Wittgenstein: An Introduction

By Joachim Schulte; William H. Brenner et al. | Go to book overview

3
Connecting Links

Much of what cannot be said but only shown, according to the doctrine of the Tractatus, Wittgenstein attempts to express indirectly. Although meant to cancel themselves in their entirety, the "propositions" of the Tractatus are still supposed to convey a message, if only a negative one. In the years of silence after the publication of his book, little at first seems to change in Wittgenstein's basic ideas. His writings, and the statements of others from the first years after his return to philosophy in 1928/29, are strongly reminiscent of the Tractatus--this despite the fact that he was attempting to slough off what, in the following conversation with Waismann, he termed the "dogmatism" of that work:

First of all, one can criticize a dogmatic presentation for a certain arrogance. But even that's not the worst part. There is another, much more dangerous error, that permeates my entire book--namely, the conception that there are questions for which answers would be discovered at a later date. Although one does not have the answer, one thinks that one has the method by which an answer can be found. I for one thought that it was the task of logical analysis to discover the elementary propositions. I wrote that we are unable to specify the form of elementary propositions, and that was quite correct too. It was clear to me that there are no hypotheses here and that one cannot proceed with these questions in the way Carnap did, by assuming at the outset that elementary propositions consist of two-place relations. But I did think that one would be able to specify the elementary propositions later. . . .

-69-

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Wittgenstein: An Introduction
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Author's Preface vii
  • Translators' Preface ix
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus 39
  • 3 - Connecting Links 69
  • 4 - Language Games 97
  • 5 - Criteria 129
  • 6 - Certainty 155
  • Bibliography 175
  • Index 183
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