Incompatibility, inconsistency, and logical analysis in Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

Synthese 199 (3-4):8171-8186 (2021)
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Abstract

Statements of degree appear to falsify basic doctrines in Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. I offer a fresh formulation of the challenge and assess a solution proposed on Wittgenstein’s behalf by Sarah Moss. I find that Moss’s proposal fails. The proposal rides in part on novel interpretations of pronouncements by Wittgenstein on the nature of the elementary proposition. I find that the interpretations cannot be sustained but that Moss’s textual case hints at important and overlooked features of the Tractarian program. I develop Wittgenstein’s comparison of propositions to measuring instruments and apply it throughout, showing that it captures philosophical commitments in Tractatus that otherwise tend to slip from view.

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Ivan Welty
Willamette University

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References found in this work

Philosophical Investigations.Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1953 - New York, NY, USA: Wiley-Blackwell. Edited by G. E. M. Anscombe.
Tractatus logico-philosophicus.Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1922 - Filosoficky Casopis 52:336-341.
Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1956 - Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 12 (1):109-110.
Philosophical remarks.Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1975 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Rush Rhees.
Notebooks, 1914-1916.Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1979 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Edited by G. H. von Wright & G. E. M. Anscombe.

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