Law and eschatology in Wittgenstein's early thought

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The paper investigates the role played by ethical deliberation and ethical judgment in Wittgenstein's early thought in the light of twentieth?century German legal philosophy. In particular the theories of the phenomenologists Adolf Reinach, Wilhelm Schapp, and Gerhart Husserl are singled out, as resting on ontologies which are structurally similar to that of the Tractatus: in each case it is actual and possible Sachverhalte which constitute the prime ontological category. The study of the relationship between the states of affairs depicted, e.g., in the sentences of a legal trial and prior fact?complexes to which these may correspond suggests one possible connecting link between the logical and ontological sections of the Tractatus and the ethical reflections appearing at the end. It is argued that the latter can best be understood in terms of the idea of a ?last judgment? (with its associated ethical rewards and punishments) which would relate to the world as a whole as a penal trial relates to individual complexes of facts.
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Archival date: 2015-11-21
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