[Wittrs] Re: [quickphilosophy] 1.21 Continued

  • From: wittrsl@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: quickphilosophy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 22 Jul 2010 01:18:29 -0700 (PDT)

Hi Martin:
I don't think Wittgenstein is so much an *idealist* here in the 'Tractatus' as 
he is a *rationalist*.
If I may be so blunt--and I know that we don't agree too often on things 
philosophical--you may be confusing the two tendencies in this case. Or, 
perhaps it's just a symptom of how the discussion has evolved. Let me expound. 
Or just quote. Sorry; this is how "it must be" for now.
"A philosopher is an idealist if and only if they believe that the physical 
world exists *either* (1) only as an object for mind, *or* (2) only as a 
content of mind, *or* (3) only as something itself somehow mental in its true 
character, a disjunction we shall sum up as the thesis that the physical is 
derivative from mind." (T.L.S. Sprigge in 'Idealism,' "Routledge Encyclopedia 
of Philosophy," E. Craig, ed.) 
OK, now, THAT IS NOT what Wittgenstein is doing in the opening points of the 
TLP. He is making statements about objects and states of affairs, not making 
statements about mental constructs, let alone their linguistic formulations in 
terms of propositions. These are metaphysical statements.
Indeed, "Rationalism is the view that reason, as opposed to, say, sense 
experience, divine revelation or reliance on institutional authority, plays a 
dominant role in our attempt to gain knowledge."
In the TLP, W. is saying initially that there is a close match between logical 
form and physical form, even down to the atomic level, so that our reasoning 
mechanisms match our understandings of objects and their properties in the 
world. But this is not to say that our reasoning mechanisms are the world. 
Wittgenstein is rationalist, if anything, not idealist.

--- On Tue, 7/20/10, Martin N Brampton <martin.lists@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

From: Martin N Brampton <martin.lists@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [quickphilosophy] 1.21 Continued
To: quickphilosophy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Tuesday, July 20, 2010, 11:39 PM



      How are we able to have a distinction or any kind of relationship 

between "the constituents of thought" and "objects in the world" without 

reference to the questions that are raised about realism and idealism? 

Is such a distinction possible?

I've heard more convincing arguments than "because they must".

On 21/07/2010 00:01, walto wrote:



> 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]





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