[lit-ideas] Atomicity and Tractatus 2.0201

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 18 Apr 2009 20:05:29 EDT

Again from the OED:

1959 B. RUSSELL My Philos. Devel. x. 118 The  principle of atomicity is
stated by Wittgenstein in the following terms: ‘Every  statement about
complexes can be analysed into a statement about their  constituent parts, and 
those propositions which completely describe the  complexes’ (Tractatus,

Oddly, 'complex' is a word I use a lot following C. A. B. Peacocke. He
speaks of 'propositional complexes', etc. I too believe that things like,

      "the cat is on the mat"

_is_ a complex, and that it makes little sense to dwell on the
'simplicities' inovlved. We cannot think _simplicities_. It's always a  
complex we must think of.

When we say, colloquially,

    "Geary thought, 'Robert'"

we have to expand as "Geary thought that Robert had the key to the car,"


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