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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 ...

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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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Wittgenstein's riddle introduced, help please!

OK, I'm going to intro you to something hitherto unknown. You see Wittgenstein left a riddle written into the tractatus.(or is it a riddle? One of his props does read "the riddle dies not exist - but ...
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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 ...
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How can effects be thinkable without a law of causality?

The following quotes are from Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. 6.36 If there were a law of causality, it might run: “There are natural laws”... 6.54 My propositions are ...
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How should we read Tractatus' proposition 6.4311?

How should we read Tractatus' proposition 6.4311? Death is not an event of life. Death is not lived through. If by eternity is understood not endless temporal duration but timelessness, then he ...
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The rule-following paradox : where is it?

There has already been a topic about this alleged paradox, from Wittgenstein: how can one know how to follow a rule, when any action can be made to agree with the rule ? The example mostly given to ...
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Discussion of alleged Wittgenstein quote about proof in philosophy

I have been told that Ludwig Wittgenstein claimed that a good philosopher can "prove" or "disprove" anything and therefore that the entire pursuit of philosophy is completely null. However, I was also ...
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What is the Fregeian meaning of “grasping”?

Frege holds in Der Gedanke that the Thought is the unity of existence because he considers Thought and proposition to be the very same thing, and our cognition of non-propositional objects is ...
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What are the objections to Wittgenstein's argument that semantics and syntax are the same?

Wittgenstein claimed that syntax and semantics are the same because in some language constructions, syntax can be made to function as semantics. Since it seems like there is still some opposition to ...
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Had Wittgenstein moved away from Schopenhauer by the time of the Tractatus?

Wittgenstein, according to Elizabeth Anscombe (one of his students), was impressed by Schopenhauer as a young man; given Schopenhauer is known for asserting The world is my idea:”—this is a truth ...
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What is Wittgenstein's Philosophy of Mathematics? [closed]

Apparently Wittgenstein had not received any serious training in advanced mathematics and he never displayed any such knowledge nor some understanding about it. He demonstrates a sustained hostility ...
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What did the Tractatus (really) say about Kant's absolute / in itself value?

(The A to Z of Kant and Kantianism, pg. 31) Do we not need philosophy, in the wake of religion (apologies for my lack of grounding in that huge literature on Wittgenstein's 'way of life'), to find ...
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Is Wittgenstein's proposition on death a subtle put down?

I'm trying to dissolve all these ridiculous pseudo questions about death, that I have, which all seem to be variants of stamping my foot and demanding qualia for everything. So why not Wittgenstein? ...
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Did Wittgenstein think that pure description, without the influence of explanation, could be pursued?

Wittgenstein is stated as having said "we must do away with the explanation and description alone must take its place" (PI 109). But isn't this akin to the myth of the given that Sellars attacked? ...
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Why did Wittgenstein think that only something that could be doubted could have meaning?

One of the reasons Wittgenstein thought the exclusive use of ostensive definition failed was because it opened the possibility that a given symbol's meaning was sourced from whatever sensation someone ...
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What is Wittgenstein claiming when he says that “each thing can be the case or not the case while everything else remains the same”?

In Tractatus 1.21 Wittgenstein writes  Each item can be the case or not the case while everything else remains the same. [1] I'm looking for commentary on this point, since it seems out of place ...
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How does Wittgenstein think language is acquired?

Wittgenstein is critical of the 'private linguist' and his exclusive use of the ostensive definition, where the definition provided for a given word is an example or a 'pointing out' of what the word ...
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The Picture Theory of Meaning

I'm not quite clear as to exactly how how Wittgenstein concludes that metaphysical/non-phenomenal talk is meaningless in his Tractatus. Doesn't a statement like, "God exists" and its propositional ...
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The Tractatus and the Meaninglessness of Traditional Philosophy

After some research and personal investigation of Wittgenstein's Tractatus, I can't help but be confused by his conclusion that metaphysics, ethics, aesthetics, etc. are meaningless given our language'...