Language and Logic in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus

Nordic Wittgenstein Review 2 (1):57-80 (2013)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
This paper investigates Wittgenstein’s account of the relation between elementary and molecular propositions (and thus, also, the propositions of logic) in the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. I start by sketching a natural reading of that relation – which I call the “bipartite reading” – holding that the Tractatus gives an account of elementary propositions, based on the so-called picture theory, and a different account of molecular ones, based on the principle of truth- functionality. I then show that such a reading cannot be attributed to Wittgenstein, because he holds the view that an explanation of logical complexity is already given by a correct account of the (pictorial) nature of elementary propositions; this is implied in his claim that “an elementary proposition contains all logical constants/operations in itself”. After clarifying Wittgenstein’s notion of an operation from the Notes on Logic to the Tractatus, I finally explain why Wittgenstein claims that an elementary proposition contains all logical operations in itself, and hence why he can be said to provide a unified (and thus not bipartite) account of language and logic.
Categories
(categorize this paper)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
MEZLAL-2
Upload history
Archival date: 2015-09-09
View other versions
Added to PP index
2013-04-19

Total views
202 ( #22,819 of 52,895 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
9 ( #44,443 of 52,895 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.