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Questions tagged [wittgenstein]

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 controversial, role in 20th-century analytic philosophy.

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What is Wittgenstein referring to in 4.113

Philosophy limits the disputable sphere of natural science Does this refer to the demarcation problem (what is natural science) or occam's razor (what is the best explanation)? Or is it meant ...
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If logical propositions aren't tautologies (a la Wittgenstein), then what could they be?

This is a historical question about philosophical views. I believe I understand the claim made by Wittgenstein and others that logical propositions are tautologies. I'd like to know what other views ...
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What was Wittgenstein's argument against Cantor's transfinite numbers and where did he make his objection?

G. E. M. Anscombe had this to say about propositions in Wittgenstein's Tractatus: (page 137) It seems likely enough, indeed, that Wittgenstein objected to Cantor's result even at this date, and ...
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What does Wittgenstein mean when he says “there are no numbers in logic”?

From the Tractatus: 5.453 All numbers in logic stand in need of justification. Or rather, it must become evident that there are no numbers in logic. There are no pre-eminent numbers. What does ...
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Wittgenstein argues in the Tractatus that the laws of logic lack sense, say nothing about reality, and are analytic [duplicate]

1) What does this mean? and what's his argument? 2) What do you think of this view?
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Where Wittgenstein argues that thinking is done in natural language?

I am looking for a precise reference where Wittgenstein writes about the use of ordinary language when people think, and that they do not use formal logic. Even in the case of mathematics. Can you ...
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Private rule following

If I understand Wittgensteins Philosophical Investigations correctly, it is not possible to follow a rule in private. First of all, I am not quite sure if my understanding of rule-following is correct ...
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Philosophical Investigations Part one and two

I was wondering how is the book "Philosophical Investigations" by Ludwig Wittgenstein split? I have read that there are part one and part two. It may sound stupid but I have the "critical-genetic ...
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A Problem With Kripke's Rule-Following Paradox Example?

It seems that there is a problem with the example that Saul Kripke gives in "Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language" to explain Wittgenstein's rule-following paradox. I'm not asking about the ...
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Questions about the relationship between Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations and Tractatus

I've read the Tractatus and am now working my way through Investigations, and I have a few questions about their relationship to one another. Obviously I've heard that the latter is critical of the ...
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Wittgenstein and the meaning of intermediate cases

I am reading Wittgenstein's philosophical investigations and want to understand what intermediate cases are. In paragraph 122 Wittgenstein writes in the first section A main source of our failure ...
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Are there many minds or is there only one?

"If a lion could speak, we cannot understand it" - Ludwig Wittgenstein Machines vs Chaos of Human Language Mathematical Consensus Is a proof still valid if only the author understands it? ...
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How do Anscombe and Wittgenstein view psychology?

G. E. M. Anscombe wrote this at the beginning of Modern Moral Philosophy where she claimed that one should not do moral philosophy today: ...that should be laid aside at any rate until we have an ...
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How did Wittgenstein become interested in the philosophy of language?

As far as I know he was doing engineering and became interested in the foundations of mathematics and went to Frege and upon his advice he went to study logic from Russell. So what happened which ...
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Is logic a consequence of structure of language i.e. syntax?

I was reading the paper An elucidatory reading of the Tractatus and in page-3 section- Ineffabilist Readings, it was written "The order in our propositions, which renders them capable of thus ...
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What is the subject of Tractatus by Wittgenstein?

Is Tractatus about the Philosophy of language or Philosophy of logic. I was hearing John Searle's lecture and he said there are two strands in Philosophy of language :- 1. Logical theory of language 2....
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Is Wittgenstein mocking someone in the Tractatus?

When I first read Wittgenstein I laughed when he said And if I am not mistaken in this, then the value of this work secondly consists in the fact that it shows how little has been done when these ...
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Why does Wittgenstein think there are no genuine philosophical questions?

According to the movie I didn't get the part: https://youtu.be/r0cN_bpLrxk?t=201 "there are linguistic, ethical, logistic and religious but there are no genuine philosophical problems [...] ...
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Are propositions of logic for the tractarian Wittgenstein “sinnlos satze”?

For the tractarian Wittgenstein propositions of logic did not have a meaning because logic was only an instrument. Given that he divided meaningless propositions into unsinnig satze (nonsense) and ...
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Why the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus was/is so groundbreaking?

I am reading the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (of L. Wittgenstein) these days along with The Cambridge Companion to Wittgenstein. The Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus is a very difficult work to read ...
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Is Ludwig Wittgenstein connected to post-structuralism?

Wittgenstein said that "If a lion could speak, we cannot understand it". He also said that a private language is not possible. In my view, structuralism and post-structuralism also talk about these ...
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Can someone explain this Wittgenstein joke?

Schoolmaster: Suppose x is the number of sheep in this problem Pupil: But, Sir, suppose x is not the number of sheep (I asked professor Wittgenstein if this is not a profound philosophical joke, ...
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Wittgenstein vs Derrida

Derrida and late Wittgenstein challenged the 'traditional' understanding of language. What is similar and what particularly different in their views of language? What materials shall I read, that ...
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Is Wittgenstein right when he criticises recursion theory in the Tractatus 3.333?

In a notorious text from the Tractatus 3.333 Wittgenstein argues that a function that has a value in one argument cannot be re-used in a another. Hence recursive functions are meaningless. This ...
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The nature of elementary propositions in the Tractatus

So all complex objects in the world are, at the most fundamental level, made up of simple un-analysable objects which are denoted by 'names'. Combinations of simple objects constitute 'states of ...
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Making 'sense' of Wittgenstein's senselessness / nonsense distinction in the Tractatus

For this question I'm just considering Wittgenstein's theory at the time of the Tractatus. As far as I know, for Wittgenstein: Meaning - The object denoted by a word (i.e. referent). Sense - The ...
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What is the meaning of these criticisms of Aristotelian logic?

I'm reading Ray Monk's biography of Wittgenstein and, on a scathing book review of Wittgenstein's, Monk writes, There follows a list of such mistakes, which are, for the most part the weaknesses ...
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Quote from Wittgenstein

In his book Il était sept fois la révolution, Étienne Klein gives the following quotation of Ludwig Wittgenstein: Tout livre, même s'il est écrit avec une honnêteté totale, peut toujours être ...
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Why do some philosophers write in numbered paragraphs?

Hegel, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, and Anscombe all write mostly in numbered paragraphs. (Of course Hegel and Nietzsche have chapters. And many of Hegel's lectures aren't written in this way, but both ...
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What did Wittgenstein mean by 'trivialities'?

Source: John Farndon. Do You Still Think You're Clever? p. 27. Warning: The author didn't study philosophy. "LONDON-BASED AUTHOR JOHN FARNDON studied earth sciences and English literature at ...
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How did Wittgenstein reject the Cogito or Cartesian dualism? Can I get the specific sources?

I have heard of the fact that Wittgenstein rejected Cartesianism by the Private Language Argument. But the connections are not clear for me. Also I'd like to know if there is any other piece of ...
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What are the differences between facts and things?

I have just started reading Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and at the start I already don't understand his claim. He said that the world is the totality of facts and not of things. I ...
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Is there a fact of the matter? , a case [of the matter]?

Wittgenstein once said [and may have later recanted] that the world is everything that is the case, the totality of facts not of things, and that that world is determined by those facts, and they're ...
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Earlier and later Wittgenstein - reasons for change in thought, and resultant conclusions

The subject of this question is the comparison between the earlier and later Wittgenstein. So, I begin this brief critique on the assumption his metaphysics bears some correlation to a naive ...
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Does the Private Language Argument (PLA) succeed in showing that some form of public extra mental world exists?

Quoted from http://www.iep.utm.edu/solipsis/: One might even say, solipsism is necessarily foundationless, for to make an appeal to logical rules or empirical evidence the solipsist would ...
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Does Wittgenstein's Private Language Argument (PLA) commit the fallacy of question begging?

Following up from a question I previously posted, does the following objection quoted from Solomon Radley's blog, succeed in showing that the argument begs the question? It looks like the PLA is ...
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Does something permanent really need to accompany private sensations in Wittgenstein's Private Language Argument?

Ludwig Wittgenstein discusses at length the argument against the coherence of a private language throughout his published works. My question is, are there any objections to the argument that work ...
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What are some movements and schools inspired by Wittgenstein's philosophy?

Well-known examples are: Ordinary Language Philosophy (Austin, Ryle, Strawson, ...) Hacker and Baker (systematic commentary on Philosophical Investigations) Vienna Circle (highly inspired by ...
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Why argues Wittgenstein:if someone has solved the problem of life, and believes everything quite easy now, he can see that he is wrong?

Source: The Meaning of Life: A Very Short Introduction (1 ed 2007) by T. Eagleton. p. 50 Middle - p. 51 Top. We can always ask, after all, why someone should want to know the meaning of life. Are ...
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What meant Wittgenstein: ‘I really do think with my pen, because my head often knows nothing about what my hand is writing.'?

Source: The Meaning of Life: A Very Short Introduction (1 ed 2007) by T. Eagleton. p. 47 Middle. We speak of the complex network of meanings of a Shakespeare play without always supposing that ...
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Isomorphism vs homomorphism in the Tractatus' picture theory of language

People often mention that there is an isomorphic nature between language and the world in the Tractatus' conception of language. As far as I can see it, according to Wittgenstein (it's been a few ...
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How should I approach Wittgenstein's works?

I recently read Ray Monk's excellent biography of Wittgenstein, and would like to read something by the Austrian philosopher himself. It seems that you need to know a fair amount of logic to start ...
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In Wittgenstein's Picture theory, why is self-awareness (e.g. Cogito ergo sum in Descartes) not an a priori true atomic thought?

3.04 An a priori true thought would be one whose possibility guarenteed its truth. Note: I am asking about the earlier Wittgenstein and not his post-Tractatus philosophy. It is clear to me why this ...
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How could Wittgenstein not rule out that there was a rhinoceros in the living room?

I read a graphic novel called "Logicomix" years ago and have wondered this ever since.
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What is the relationship between what can be said and what cannot be said?

This is looking at Wittgenstein's Tractatus and his Philosophical Investigations. How does one stand in the face of this tension? How exactly do both books have an idea of what cannot be spoken of?
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Tractatus 3.3421, possibility

Tractatus 3.3421 runs: "A particular method of symbolizing may be unimportant, but it is always important that this is a possible method of symbolizing. And this happens as a rule in philosophy: The ...
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What did Wittgenstein (mean to) achieve in the Tractatus?

I read the Tractatus about a decade ago, and was impressed, both by it and I suppose myself! But suddenly I'm seriously wondering what the book has or could achieve. Not so much how it changed ...
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Can we know about everything?

By 'we' I mean human beings who have got intellect to reflect and analyse things and then to increase their 'knowledge' (not information) or by any other means. With the progress of time we are ...
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Wittgenstein's Challenge: Good Practice or Bad Advice?

Wittgenstein, in his Tractacus, lays out a number of interesting propositions. His 7th is famous for the odd advice it seems to suggest. It reads: Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be ...
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On Wittgenstein's family resemblance and machine learning

Wittgenstein proposed in his later philosophy the concept of family resemblance to describe groups which cannot be defined by a single (or simple set) of common features but instead display (from the ...