[lit-ideas] Re: Elementary, Dr. Watson

  • From: Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 18 Apr 2009 10:22:33 +0000 (GMT)

--- On Fri, 17/4/09, Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx> wrote:

> From: Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx>
> Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Elementary, Dr. Watson
> To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Date: Friday, 17 April, 2009, 8:48 PM
> Donal writes
> 'It does not, for W, affect this theory that we can never
> provide examples of, or "know" examples of, these "atomic
> facts" or "elements".'

Perhaps I should I said "whether or not we can never". I was not claiming he 
said we can never provide examples or know - simply that whether we can or not 
does not, for W, affect the unassailable truth of his theory which is, after 
all, a theory in philosophical logic rather than epistemology. 
> He had no such theory. He does not himself describe the
> logically simple objects of the Tractatus, or give an
> example of any. This is not because he thought that one
> could not do it, but because he seems to have believed that
> having shown the necesity of their existence, he'd done the
> important work.

However, the fact that no examples were given did perhaps later become 
important to W.

> He nowhere says that we can never (that it would be
> logically impossible to?) describe or give examples of the
> objects.

I never said he did. But I suspect he didn't really think this through properly 
and once thought through it becomes apparent that such examples cannot be given.


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