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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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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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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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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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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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 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, ...
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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 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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What does later Wittgenstein and earlier Wittgenstein have in common?

Wittgenstein, while previously advocating a picture theory of semantics, later came to revoke his support of this position. But did Wittgenstein still hold on to certain ideas of his old school? ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...