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Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (Deutsch)   By: (1889-1951)

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Tractatus Logico Philosophicus By LUDWIG WITTGENSTEIN With an Introduction by BERTRAND RUSSELL, F.R.S. LONDON KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH, TRUBNER & CO., LTD. NEW YORK: HARCOURT, BRACE & COMPANY, INC. 1922 PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY THE EDINBURGH PRESS, 9 AND 11 YOUNG STREET, EDINBURGH. NOTE In rendering Mr Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico Philosophicus available for English readers, the somewhat unusual course has been adopted of printing the original side by side with the translation. Such a method of presentation seemed desirable both on account of the obvious difficulties raised by the vocabulary and in view of the peculiar literary character of the whole. As a result, a certain latitude has been possible in passages to which objection might otherwise be taken as over literal. The proofs of the translation and the version of the original which appeared in the final number of Ostwald’s Annalen der Naturphilosophie (1921) have been very carefully revised by the author himself; and the Editor further desires to express his indebtedness to Mr F. P. Ramsey, of Trinity College, Cambridge, for assistance both with the translation and in the preparation of the book for the press. C. K. O.

INTRODUCTION By BERTRAND RUSSELL Mr Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico Philosophicus, whether or not it prove to give the ultimate truth on the matters with which it deals, certainly deserves, by its breadth and scope and profundity, to be considered an important event in the philosophical world. Starting from the principles of Symbolism and the relations which are necessary between words and things in any language, it applies the result of this inquiry to various departments of traditional philosophy, showing in each case how traditional philosophy and traditional solutions arise out of ignorance of the principles of Symbolism and out of misuse of language. The logical structure of propositions and the nature of logical inference are first dealt with. Thence we pass successively to Theory of Knowledge, Principles of Physics, Ethics, and finally the Mystical (das Mystische). In order to understand Mr Wittgenstein’s book, it is necessary to realize what is the problem with which he is concerned. In the part of his theory which deals with Symbolism he is concerned with the conditions which would have to be fulfilled by a logically perfect language. There are various problems as regards language. First, there is the problem what actually occurs in our minds when we use language with the intention of meaning something by it; this problem belongs to psychology. Secondly, there is the problem as to what is the relation subsisting between thoughts, words, or sentences, and that which they refer to or mean; this problem belongs to epistemology. Thirdly, there is the problem of using sentences so as to convey truth rather than falsehood; this belongs to the special sciences dealing with the subject matter of the sentences in question. Fourthly, there is the question: what relation must one fact (such as a sentence) have to another in order to be capable of being a symbol for that other? This last is a logical question, and is the one with which Mr Wittgenstein is concerned. He is concerned with the conditions for accurate Symbolism, i.e. for Symbolism in which a sentence “means” something quite definite. In practice, language is always more or less vague, so that what we assert is never quite precise. Thus, logic has two problems to deal with in regard to Symbolism: (1) the conditions for sense rather than nonsense in combinations of symbols; (2) the conditions for uniqueness of meaning or reference in symbols or combinations 7 INTRODUCTION of symbols. A logically perfect language has rules of syntax which prevent nonsense, and has single symbols which always have a definite and unique meaning. Mr Wittgenstein is concerned with the conditions for a logically perfect language—not that any language is logically perfect, or that we believe ourselves capable, here and now, of constructing a logically perfect language, but that the whole function of language is to have meaning, and it only fulfils this function in proportion as it approaches to the ideal language which we postulate... Continue reading book >>

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