Adding 4.0241 to TLP

In Gabriele M. Mras, Paul Weingartner & Bernhard Ritter (eds.), Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics: Proceedings of the 41st International Ludwig Wittgenstein Symposium. De Gruyter. pp. 415-428 (2019)
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Abstract
Tractatus 4.024 inspired the dominant semantics of our time: truth-conditional semantics. Such semantics is focused on possible worlds: the content of p is the set of worlds where p is true. It has become increasingly clear that such an account is, at best, defective: we need an ‘independent factor in meaning, constrained but not determined by truth-conditions’ (Yablo 2014, p. 2), because sentences can be differently true at the same possible worlds. I suggest a missing comment which, had it been included in the Tractatus, would have helped semantics get this right from the start. This is my 4.0241: ‘Knowing what is the case if a sentence is true is knowing its ways of being true’: knowing a sentence’s truth possibilities and what we now call its topic, or subject matter. I show that the famous ‘fundamental thought’ that ‘the “logical constants” do not represent’ (4.0312) can be understood in terms of ways-based views of meaning. Such views also help with puzzling claims like 5.122: ‘If p follows from q, the sense of “p” is contained in the that of “q”’, which are compatible with a conception of entailment combining truth-preservation with the preservation of topicality, or of ways of being true.
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Archival date: 2020-07-12
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2020-06-17

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