[Wittrs] Re: Does the Tractatus Contradict Itself?

  • From: "College Dropout John O'Connor" <sixminuteabs@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2010 15:44:30 -0400


I am going to try and put my foot in my mouth.  From back to back proposition 
in the TLP:

.................................................................

4.461
    The proposition shows what it says, the tautology and the contradiction 
that they say nothing.

    The tautology has no truth-conditions, for it is unconditionally true; and 
the contradiction is on no condition true.

    Tautology and contradiction are without sense.

    (Like the point from which two arrows go out in opposite directions.)

    (I know, e.g. nothing about the weather, when I know that it rains or does 
not rain.)

.................................................................

4.4611
    Tautology and contradiction are, however, not nonsensical; they are part of 
the symbolism, in the same way that "0" is part of the symbolism of Arithmetic.

.................................................................

Here we have W saying that tautologies and contradictions are without sense, 
but not nonsensical.  And it is likely from here that many have read the 
difference of meaningless, nonsense, and senseless.

"What can be said at all can be said clearly"

It isn't W's point to say that tautologies and contradictions should be 
avoided, but rather that they should be recognized (and, in the TLP at the 
least, said clearly).

It is not his point to use these words as markers for his own opinions, such as 
other philosophers might use the words.  W says that we can speak of an illogic 
(or rather, unlogic).  Tautology and contradiction are as much a part of logic 
as 0 is a part of arithmetic.  What can be shown is the inability to logically 
differentiate between tautologies- and there are numerous methods he employs to 
reveal this; from the truth table, to the duck rabbit, the sunken or rising 
cube, and the beetle in the box.

.................................................................

For Sean & the issue or the arbitrary (from the TLP, if ya don't mind):

.................................................................

3.34
    A proposition possesses essential and accidental features.

    Accidental are the features which are due to a particular way of producing 
the propositional sign. Essential are those which alone enable the proposition 
to express its sense.


3.341   
    The essential in a proposition is therefore that which is common to all 
propositions which can express the same sense.

    And in the same way in general the essential in a symbol is that which all 
symbols which can fulfill the same purpose have in common.


3.3411  
    One could therefore say the real name is that which all symbols, which 
signify an object, have in common. It would then follow, step by step, that no 
sort of composition was essential for a name.


3.342   
    In our notations there is indeed something arbitrary, but this is not 
arbitrary, namely that if we have determined anything arbitrarily, then 
something else must be the case. (This results from the essence of the 
notation.)

.................................................................

Cheers!
-- 
He lived a wonderful life.
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