[Wittrs] [quickphilosophy] Re: 1.21 Continued

  • From: wittrsl@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: quickphilosophy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 23 Jul 2010 16:49:34 -0000


--- In quickphilosophy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Martin N Brampton <martin.lists@...> 
wrote:
 particularly about matters to do with realism/idealism.
> 
> That Wittgenstein finished up concluding that all questions about 
> realism and idealism are "nonsense" doesn't really respond to the question.
> 


I was thinking about the matter of philosophical "nonsense" a bit this morning 
and thought that maybe all philosophy must be nonsense if we believe these 
Tractarian theses:

(i) Statements of philosophy are not empirical (or contingent).  They may be 
quite general, but one can't determine their truth by, e.g. scientific 
investigation or inductions on every day experiences.

(ii) Neither are statements of philosophy, as Hilbert thought math to be, 
either analytically true (tautologous) or analytically false 
(self-contradictory).

(iii) There is no other type of necessity besides formal necessity.  That is, 
all necessarily true statements are tautologies, and all necessarily false 
statements are self-contradictory.  

(iv) Assertions (as opposed to questions, commands, etc.) must be true, false, 
or senseless.

Given that, what's left for philosophy to be besides senseless?  

One can of course, with Leibniz, Kant and Kripke, deny (iii) or one can take 
the position--contrary to (i)--that philosophy is just a very general science.

These are issues that Everett Hall discusses in detail in his book 
"Philosophical Systems" where he holds that, along with analytic and synthetic 
statements there are also "categorial statements" which aren't quite either.  

The thing is, while there's no place in the Tractatus for categorial 
statements, without them, there's not much for philosophers to say.  

Walto



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