?

From Wikipedia: "[The] the language of thought hypothesis (LOTH) put forward by American philosopher Jerry Fodor describes thoughts as represented in a "language" (sometimes known as mentalese) that ...
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Can the correspondance theory of truth take into account observer effects?

Kant wrote in the Metaphysics of Natural Science If we ·keep mathematics out of the picture and· think of the doctrine of the soul merely as a systematic art of analysis or as an experimental ...
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are Wittgensteins propositions analytic or synthetic?

Wittgenstein provides a logical analysis of propositions in the Tractatus; does he there admit the Kantian distinctions between analytic/synthetic and a priori/a postereroi divisions; or does his ...
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84 views

What can we speak of

Wittgenstein's Tractatus starts with the assumption that the world is "the totality of... facts". But famously concludes that what we cannot speak of "one must be silent" about. It seems pretty ...
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What if we could only “surmount” propositions with lower order properties as their object

This link nicely explains the difference between lower order and higher order properties First-order properties and relations are those that can only be instantiated by individuals. For example, ...
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57 views

What is the role of philosophy according to the Tractatus

IIRC it's to show what questions are pseudo questions. But he also says this: Philosophy limits the disputable sphere of natural science. Is this in reference to the demarcation of science and ...
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94 views

Why isn't “Philosophical Investigations'” style the norm?

As some of you may know (I tend to discuss and talk quite a bit with you fine folk on this topic), I attend a local gathering of people who wish to discuss (somewhat) simple topics of philosphy. It's ...
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63 views

What are the arguments in favor of scepticism today?

It seems that today the common opinion is that Wittgenstein "killed" philosophical scepticism with his Philosophical Investigations and his private language argument. After P.I, the number of ...
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90 views

Did Wittgenstein say something about intuition for logic?

When one creates some logical content, like in programming, only naives think that this is a rational way of thinking. In fact, this is based on patterns and intuition. Did Wittgenstein say anything ...
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92 views

Are negated statements always false in Wittgenstein's “logically perfect language”?

According to the language Wittgenstein builds in the Tractatus, you start with the set of atomic facts, pick some subset of them, negate all of the members of the subset (using nand), and then add the ...
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213 views

Why is knowing not a mental state?

"There is a tendency to think of knowledge as a mental state. Now I am supposed to know my own mental states. If I say I have a certain mental state and do not have it, then I have told a lie. But ...
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183 views

Visciously circular arguments against philosophy

Science seeks to explain natural events with natural causes. The Turing hypothesis does this. Beyond the bounds of science, there is no objective argument for anything really, just ...
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The logic of indefinable variables [closed]

Suppose that I cannot see the limit of what I am able to see. Interpreting the Tractatus when it says: our visual field has no limits It does seem that I can see the edge of things that I see ...
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82 views

Can anyone correct my understanding of “a priori conception”

Not only in judgements, however, but even in conceptions, is an a priori origin manifest. For example, if we take away by degrees from our conceptions of a body all that can be referred to mere ...
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387 views

How would Descartes respond to Wittgenstein's objection to radical doubt?

From what I understand, Descartes wrote refutations to criticisms made of his Meditations. I'm just interested in what he would say to Wittgenstein, who I think has the most compelling critique of ...
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878 views

If “the limits of my language are the limits of my world”, then how can it be that “what can be shown, cannot be said.”

I'm trying to understand Wittgenstein, but two of his most oft quoted statements seem to me to be implying contradicting things. I understand that later Wittgenstein did refute a lot of his earlier ...
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274 views

Tractatus 3.333 and Russell's paradox

Can anyone explain to a non-logician how Tractatus 3.333 refutes (or fails to refute) Russell's Paradox? Please explain his use of symbols!
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75 views

According to Wittgenstein, what is the relationship between “concept” and “definition”? What are the differences between the two?

I'm having trouble understanding the difference. I felt that concept can be reduced to definitions.
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251 views

Wittgenstein: Why is bipolarity necessary?

I do get that for a certain proposition there may be the possibility of it being either true or false, but why must this possibility exist for every proposition?
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493 views

Defenses of Descartes's rationality in regards to “cogito” fallacy?

What philosophers and in what writings, if any, have attempted to explain or defend Descartes's rationalism in respect to the "cogito ergo sum" fallacy pointed out by philosophers like Russell, and ...
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156 views

Why should one read the Tracatus?

In the introduction to the Tractatus, Russell writes: In order to understand Mr Wittgenstein’s book, it is necessary to realize what is the problem with which he is concerned. In the part of his ...
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226 views

Does Wittgensteins own solution to Russells Paradox actually work?

In the Tractatus, Wittgenstein attempts a solution of Russells paradox 3.333 A function cannot be its own argument, because the functional sign already contains the prototype of its own argument ...
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111 views

Why could Wittgenstein say that men had an idea for the law of least action?

Wittgenstein says in the Tractatus: 6.3211 Men had indeed an idea that there must be a 'law of least action', before they knew exactly how it ran. (Here, as always, what is certain a priori proves ...
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360 views

Why does Wittgenstein say that the world is made of facts, and not things?

Proposition 1.1 of the Tractatus says: The world is the totality of facts, not of things. Does this mean that he regards the world being that of propositions whose truth can be determined - that ...
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1answer
426 views

Why does the world of the happy man differ from the world of the unhappy man?

In the Tractatus, what does Wittgenstein mean by: 6.43 If good or bad willing changes the world, it can only change the limits of the world, not the facts; not the things that can be expressed in ...
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137 views

One or two Wittgensteins?

It is common opinion that Wittgenstein has two main different periods which are best exemplified by the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and the Philosophical Investigations and that these periods are ...
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2answers
204 views

For Wittgenstein in Philosophical Investigations, is all use of language in a language game?

If so, doesn't this characterize language as being within a language game, thus undermining Wittgenstein's anti-essentialism?
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What did Wittgenstein mean by saying that the belief in the causal nexus is a superstition?

In the Tractatus-Logicus Wittenstein says: 5.1361 The events of the future cannot be inferred from those of the present. Superstition is the belief in the causal nexus. I'm not quite ...
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218 views

What is the logic in the Tractatus-Logico Philosophicus in modern terms?

In the SEP entry on Wittgenstein, the description of the logic utilised in the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus to describe his logical atomism appears to be at least formally classical propositional ...
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901 views

Should we not talk about ethics according to Wittgenstein?

Wittgenstein says in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus: 6.4 All propositions are of equal value. 6.41 The sense of the world must lie outside the world. In the world everything is as it is ...
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262 views

What is meant by an Appeal?

To Appeal to a concept would seem to originally be (in the day of Greek metaphysics) a somewhat poetic device metaphorically gesturing toward whatever concept understanding might be sought from. ...
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1answer
234 views

Which works of Wittgenstein, Heidegger and Dewey does Rorty call “therapeutic”?

In the introduction to Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature Rorty speaks of later works of Wittgenstein, Heidegger and Dewey as therapeutic rather than constructive, edifying rather than ...
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258 views

How would Wittgenstein respond to Functionalist accounts of consciousness?

So far, I've only been able to dig up a partial footnote by Kripke in his essay "Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language" where he tantalizingly writes that "... Wittgenstein would regard his ...
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2answers
1k views

Why did Wittgenstein read out loud metaphysical poetry to the Vienna Circle?

In this essay by Phil Shields, Wittgenstein & Silence he relates the following story: Wittgenstein was invited to a meeting of the Vienna circle: “When he finally came, instead of ...
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136 views

Wittgenstein on algorithm decidability and Incompleteness Theorem

I found Internet resources a bit confusing, so I ask this question: What are Wittgenstein's arguments on algorithm decidability and Godel's Incompleteness Theorem?
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225 views

Given Wittgenstein's characterisation of language as essentially public, can he characterise what form thinking takes?

According to Wittgenstein, language is an essentially public activity between minds; and language is structured by a grammar so that this communication can indeed occur. I think, the notion of ...
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96 views

Wittgenstein maintains language is public, can this be correct?

I come into the world where other beings are using language. I learn this. Those beings have come into the world where other beings are using language. They learn it. Those other beings come into ...
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459 views

Are there any true Wittgensteinians?

[CRUCIAL CLARIFICATION: unless I explicitly say otherwise, all references to Wittgenstein, or W, below should be read as "the post-Tractatus Wittgenstein." I am not interested in those who could be ...