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 anticipating Gödel?

The Tractatus 6.123: 6.123 Clearly the laws of logic cannot in their turn be subject to laws of logic. (There is not, as Russell thought, a special law of contradiction for each 'type'; one law is ...
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Did Wittgenstein consider the possibility of a private language with public content?

Wittgenstein criticized the idea that there could be a meaningful language that was only known in principle by one person. His insights have often been used to disregard the idea of private mental ...
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Is it possible to use Wittgenstein's family resemblance approach to universals to separate high art from commercial art?

In a previous post, I asked whether it is possible to objectively compare the quality and validity of different pieces and forms of art. In the responses I got the overall response is that there is no ...
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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, ...
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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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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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Is “propositions of logic are tautologies” (Wittgenstein) literal or mystical?

At 6.1 in the Tractatus, Wittgenstein says, "The propositions of logic are tautologies." When he says this, is he referring to the fact that the axioms of propositional logic as presented, for ...
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Should Wittgenstein be given some credit for Godel's incompleteness theorem?

Is there a connection between Wittgenstein's argument against the "Theory of Types" and the proof of Godel's Incompleteness Theorem? Being only semi-knowledgeable, I will draw the connection of which ...
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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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How do we know how to follow a rule?

This question seems to either be at the forefront or the background of countless philosophical enquiries. Much has been written on Wittgenstein's rule paradox (e.g. Kirke's Wittgenstein: On Rules and ...
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How long is the standard meter?

In the Philosophical Investigations §50, Wittgenstein writes: There is one thing of which one can say neither that it is one metre long, nor that it is not one metre long, and that is the ...
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Defenses of Descartes's rationality in regards to “cogito” fallacy?

What philosophers and in what writings, if any, have attempted to explain or defend Descartes's rationalism in respect to the "cogito ergo sum" fallacy pointed out by philosophers like Russell, and ...
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Does Wittgenstein's Tractatus establish serious bounds for discussions of the supernatural from a modern point of view?

In today's mathematics, we have many variants of logic (propositional, first order, higher order, fuzzy logic, etc.). These are all self-consistent formal systems that are based on some set of axioms. ...
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If “the limits of my language are the limits of my world”, then how can it be that “what can be shown, cannot be said”?

I'm trying to understand Wittgenstein, but two of his most oft quoted statements seem to me to be implying contradicting things. I understand that later Wittgenstein did refute a lot of his earlier ...
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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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What are some ways to read Wittgenstein's Tractatus other than resolute/irresolute?

There are, at present, two dominant ways to read Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (TLP). One is called the irresolute reading, the other the resolute reading. The irresolute reading ...
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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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Why does Wittgenstein say that the world is made of facts, and not things?

Proposition 1.1 of the Tractatus says: The world is the totality of facts, not of things. Does this mean that he regards the world being that of propositions whose truth can be determined - that ...
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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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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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What is the logic in the Tractatus-Logico Philosophicus in modern terms?

In the SEP entry on Wittgenstein, the description of the logic utilised in the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus to describe his logical atomism appears to be at least formally classical propositional ...
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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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Does Wittgensteins own solution to Russells Paradox actually work?

In the Tractatus, Wittgenstein attempts a solution of Russells paradox 3.333 A function cannot be its own argument, because the functional sign already contains the prototype of its own argument ...
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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 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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Do mainstream philosophers believe that Wittgenstein “solved” philosophy?

After finishing his first work, Wittgenstein left philosophy, thinking that he "solved" all philosophical problems. He is now considered one of the most important philosophers of the 20th century, if ...
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One or two Wittgensteins?

It is common opinion that Wittgenstein has two main different periods which are best exemplified by the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and the Philosophical Investigations and that these periods are ...
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How does Wittgenstein's argument against recognizing private sensations work?

Wittgenstein writes in his Philosophical Investigations in paragraph 270: Let us imagine a use for the entry of the sign "S" in my diary. I discover that whenever I have a particular sensation a ...
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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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Why “philosophy never ends” for the tractarian Wittgenstein?

In the Prototractatus Wittgenstein wrote an additional section (called 6.55) which is seen as a possible third solution to the matter of building a perfect system of logic. This conclusion was ...
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Wittgenstein on names and paradigms [closed]

This is in a way a followup to the question on Wittgenstein's standard metre of Paris, which is part of his discussion on names in language. In philosophical investigations §55, Wittgenstein says: ...
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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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Visciously circular arguments against philosophy

Science seeks to explain natural events with natural causes. The Turing hypothesis does this. Beyond the bounds of science, there is no objective argument for anything really, just philosophical ...
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What does bedeutung refer to in the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus?

Given that the literal translation of the german word bedeutung is "sense", what does it refer to in the semantics of the tractarian Wittgenstein, among these options? the meaning of the subatomic ...
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Which is the difference between Sache and Sachverhalt in the Tractatus?

As far as I know, When Russell asked to Wittgenstein to tell him the difference between Sache and Sachverhalt, Wittgenstein answered that "Sachverhalt" is what corresponds to an elementar sätze (an ...
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Why should one read the Tracatus? [closed]

In the introduction to the Tractatus, Russell writes: In order to understand Mr Wittgenstein’s book, it is necessary to realize what is the problem with which he is concerned. In the part of his ...
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A quote from Wittgenstein

What does Wittgenstein mean by this sentence: The less somebody knows and understand himself the less great he is, however great may be his talent. For this reason our scientists are not great. (...