Logical Atomism

In Hans-Johann Glock & John Hyman (eds.), A Companion to Wittgenstein. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 125–140 (2017)
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In the Tractatus Logico‐Philosophicus, Wittgenstein adopts a version of logical atomism. This chapter offers an exposition of the Tractarian version of logical atomism. Wittgenstein argues that the constituents of the end products of complete analysis are simple signs, and that there are necessarily existent objects. The chapter explains Wittgenstein's main argument for the possibility of complete analysis. It comments on three recent interpretations of the substance argument and offers an exposition of the substance argument. According to the Tractatus, propositions show the logical form of reality, which is constituted by the logical forms of states of affairs. The substance argument is a reductio ad absurdum. The reductio is the premise that the world had no substance, which is equivalent to the claim that there were no necessarily existent simple objects. The world has substance constituted by necessarily existent simple objects.



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Leo Cheung
Chinese University of Hong Kong

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