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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The problem of philosophy?

“The problem of philosophy is a linguistic problem, and every disagreement can be traced back to a difference in interpretation.” “No wonder we know that the deepest problems are not really problems ...
Muhhamedbinghazi's user avatar
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Can ideas be perfectly illustrated using non-mathematical language?

Reading through many philosophy forums it seems like many ideas get bogged down in the definitions of ideas which seem to go down an endless spiral of caveats and contradictions depending on who ...
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Is private language argument against absolute idealism?

Wittgenstein famously proposed that private language is an incoherent notion. Does this refute some version of idealism which claims that the reality is totally mind-dependent ? For me an argument ...
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Does the private language argument conflict with monotheism?

This blog post opposes the PLA to unitarianism (the belief in only one divine person), which is mostly a parochial, intra-Christian objection that, if generalized over other religions, seems like it ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
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Is there a difference between an I-private and a we-private language?

Alternatively, is the privacy clause in the argument relative? So to say, imagine two people A and B looking at a patch of blue together, while standing next to someone C who's blind. A says to B, &...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
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Can we conclude from Wittgenstein that all philosophy shows just as well that all philosophy is nonsense?

There's been a lot of skeptical questions recently, about knowledge, god, probability, other minds, all sorts of crazy stuff (I'm still waiting for "nothing is true") Can we conclude from ...
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How serious are believers in the private language argument?

From time to time I come across people who endorse Wittgenstein's notion that language is a fundamentally public activity, and that a private language would be meaningless. I always feel somewhat ...
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What is the crux of Wittgenstein’s PLA?

I’m reading Appiah’s Thinking it Through and I am having a little bit of trouble understanding grasping his statement of the crux of the private language argument(s). In particular, I don't understand ...
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The private language argument and Descartes's private thoughts

In his "Thinking it Through" textbook, Appiah writes It is a big step from saying that some of our mental states are things that other people can know about, to saying, with the ...
EE18's user avatar
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Going against the limits of language

I vaguely remember a sentence of Wittgenstein which was about the duty of philosophy: that is, to go against the limits of the language. This was in his late period of philosophy. What is the precise ...
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Is mysticism a confusion of language?

Is mysticism a confusion of language, in Wittgenstein's sense? You'd have thought it was, especially if it makes any positive claims. But does it not ever "show" things, ever?
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Wittgenstein on indeterminate boundaries

Wittgenstein, for instance, urged that “an indefinite boundary is not really a boundary at all” (1953: 45e). https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/vagueness/ What did he make of the Sorites paradox, ...
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How would Wittgenstein explain the ability of blind people to learn a language?

It we take Wittgensteins picture theory of language for granted, The picture theory of meaning states that statements are meaningful if, and only if, they can be defined or pictured in the real world ...
tryst with freedom's user avatar
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"This seems to abolish logic, but does not do so."

If language is to be a means of communication there must be agreement not only in definitions but also (queer as this may sound) in judgements. This seems to abolish logic, but does not do so. -- It ...
UtilityMaximiser's user avatar
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Was Wittgenstein a mathematical finitist?

Wittgenstein was a notorious critic of set theory, calling it "laughable nonsense". However, he also wholeheartedly rejected intuitionist logic of Brouwer and Weyl, saying "it is ...
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What was Wittgenstein's real motive for wanting to move to Russia?

Ludwig Wittgenstein was no doubt a fascinating genius who was also very mysterious. He was known for doing outrageous things that no one saw coming, and there is one episode in particular that I find ...
Dennis Kozevnikoff's user avatar
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Can we reduce Wittgenstein's claims of human language being limited by some actual propositions about the limits of language?

Wittgenstein argued that there are limits to what language can do, and that our attempts to use language to describe the world can sometimes lead us into confusion and error. He believed that many ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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Does Wittgenstein's picture theory contradict Frege's theory of Sinn and Bedeutung?

The picture theory of meaning states that statements are meaningful if, and only if, they can be defined or pictured in the real world. The very notion of meaning as used here is argued against by ...
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Can you be objectively offended?

Example: Person A is talking to person B and uses a phrase that B is offended by. Person A is unapologetic because they personally don't take offense to that phrase and feel taking offense to it is ...
jankinator's user avatar
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What does argument 4.0411 in the TLP mean?

This whole paragraph 4.0411 in the TLP makes no sense(in the non-Wittgenstein sense :D ) to me and I will quote it and add my questions. If, for example, we wanted to express what we now write as ‘(x)...
Hamzalihi's user avatar
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Wittgenstein like analysis of Carl Jung's work?

So I've been skeptical of Jung's ideas. More so because one of the philosophical moves Wittgenstein makes is: considering the possibility that just because you can grammatically string a bunch of ...
More Anonymous's user avatar
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Help needed in understanding an excerpt from PI (Section 509)

What if we asked someone, “In what sense are these words a description of what you see?” — and he answers: “I mean this by these words.” (Perhaps he was looking at a landscape.) Why is this answer “I ...
Dimen's user avatar
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Is "This sentence is written in English" nonsense?

Wittgenstein and many others have said that our language gives the appearance of truth to some nonsense. Do you think the very simple "This sentence is written in English." is such nonsense ...
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Neo-liberalism, language and freedom?

Background Byung Chulhan in his book psychopolitics defines freedom in two ways: a. He defines it as an interlude which the subject feels when passing between lifestyles or ideologies. This is a ...
More Anonymous's user avatar
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What does the emergence of different interpretations of Wittgenstein signify?

So I was listening to this Podcast about Wittgenstein the speakers are the Professor of Philosophy of University of South Hampton - Ray Monk, Senior Lecturer of University of York - Mary Macgin and ...
More Anonymous's user avatar
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Is Wittgenstein's proposition "the world is a collection of facts not things" similar to Hegel's claim that objects are not things but forces?

They both seem to suggest that objects are not defined by their discrete appearances but rather by the conceptual framework which allows us to perceive them. In case of Wittgenstein the world is all ...
Ash Rivers's user avatar
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Can set theory be non-extensional?

Here is Juliet Floyd stating "Wittgenstein's non-extensionalism, like Russell's in Principia, precluded development of an extensional theory of the infinite (set theory). https://youtu.be/...
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Does Wittgenstein rule-following mean everything is defined as what a human is supposed do with it? What does it say about ontology?

To me rule-following is a very “homespun” way to explain logic, math, and language. Meaning the social-communicative aspect of “rule-following” provides an explanation for informal and formal language ...
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What are Ludwig Wittgenstein's greatest accomplishments?

I have heard a lot about Ludwig Wittgenstein, but what are his greatest accomplishments? I tried looking up on Wikipedia but didn't understand much.
Parvez Patel's user avatar
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What was Wittgenstein's view on happiness?

I was wondering whether Wittgenstein is a proponent of happiness being central to a life well lived. Generally, from Ronald Suter's article and what I've read about him, Id wager the answer is yes. ...
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What motivates Wittgenstein’s declaration of the world as the totality of facts?

From the Tractatus: The world is everything that is the case. I understand “the case” to merely be an informal way of saying “that which is true”. 1.1 The world is the totality of facts, not of ...
D J Sims's user avatar
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Is there true and false poetic fancy?

Concerning the famous phrase of Wittgenstein "whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent", we can confidently speak and say, e.g., that gravity varies with the inverse square of ...
exp8j's user avatar
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What is the correct Wittgenstein analysis of this claim?

So I'm confused by the following. Let's say someone makes the claim: Math is also a language game. I can imagine 2 different kind of responses Wittgenstein might say: Indeed, it suffices to only ...
More Anonymous's user avatar
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5 answers
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Why was Russell discontent with Wittgenstein's view on "logic as tautologies"?

While reading Logicomix, I came across a scene that I don't quite understand. Russell: ...Logicians are creating elaborate ways to "say the same things in different words"...this "...
Dimen's user avatar
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Please explain Wittgenstein's views on ethics?

In Lecture on Ethics Wittgenstein said I at once see clearly, as it were in a flash of light, not only that no description that I can think of would do to describe what I mean by absolute value, but ...
hephaes's user avatar
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Does the second Wittgenstein still consider philosophical questions to be meaningless?

In his logico-philosophical treatise, if I have understood correctly, Wittgenstein proposes a demonstration of the fact that philosophical questions are not real problems but the result of ...
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What did Wittgenstein mean by "Light dawns gradually over the whole."?

I agree with Wittgenstein that "we seldom learn new propositions piecemeal; rather we acquire propositional knowledge in holistic clusters". When I study math from a textbook, I definitely ...
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Why the linguistic turn at early 20th century? Why not the physics/psychology turn? [closed]

Early 20th century philosophy went through a "linguistic turn", presumably due to developments in mathematical logic by Frege and Russell, followed by Wittgenstein's work. However, in the ...
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Introductory lectures to Wittgenstein's ideas

can anyone recommend me a course on YouTube that explains the ideas of Ludwig Wittgenstein in an introductory manner. Thank you
Amr's user avatar
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What is the minimum feature structure for a valid family resemblance definition?

As part of a research project, I am trying to better understand Wittgenstein's family resemblance definitions. I have come across various interpretations of this idea and I want to check my ...
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Review articles on the rule-following paradox

Except for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP) article on private language, I am having a hard time finding review articles (or book chapters) on the rule-following paradox. What review ...
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Relationship between early Wittgenstein and late Wittgenstein

I think most books treat his early and late theories as inconsistent theories, in a sense that one can agree on either his early or late theory, but not both. However, I think the two theories are ...
Dimen's user avatar
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According to Wittgenstein, why are the laws of logic valid?

According to Wittgenstein's tractatus, A fact is composed of atomic facts. An atomic fact corresponds to an elemental proposition. (Picture theory) A proposition is a series of elemental propositions ...
Dimen's user avatar
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Help with the details and source of an anecdote, Wittgenstein and Carnap on the paranormal

There is an anecdote in which the participants were Wittgenstein and Carnap (or Hempel). One of the two had a book on parapsychology/paranormal stuff. The other scolded him for this. The book owner ...
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How did Wittgenstein "cure" Anscombe of phenomenalism?

In "Collected Philosophical Papers Volume 2: Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Mind", Elizabeth Anscombe wrote the following: I always hated phenomenalism and felt trapped by it. I couldn’t ...
UtilityMaximiser's user avatar
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Where and from whom can I learn about Wittgenstein's family resemblance?

After reading the relevant Wikipedia article as well as the relevant Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article, I still feel like I need a gentle introduction to Wittgenstein's Philosophical ...
Aviv's user avatar
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Which philosophers did the young Wittgenstein meet as a child?

According to Wikipedia The family was at the center of Vienna's cultural life; Bruno Walter described the life at the Wittgensteins' palace as an "all-pervading atmosphere of humanity and ...
Sohail Si's user avatar
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Do we have any finding that supports Wittgenstein's claim that there are no properties, but only objects and their interactions?

Do we have any finding that supports Wittgenstein's claim that there are no properties, but only objects and their interactions? Wittgenstein said that there are only simple atoms and their ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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What, if anything, has post-positivism left standing as the legacy of Frege’s Begriffsschriftis, Russel’s Principia, and Wittgenstein’s Tractatus

The goal of both Russel’s Principia (1910) and Frege’s Begriffsschriftis (1879) ["a formula language, modeled on that of arithmetic, for pure thought."] was essentially to defend the ...
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Confidence margin for logical verification

I'm starting to read Wittgenstein and I keep circling around a problem, which I'll lay out with the following ideas: a. Logical space is the totality of external reality. b. A proposition is logical ...
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