Wittgenstein Analysis

1984 Words 8 Pages
What in the Tractatus is Wittgenstein Talking About?
Early Wittgenstein seems to suggest that sentences of natural science have meaning, without being able to give meaning to the way of which we understand those sentences. This dismisses philosophy as only a tool to help clarify claims of natural science. However, he uses philosophy to come to this realization. He makes the realization that the way he explains his own findings are in fact a violation of those findings stating, “My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless” (M&S 128). However, his original findings are so obscure that it is difficult to follow his propositions long enough to understand him. In this essay, I am attempting
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118). This means that the world for Wittgenstein is composed of facts, not of objects themselves. The facts that compose the world are those that the natural sciences can picture in their sentences. Objects, on the other hand, are a simpler unit of atomic facts which, are a simpler unit of facts. This means is that a fact is either made up of atomic facts or is itself an atomic fact. The simple facts are states of affairs, that hold no bearing on any other state of affairs, meaning that, whether they are true or false does not affect the truth or falsehood of any other state of affairs. From states of affairs, Wittgenstein moves to atomic facts, claiming, “A fact is the existence of an atomic fact” (lecture 9/20/16) because facts are composed of atomic facts. In return, “An atomic fact is a combination of objects” (M&S p. 118) that are structured in a specific way. The way we talk about objects structured in a specific way is through the form of a sentence. For our sentences to have meaning, the world itself, needs to be structured in a certain way. The natural sciences can describe facts that are structured in that way. Those facts are made up of atomic facts and each atomic fact is composed of many objects. Objects are the simplest and final unit of the world, meaning that you cannot break down objects into anything else. Objects would need to actually exist …show more content…
He would respond saying that for him to give meaningful examples they would have to be propositions of natural science. Examples of “facts” “atomic facts” and “objects” would not picture the world. To be able to talk about the world, we use pictures to represent reality. Wittgenstein says, “We make to ourselves pictures of facts” (M&S 120), meaning that we use a “picture” as a representation. He cannot give examples of facts that picture the world. Also, the term “atomic fact” cannot have an example in our language because the words in our language are too complex to accumulate what exactly he means by “atomic fact.” It is impossible to give an example because there are not words in our language that would accurately be the equivalence of an atomic fact. However, it is necessary that the atomic fact exist to talk about meaningful language. He would say that we would be wrong in thinking that the sentences about different art forms are meaningful. Those sentences would not picture the world but instead be a type of propositional attitude report that would ultimately not be meaningful. The fact that these type of sentences mean something to us would be the inexpressible and the

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