[Wittrs] [quickphilosophy] 1.21 Continued

  • From: wittrsl@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: quickphilosophy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 20 Jul 2010 23:01:36 -0000

1.21 Each can be the case or not be the case and all else stay the same.

6. In his correspondence with Russell, W says that though he may not
know WHAT the constituents of thought are or HOW they correspond with
objects in the world, he knows THAT they do have constituents that
correspond to the objects occurring in facts.  Why?  Because they MUST. 
[Ansc. at 28]

7.  Since objects form the substance of the world, they can't be
complex.  If the world had no substance, one prop's making sense would
depend on another prop being true. [2.021, 2.0211, Ansc. at 29]

8. If (7) weren't true and there were an infinite regress, it would be
impossible to devise a picture of the world -- true or false.  I.e., we
would not be able to come up with props we could understand. [2.0212,
Ansc. at 29, and, of course Leibniz!]

9. If we analyze props, eventually we must end up with atomic props,
i.e., names in immediate combination.  Thus, even if we can't give a
single example of an elementary prop, an atomic fact or a simple object,
W insists that each must exist. [NBs, 4.221 & Ansc. at 29]

10. Every statement about complexes can be analyzed into statements
about their constituents along with the props that completely describe
the complexes [2.0201 & Stern, Wittgenstein on Mind and Language at 56]

11. From the above, we can infer that, if there were no simples we could
not picture the world--language would be impossible. [Stern at 57]

12.  For any prop p, if it can be analyzed into props q1 & q2, then the
sense of p (what p means) is dependent on the truth of q1 and q2.  If q1
& q2 are themselves analyzable into props r1 - r4, then the sens of p
will depend of the truth of the r props, etc.  According to Stern's
version of W, if there were no terminus to such analyses, the sense of p
would be indeterminate, since the analysis would go on forever and the
sense of p would "never stop expanding" i.e., "always be open to
revision." Each subsequent analysis would be expected to alter the sense
of p ("and possibly even the truth-value"). [Stern at 57-58]

13.  Stern thinks the above argument relies on the suppressed premise
that "every significant proposition has a determinate sense" and points
out that in the NBs, W wrote "The demand for simple things IS the demand
for determinacy of sense." [Stern at 58-59, citing NB 6/18/15]

14.  In the Prototractus W wrote "Before a prop can have a sense, it
must be completely settled what props follow from it."  Stern adds, "For
a prop to have determinative sense is just a matter of establishing
which props follow from it and that is only possible if analysis comes
to an end. [Stern at 58, citing Prot. 3.20102-3.20103]

15.  In the NBs, W also wrote, "It seems that the idea of the simple is
already to be found contained in that of the complex and in the idea of
analysis, and in such a way that we come to this aidea quite apart from
any examples of simple objects, or of props which mention them, and we
realize the existence of the simple abject -- a priori -- as a logical

16.  According to Stern, when W wrote TLP, he assumed that "the true
form of all logical relations between props is truth-functional.  But
truth-functional logic deals with the logical relations between props
that are logically independent of one another--in other words, cases
where the truth of falsity of any one prop is not affected by the truth
or falsity of any other prop." [Stern at 65]

17.  We know there must be atomic props because "we can draw conclusions
from a false prop."  We can, i.e., devise or invent a prop and know what
it means without first discovering the facts which hold in regard to its
subject matter." [Ansc. at 31]

18.  Anscombe says that the following are all true of elementary props:
(i) They're mutually independent; (ii) They're positive; (iii) There's
only one way for them to be true or false; (iv) There is in them no
distinction between an internal and an external negation [e.g., "The
present king of France is bald can be false in two ways."]; and (v) They
are concatenations of names (simple signs).  And, presumably, all of
these features must follow from the very fact that we can understand
language. [Ansc. at 31]


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