[lit-ideas] Re: Nothing is Shown

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 7 Jul 2012 23:52:37 -0400 (EDT)

My last post today: a few excerpts from the concluding remarks of  Read's 
and Deans's essay then: 
 
"The account that the weak version of resolutism gives of this
‘showing’  turns on the status of logical category distinctions, and in
particular  whether they can be ‘said’ using a significant proposition,
or whether they  can only be ‘shown’ using a concept script."
 
 
"The
weak version believes that in the Tractatus Wittgenstein thought  the
latter, but, it should be stressed, that what is ‘shown’ are not  ineffable
truths about the nature of a ‘reality’ that obtains beyond the  limits
of language.What the ‘say–show’ distinction reveals is not the  
ineffability
of nonsense, but perhaps ‘the ineffability of sense’."
 
"The purpose of the ‘say–show’ distinction is to call into
question that  a complete analysis can be given, for how sense is
determined cannot in the  end be said. Both the ineffability of nonsense
and ultimately the effability  of sense are called into question
by the ‘say–show’ distinction."
 
"The form of positivism that Koethe (wrongly) thinks the  resolute
reading is draws the wrong connections and obscures the more  interesting
affinities between Wittgenstein’s great early and late  works.
Whilst acknowledging that there is a therapeutic aspect to the  Tractatus,
Koethe thinks that the concentration on Wittgenstein’s  ‘antiphilosophical’
tendencies overlooks what is a more central  theme
throughout his work: showing. (And he points out, as we do, that
the  ‘say–show’ distinction in the Tractatus cannot be used to support
the  ineffable truth of nonsensical propositions.)"
 
"Both versions of resolutism make use of the ‘say–show’ distinction."

"The weak version maintains that what a Begriffsschrift  supposedly
shows are not ineffable features of ‘reality’, but the logical  form
of our language. This is part of the metaphysics of form that  the
weak version thinks that Wittgenstein later came to criticise in  his
early work."
 
"The strong version thinks that the purpose of the
‘say–show’  distinction is to undermine the belief that a complete
logical analysis of  language can be given, for how sense is determined
‘cannot’ in the end  unmisleadingly be said to be said."
 
"The strong version therefore thinks that the ‘say–show’  distinction
calls into question both the ineffability of nonsense and the  effability
of sense. 
 
"Either the weak nor the strong version of ‘resolutism’ are likely to see  
the
notion of ‘showing’ ultimately as having much significance in  the
later work."
 
"But this is not to say that the philosophical problems that
the  ‘say–show’ distinction was a response to are not present in
Wittgenstein’s  later work, but that they are dispelled, and in a quite
different way."
 
"In the strong version of ‘resolutism’Wittgenstein is aware that
these  philosophical views embody metaphysical commitments and that their 
use  is
fraught with the danger of being taken to be saying something, when the  
purpose
is to realise that nothing is being said after all."
 
"We think that he would agree with
us that Wittgenstein emphatically  rejects as unintelligible any notion
that the ‘say–show’ distinction can be  used to support the view that
nonsensical propositions (as opposed to  sensical propositions – the
propositions of ‘science’; or senseless  propositions – the ‘propositions’
of logic) ‘show’ ineffable features of  ‘reality’"
 
"But what of the account of logical form
that is used to elucidate the  essential unity and connection between
the proposition and the state of  affairs it describes, which is an
attempt to say what can only be shown about  the ‘relationship’
between language and reality (no scare quotes around those  two
words, as no underlying commitment to positivism/Anti-Realism  or
ineffabilism/Realism)?"
 
"Emiliani, like the weak version of resolutism,
maintains that what a  Begriffsschrift shows are not ineffable features
of ‘reality’, but the  logical form of our language."
 
"The strong version of resolutism also thinks
that there is a  metaphysics of form ‘in’ the Tractatus, but that 
Wittgenstein
did recognise  it as such at the time of writing the Tractatus, and
even used the ‘say–show’  distinction along the way to call into question
both the ineffability of  nonsense and the effability of sense."
 
"when one truly
philosophizes in Wittgenstein’s spirit, early-and-late,  nothing gets
said, and nothing gets shown either."
 
Cheers,
 
Speranza
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