[quickphilosophy] Re: An Anscombe Error Regarding Negation?

  • From: wittrsl@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: wittrsl@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 8 Aug 2010 11:53:51 -0700 (PDT)

Thanks for posting that link, Martin.  It seems like a strange, but 
interesting--and maybe meaty?--paper.  Not too many people write about Bradley 
anymore (a man whose philosophy, as Russell pointed out long ago, was almost 
entirely based on a pun).

As for your comments on the empirical basis of (and scientific interactions 
with) logic, I'm a bit out of my depth, and hope that others will be moved to 
comment.  So I'll restrict myself to asking whether your position and/or your 
recent comments on translation have been influenced by Quine.



--- In quickphilosophy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Martin Brampton <martin.lists@...> 
> Sorry, that wasn't expressed well, and I didn't take the time to look up 
> any references.
> In trying to come up with a better formulation, I stumbled across an 
> interesting sounding paper by Allan F Randall 
> (http://www.elea.org/Wittgenstein/) the abstract for which is:
> "Wittgenstein's philosophies, from both the Tractatus and the 
> Philosophical Investigations, are explained and developed. Wittgenstein 
> uses a primitive version of recursion theory to develop his attempt at a 
> purely logical metaphysics in the Tractatus. However, due to his 
> implicit materialist assumptions, he could not make the system 
> completely logical, and built in a mystical division of possible worlds 
> into the true and the false. This incoherence eventually lead him to 
> reject logic as a method for doing metaphysics, and indeed to reject 
> metaphysics entirely. I argue that his move from the Tractatus to the 
> Investigations was valid, but only given his materialist assumptions. If 
> he had been willing to drop this unnecessary baggage, recursion would 
> have played a very different role in his system, since he would then 
> have had no need to separate static objects from processes, which he saw 
> as purely mental. F.H. Bradley developed such a nonmaterialist 
> metaphysics in the nineteenth century, but was crippled by a mentalism 
> that Wittgenstein was free of. The anti-mentalism and anti-materialism 
> that Wittgenstein considered as given were not so obvious to his 
> predecessor, Russell, who revolted against Bradley's idealism in much 
> the same way Wittgenstein ended up revolting against Russell's logical 
> atomism. In my view, none of these positions was the right approach, 
> which would require nonmentalism and nonmaterialism.  But for some 
> reason, these things (which seem to go together quite naturally to me) 
> have been widely considered to be incompatible. Bradley was 
> appropriately a non-materialist, but suffered from mentalism. Russell 
> and the early Wittgenstein were appropriately nonmentalists, but 
> suffered from materialism. The later Wittgenstein was, I would argue, 
> still an ardent materialist and anti-mentalist, in spite of the fact 
> that he had long since realized the contradictions to which materialism 
> leads; he just had not recognized that it was his materialist 
> assumptions that had lead him there, since these assumptions were so 
> firmly engrained in his thinking as to be invisible. Hence, he could 
> publicly claim to have rejected metaphysics, while continuing to argue 
> philosophically from a strongly materialist, and hence deeply 
> metaphysical, position."
> The comments on W's implicit materialism are consistent with my earlier 
> questions about what stance is being taken wrt the idealism/realism 
> spectrum, and also with my doubts about the genuineness of W's 
> repudiation of any such distinction.
> On a quick scan, the nearest this paper comes to helping me to express 
> myself is the assertion that the TLP "ultimately leaves truth outside of 
> logic".
> As I remember it, W claims that logic does not tell us anything about 
> the world.  This seems suspect, on the grounds that developments in 
> science have sometimes suggested that an alternative logic should be 
> adopted.  If the development of science can influence the choice of 
> logic (which is perhaps another way of saying that it requires radical 
> linguistic innovation) then it would seem that there must be a 
> connection between logic and empirical considerations.
> On 08/08/10 13:33, walto wrote:
> > One thing I do want to ask you, though, is why you say that W is thought
> > to deny that there are logical truths. His position in the Tractatus
> > seems rather to be that every necessary truth must be a tautology (and
> > he struggles with those statements like, "If this is green it is not
> > red." which seem not to be empirical, but which can't easily be analyzed
> > into a "p v -p" form.
> >
> > Walto


Other related posts: