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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Was Wittgenstein a cognitivist?

It is a common misconception to think that Wittgenstein was anti-theoretical in his Philosophical Investigations. There's simply too much evidence that doesn't support that conclusion. At first I ...
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Wittgenstein - self and ethics in the Tractatus

I think that I quite understand the relation between ontology and "logical syntax" of language as it is presented by Wittgenstein in Tractatus. He states that there are atomic entities, which are ...
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Did early Wittgenstein view mathematics as “sense-less” or “non-sensical”?

G. E. M Anscombe makes the following distinction between Wittgenstein's use of sense-less (sinnlos) and nonsense (unsinnig): (page 163) We must distinguish in the theory of the Tractatus between ...
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Does anyone discuss 'limit' in Wittgenstein?

Does anyone discuss 'limit' in Wittgenstein? The word "limit" keeps appearing in the Tractatus: of thinking; of language; of the world; of the natural sciences; of my visual field. It's used even more ...
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Which currently active philosophers could be considered Wittgenstein followers?

A. C. Grayling offers the following description of currently active followings of Wittgenstein: (page 129) The Wittgensteinians accordingly make a distinctive although relatively small group in ...
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In what way did Wittgenstein repudiate the Tractatus?

It's very well known that Wittgenstein thought that with the Tractatus the problems in philosophy were pseudo-problems, but then went on to produce further philosophical works like The Philosophical ...
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Are there examples of necessity other than logical necessity?

G. E. M. Anscombe writes the following (page 80): ...[Wittgenstein's] view, expressed at 6.37, that 'there is only logical necessity', and at 5.525, that the possibility of a state of affairs is ...
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What truth-functions of elementary propositions can be consired to form a picture?

In Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus Ludwig Wittgenstein says that every elementary proposition is a picture. It is clear that we must make a distinction between elementary propositions and other ...
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Why are there no pre-eminent numbers in Wittgenstein's logic? [duplicate]

What does Wittgenstein mean when he says in the Tractatus that there are no preeminent numbers in logic? He makes mention of this three times in the Tractatus: 4.128 The logical forms are ...
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What are the problems with Tractatus?

Tractatus, in a way, says World isn't what is out there, but is the world you imagine. World is what you would tell another person when you will recount this world. (It is what you would 'know' of the ...
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What did Wittgenstein mean when he said death is not an event in one's life?

What did Wittgenstein mean when he said death is not an event in one's life? It's my understanding that death is not something that applies to the stipulated solipsistic self of his philosophy. ...
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Mechanics of Perception

How is perception formed? By perception I mean 'thought' or 'idea' of the World. What I see by itself does not contribute anything to thought. Only an acknowledgement can contribute to structuring of ...
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How does contemporary analytic philosophy reply to the late Wittgenstein's injunction against theory?

In the In Our Time episode on Wittgenstein philosopher Ray Monk says the following: It's a central view of the later Wittgenstein that there can be no such thing as a philosophical theory. I think ...
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Where does Bertrand Russell discuss mysticism?

G. E. M. Anscombe writes in An Introduction to Wittgenstein's Tractatus (1971, St Augustine's Press) the following about Wittgenstein's use of the concept of mysticism: (page 170) But Wittgenstein ...
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According to early Wittgenstein, do we need language or thought for the mystical to show itself?

According to early Wittgenstein, do we need language or thought for the mystical to "show itself"? He does say the mystical shows itself. 6.522: There is indeed the inexpressible. This shows ...
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Definition vs Logic

Logical consequence means that, if, P implies Q, then Q is True not because (or when) we interpret (or find) it to be True, but it is set to True as soon as P is set to True. This means that Q is ...
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How much background do I need to read the book: Tractatus logico-philosophicus?

Upon careful consideration of the literature I want to read in the following months, I have stumbled into a particular book which is called: Tractatus logico-philosophicus, written by brilliand author ...
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Wittgenstein's solipsist, from Tractatus?

According to the early Wittgenstein of the Tractatus, the solipsist is one and one and the same with the world. He then makes the claim that solipsism coincides with realism. 5.64, Wittgenstein ...
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Using solipsism's incoherence with doubt as proof of the external world?

I have the following rough outline of utilizing solipsism as a proof by contradiction to the goal of asserting an epistemological proof of the external world. A solipsist (Wittgenstian) lives in a ...
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Is all language meaningful?

Wittgenstein claimed that many philosophers misuse language and write nonsense. He later claimed that a private language, one that cannot in principle be understood, is impossible. Does that suggest ...
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How exactly Wittgenstein “inspired two schools of thought [logical positivism/logical empiricism and analytic/linguistic movement/Cambridge School]”?

In the page 527 of von Wright's Ludwig Wittgenstein, A Biographical Sketch in The Philosophical Review, Vol. 64, No. 4 (Oct., 1955), he tells: It has been said that Wittgenstein inspired two ...
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What could be “Wittgenstein's strong disapproval of Russell's introduction to the book [Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus]”?

In the page 536 of von Wright's Ludwig Wittgenstein, A Biographical Sketch in The Philosophical Review, Vol. 64, No. 4 (Oct., 1955), he tells: The author of the Tractatus thought he had solved all ...
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Where did Carnap express his disagreement with Wittgenstein's Tractatus?

I read the following in G. E. M. Anscombe's description of the consequences of Wittgenstein's picture theory of language: (page 82) Carnap strongly objected to Wittgenstein's doctrine with its ...
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Has any consensualists written on Wittgenstein?

"This was our paradox: no course of action could be determined by a rule, because any course of action can be made out to accord with the rule" - Wittgenstein This paradox is purported to call ...
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Are Wittgenstein's propositions about death incompatible with momentariness?

Are Wittgenstein's propositions about death incompatible with momentariness? I think mean that death, which is a cessation that is not lived through, cannot change life, and we are immortal outside ...
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What criticisms of Wittgenstein's philosophy of language have been offered?

In a 2003 obituary, Anna Sherrat described one of my many philosophy heroes, Donald Davidson, as “one of the greatest American philosophers.” She did an excellent job of summarizing one of the ...
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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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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 ...