14 votes

Was Wittgenstein anticipating Gödel?

Not on this at least. Wittgenstein is alluding to Frege on logical syntax. From Tractatus:"Frege says that any legitimately constructed proposition must have a sense. I say that any proposition ...
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  • 40.7k
12 votes
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Do Wittgenstein and Quine give the same criticisms of semantics?

Yes and no. They both criticize a certain approach to semantic theory that can be called realism about meaning. Roughly, realists see meanings as some kind of entities, although there is a wide range ...
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  • 40.7k
11 votes
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Why does Wittgenstein have a problem with writing “f(a, b). a = b"?

Because he reads a and b occurring in the atomic proposition f(a,b) (e.g. "a is to the left of b") as referring to two different objects. According to Wittgenstein, the only legitimate use ...
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10 votes

Is Wittgenstein right when he criticises recursion theory in the Tractatus 3.333?

It is not a criticism of recursion theory and recursive definitions [by the way, recursion theory originated in the 1930s while the Tractatus was written during the first world war and was first ...
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10 votes
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What sentence convinced Russell that Wittgenstein was not a "complete idiot"?

Welcome TCP Russell doesn't so far as I'm aware tell us what the subject was of the 'something' he asked or invited Wittgenstein to write - perhaps he left the topic entirely to Wittenstein. Nor does ...
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8 votes
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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"?

This is undeniably difficult. The section at 4.1212 onwards is where he gives his take on the internal/external relations doctrine. The holding of internal relations cannot be asserted by ...
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8 votes
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Do mainstream philosophers believe that Wittgenstein "solved" philosophy?

There are philosophers that hail Wittgenstein as the greatest of the greats. There are also philosophers that do not. Just like in most areas of philosophy there is disagreement. In the Tractatus 6....
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  • 765
8 votes
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How long is the standard meter?

There has been a fair bit of discussion of this statement from Wittgenstein. Kripke in Naming and Necessity famously disagrees entirely and offers "the standard metre in Paris is 1 metre long" as an ...
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  • 15.5k
8 votes
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Where did Carnap express his disagreement with Wittgenstein's Tractatus?

The second OP quote (footnote about the mystical streak) refers to a meeting with Wittgenstein by Anscombe herself. For an account of Wittgenstein's relation to the Vienna circle philosophy see Stern'...
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  • 40.7k
8 votes
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Why was Russell discontent with Wittgenstein's view on "logic as tautologies"?

Wittgenstein was reviving Kant's old view that logical deduction only brings out what is implicitly thought in the premises. Of course, Kant had in mind Aristotle's term logic, which is roughly ...
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  • 40.7k
7 votes
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Did Frege criticize the style of the Tractatus?

Regarding the twenty-one cards and letters from Frege to Wittgenstein discovered in 1988 [None of the letters from Wittgenstein to Frege are thought to have survived the bombing of the Munster library ...
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7 votes
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On Wittgenstein's family resemblance and machine learning

The answers to your questions are not going to be completely settled because they rely on specific theories of philosophy of language and language's relation to philosophy of mind. One very ...
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  • 2,800
6 votes

Why isn't Cantor's diagonal argument just a paradox?

There is no justification for one or the other. Russell's paradox is a paradox if you believe** in unrestricted comprehension (for each P there is a set {x | P}), or at least if you believe** that ...
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6 votes

What can we speak of

According to Wittgenstein, what we cannot speak about cannot be defined clearly (hence, cannot be defined at all). Because if it could be defined clearly, it could ipso facto be spoken about. What ...
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  • 7,191
6 votes
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How does Russell's argument for identity refute that of Wittgenstein's?

The key point is the sentence:"Even if this proposition is never true, it is nevertheless significant", I italicized "significant", as Russell does in his text. Russell is talking about manipulating ...
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  • 40.7k
6 votes

Do mainstream philosophers believe that Wittgenstein "solved" philosophy?

As far as I can see, Wittgenstein himself wouldn't have considered himself as having solved the problems of philosophy. So why would anyone else think he has? Let me elaborate. For the later ...
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  • 223
6 votes
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Exactly what was Wittgenstein's argument against identity?

It seems to me that it is a sort of blunder from Wittgenstein. Wittgenstein criticizes the logical rules for identity already in 5.434, becuase they are not expressed with a "correct logical notation"...
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6 votes
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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?

The thing is, that for the early Wittgenstein the Cogito Ergo Sum was just not true. So the Cogito could not be true a priori for him. Like David Hume, Wittgenstein believed that the Cartesian Ego, ...
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  • 7,191
6 votes

Why was Russell discontent with Wittgenstein's view on "logic as tautologies"?

As a matter of terminology, some logicians use 'tautology' as a synonym for a logical truth, while others restrict it to logical truths of the propositional calculus. I shall use the more general term ...
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  • 15.5k
6 votes
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Neo-liberalism, language and freedom?

This is a very well thought-out question. You invoke Noam Chomsky's contributions to the philosophy of mind with his proposals regarding innate properties which he puts forward in his ideas regarding ...
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  • 9,916
5 votes
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Is philosophy meaningless?

Science doesn't have rigorous definitions. Rather, the science worth paying attention to has been created by criticising ideas according to whether or not they explain what they set out to explain. ...
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  • 6,995
5 votes

Is "propositions of logic are tautologies" (Wittgenstein) literal or mystical?

The claim that propositions of logic, and analytic truths in general, are tautologies was a consensus view before Frege, and can be found in Locke, Hume and Kant, see Was Locke right that analytic ...
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  • 40.7k
5 votes

Is it possible to use Wittgenstein's family resemblance approach to universals to separate high art from commercial art?

It is natural to use it, both aim at the problem of vagueness in predicates. The Sorites paradox is as ancient as the Liar, and much more pervasive, as a list of nicknames suggests: paradox of the ...
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  • 40.7k
5 votes

How does Wittgenstein's argument against recognizing private sensations work?

Wittgenstein is not denying that the correlation is useful, he acknowledges as much in the first passage. What he means is that the correlation is established in a way that does not allow for any ...
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  • 40.7k
5 votes
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What are the objections to Wittgenstein's argument that semantics and syntax are the same?

The most compelling argument against Wittgenstein's view is surely that given by Gödel in his famous theorems of Mathematical Logic. What Gödel proved was that mathematical truth cannot in principle ...
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  • 3,407
5 votes

On Wittgenstein's family resemblance and machine learning

They can easily separate two types of photos because they employ approaches explicitly inspired by our brain function, in other words they repeat, in a simplified form, what we originally did in ...
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  • 40.7k
5 votes
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What did Wittgenstein (mean to) achieve in the Tractatus?

There is a heated controversy as to what Wittgenstein tried to achieve in the Tractatus and whether he achieved it. Wittgenstein's own retrospect of the book is rather ambivalent, see Kuusela's ...
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  • 40.7k
5 votes

What did Wittgenstein mean by 'trivialities'?

Triviality: "something that is not important: trifle." The quote is from Moore's report of Wittgenstein "new" thinking (post-tractarian): G.E. Moore, Wittgenstein's Lectures in 1930-1933 (1955), Pat ...
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