[Wittrs] Re: [quickphilosophy] Re: 1.12; 1.13; 1.2 & 1.21

  • From: Ron Allen <wavelets@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: quickphilosophy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2010 23:47:59 -0700 (PDT)

Hi Walter:
Just to emphasize the distinction: I think that 1* and its supporting 
propositions are about *facts* not *propositions*. 
Also, does not W. go too far in saying (1.21) that each item can be the case or 
not be the case while everything else remains the same? As you point out in the 
case of a thing being red-colored, if it's red, then it isn't green, and in 
that case, everything else does not remain the same. 
If you think about it generally, there might be objects and properties, but 
1.21 requires that an object can have only one property. My car can be red. But 
it can't be anything else that would conflict with red as a property, because 
then the fact or not of it being red would affect the truth of the possible 
fact that it's green. This is ridiculous.
I think you take 1.21 and you prove, by a valid argument, that "This is red" is 
not an atomic proposition. OK. Well, then, what kind of proposition (or rather, 
what kind of fact) is it? It certainly does not seem to be composite. There is 
no negation, no disjunction, and no existential quantifier in the statement. 
Nor is there any negation, disjunction, or quantification in my dog's red ball. 
It is red. What is less atomic than an object having a property?
Again, I think W. got carried away with himself here. A better formulation 
would have it that an object can have or not have a property without affecting 
the state of other objects, and not try to extend it to facts.
Also, as a general remark, W. is going to rigorously, through congruence, 
connect language with the states of affairs in the world. This is a weaker 
approach, though, than that followed, for example, by Locke, who also has 
simple ideas and complex ideas, but identifies as well the effect of the human 
sensory mechanisms on what comes into us from the senses. So, for Locke, the 
redness is not a property of the object so much as it is (a secondary quality) 
an effect of our own sensory apparatus, but one which is caused by some 
effective nature of the object. Thus, our propositions, when we get to them, 
might be about the objects in the world, but they might also be about the 
operations of our own sensory mechanisms as caused by some as yet unknown 
properties of the state of affairs presented to us in the world.
How was Seattle?
Thanks!--Ron
--- On Sun, 7/18/10, walto <calhorn@xxxxxxx> wrote:

From: walto <calhorn@xxxxxxx>
Subject: [quickphilosophy] Re: 1.12; 1.13; 1.2 & 1.21
To: quickphilosophy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Sunday, July 18, 2010, 3:59 PM















 
 



  


    
      
      
      

--- In quickphilosophy@ yahoogroups. com, "walto" <calhorn@...> wrote:
>
> 1.21  Each can be the case or not be the case and all else stay the
> same.
> 

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote:

> There's a huge amount to say about this proposition, IMO, and much of it has 
> been, e.g., in an interesting chapter in the Anscombe commentary and good 
> papers by Hintikka and Pears.  It seems to be the issue on which, in Witt's 
> eyes anyhow, the TLP first foundered--at least according to the 1929 "Notes 
> on Logical Form." So, since I'm going to be going away for a couple of weeks 
> this Sunday, I'd like to hold off getting into issue regarding the possible 
> relationships between atomic propositions until I get back.
> 

OK, I'm back.  This claim, that each fact into which the world can be divided 
up is independent of all other facts is, obviously, a key foundation for what 
will follow.  So, why does W. believe that the building blocks of the world are 
not only facts, but atomic facts?

W's ordering of his props here seems to me a bit problematic.  We haven't yet 
been told what he thinks propositions are, but we are already informed, not 
only that they exist, but that they may be ultimately analyzed into an 
elementary or atomic kind.  When we ARE told what makes up elementary 
propositions, we find that they are "[simple] names in immediate combination 
[4.221] (i.e., hanging together "like links in a chain." I therefore think it 
makes sense to follow Anscombe here and interrupt W's order at this poing to 
talk about names.  Here are some important points:

1. Names cannot be expounded by definitions the way other (non-primitive) signs 
can.  Therefore, names and other signs cannot signify the same way.  [3.261 & 
Ansc. at 26]

2. References of names (primitive signs) can be made clear by "elucidations" 
--bu!
 t only i
f provided to someone who is acquainted with the objects stood for by the names 
in question. [3.263 & Ansc. at 26]

3. W may have had such words as "red" as candidates for names. [Ansc. at 26-7; 
this is the view of the Hintikkas as well.]  It is worth pointing out, however, 
that this is controversial. Other commentators (e.g., Landini) deny it 
categorically.

4. But, whether or not W thought "red" was a candidate for a simple name, it is 
clear (except perhaps to the Hintikkas) that he does not think that a 
proposition that contains an elementary name and "elucidates" that name for 
someone acquainted with its reference must be an atomic proposition. [Ans. at 
27]

5.  And an observation statement like "red patch here" CANNOT be an atomic 
proposition, even if "red" is a name, simply because no elementary prop may 
either entail or be inconsistent with any other atomic proposition, and "Red 
patch here" (where "red" and "here" are simple names) is inconsistent with 
"Green patch here." And what's true of "Red patch here" is true of ALL simple 
observation statements -- they're inconsistent with many others that are 
logically on a par with it.  So, whether "red" is a simple name or not, no 
elementary prop can be a simple observation statement like "Red patch here." 
[6.3751 & Ans. at 27]

I guess I'll stop here today.

Walto




    
     

    
    


 



  








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