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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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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Can Kant's Copernican revolution be viewed as an extension of Wittgensteinian language games?

Forgive me if this question is clumsily posed. The so-called 'Copernican revolution' of declaring the mind as bringing objecthood and properties to objects, rather than their perception bringing ...
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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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Why is private language 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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Given Wittgenstein's characterisation of language as essentially public, can he characterise what form thinking takes?

According to Wittgenstein, language is an essentially public activity between minds; and language is structured by a grammar so that this communication can indeed occur. I think, the notion of ...
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Wittgenstein maintains language is public, can this be correct?

I come into the world where other beings are using language. I learn this. Those beings have come into the world where other beings are using language. They learn it. Those other beings come into ...
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How would Wittgenstein respond to Functionalist accounts of consciousness?

So far, I've only been able to dig up a partial footnote by Kripke in his essay "Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language" where he tantalizingly writes that "... Wittgenstein would regard his ...
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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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What are the arguments in favor of scepticism today?

It seems that today the common opinion is that Wittgenstein "killed" philosophical skepticism with his Philosophical Investigations (PI) and his private language argument. After PI, the number of ...
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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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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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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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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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What did Wittgenstein mean by saying that the belief in the causal nexus is a superstition?

In the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Wittenstein says: 5.1361 The events of the future cannot be inferred from those of the present. Superstition is the belief in the causal nexus. I'm ...
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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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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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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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What is the difference between propositional sign and proposition in Wittgenstein's Tractatus?

While explaining the problem of what philosophy is according to Wittgenstein's Tractatus, Frank P. Ramsey says: a propositional sign is clear insofar as the internal properties of its sense are ...
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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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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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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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What is the role of sensations in Wittgenstein's private language argument?

In Philosophical Investigations 244-254, before talking about private signs, Wittgenstein is talking about sensations. He seems to divide this section into addressing in what way words refer to ...
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Do Wittgenstein and Quine give the same criticisms of semantics?

What is the connection between the criticisms offered by Wittgenstein and Quine of meaning and language? Are both philosophers generally criticizing the same semantic theories with similar arguments, ...