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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Is it possible to use Wittgenstein's concept of family resemblance to separate high art from commercial art?

In a previous post, I asked whether it is possible to objectively compare the quality and validity of different pieces and forms of art. In the responses I got the overall response is that there is no ...
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26 views

When 'I' is used as a subject, why do we disuse 'I' and so create an illusion?

Caution: I probably quoted overmuch; please feel free to omit the first few paragraphs and advise what can be omitted. Source: pp 137-138 , Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy (1 ed, 1999) ...
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56 views

Relationship between Kant and Wittgenstein [closed]

Anyone run into a good book or essay relating (discussing the arguable relationship between) Kant's embedding our 'conceptual scheme' (for lack of a better term for "the way we think", or what we ...
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28 views

Logical Atomism's long term effect on modern culture?

Wittgenstein and Russell both moved away from Logical Atomism, and it is generally considered to have failed as a theory of how language connects to truth. However, as an IT person, when I first ...
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What is the relation if there any between a linguistic entity and things in the world?

Ludwig Wittgenstein said: The difficulty of my theory of logical portrayal was that of finding a connection between the signs on paper and a situation outside in the world. I always said that ...
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83 views

Wittgenstein on names and paradigms [closed]

This is in a way a followup to the question on Wittgenstein's standard metre of Paris, which is part of his discussion on names in language. In philosophical investigations §55, Wittgenstein says: ...
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91 views

Why does Wittgenstein say Schopenhauer has a crude mind?

"Schopenhauer has got quite a crude mind. Where real depth begins, his ends." What does Wittgenstein mean by this?
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749 views

How long is the standard meter?

In the Philosophical Investigations §50, Wittgenstein writes: There is one thing of which one can say neither that it is one metre long, nor that it is not one metre long, and that is the ...
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47 views

Definition of “language” in private language arguments

What is a sensible definition of the term language to use when interpreting private language arguments in general (if possible), or Wittgenstein in particular? Conversely, is rejecting the idea of ...
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92 views

Why private language is an incoherent idea?

The fact that I have no problem imagining a private language probably implies that I don't understand the notion of private language. My understanding is private language is a language understandable ...
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93 views

The preface of Wittgenstein's Tractatus

The Preface to the Tractatus begins: This book will perhaps only be understood by those who have themselves already thought the thoughts which are expressed in it—or similar thoughts The ...
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56 views

What is the objective of philosophy according to the late Wittgenstein?

Wittgenstein early metaphilosophy in the TLP basically gives philosophy the role of "riddler solver", that is, a discipline whose main task is to study language in order to clarify the meaning of ...
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158 views

What are the objections to the picture theory of language?

The title says it all. I am just interested to explore the objections briefly. I'll really appreciate if all is explained in layman's term and suggestion to helpful material is also welcome.
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171 views

Is “propositions of logic are tautologies” (Wittgenstein) literal or mystical?

At 6.1 in the Tractatus, Wittgenstein says, "The propositions of logic are tautologies." When he says this, is he referring to the fact that the axioms of propositional logic as presented, for ...
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105 views

Wittgenstein and Husserl

If Wittgenstein's Tractatus is right that: He must surmount these propositions; then he sees the world rightly. (TLP 6.54). and Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent. (TLP 7). ...
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29 views

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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46 views

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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67 views

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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244 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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305 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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153 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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55 views

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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129 views

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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196 views

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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144 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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98 views

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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129 views

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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52 views

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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4answers
92 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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26 views

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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66 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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109 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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73 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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105 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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102 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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222 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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200 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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55 views

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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107 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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639 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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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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398 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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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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285 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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667 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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175 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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258 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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115 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 ...