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early wittgenstein on metaphysics

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
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hertz
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early wittgenstein on metaphysics

Post by hertz » November 17th, 2018, 1:32 pm

Can wittgenstein's tractatus logico-philosophicus 2.021-2.0212 be considered as an argument for metaphysics and if so ,why?
2.021 Objects make up the substance of the world. That is why they cannot be composite.
2.0211 If they world had no substance, then whether a proposition had sense would depend on whether another proposition was true.
2.0212 In that case we could not sketch any picture of the world (true or false)

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Re: early wittgenstein on metaphysics

Post by Fooloso4 » November 18th, 2018, 8:15 pm

Homework assignment?

What do you think, and why?

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Re: early wittgenstein on metaphysics

Post by hertz » December 8th, 2018, 9:14 am

No ,not an assignment.
I do think it is an argument for metaphysics.By assuming that wittgenstein is referring to simple propositions as the substance of the world. If simple propositions didn't exist then we wouldn't be able to draw accurate pictures of the world, which we can accoridng to wittgensetin.

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Re: early wittgenstein on metaphysics

Post by Fooloso4 » December 8th, 2018, 11:07 am

It depends on how one defines metaphysics. If one means the question of what is fundamental then yes, but if one means questions regarding a transcendent reality then no.
By assuming that wittgenstein is referring to simple propositions as the substance of the world.
It is not the propositions but the simple objects that are the substance. (2.021) Propositions are pictures of the facts. Logic is the scaffolding that underlies both the relationship between simple objects and the language that represents those relations.

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Re: early wittgenstein on metaphysics

Post by Arjen » Yesterday, 8:28 am

I saw this topic and I like it, because it is very much about theoretical philosophy. There are quotes of Wittgenstein's Tractatus and questions about metaphysics. Even though I am almost 5 years late, I would like to reply and perhaps blow new life into an old topic.

1) Meta ta Physica means: that which comes after the natural. It refers to Aristotle's work, that Andronicus of Rhodus had on the bookshelf. Aristotle is famous for his work in Biology and Science: Physica. However, he was also very theoretical. On that particular bookshelf the parts that were not so directly applied to the physical world ended up at the end. Aristotle called this the First Philosophy (Prima Philosophia).

2) What I find interesting is that this seems to relate to Plato's 'forms'. Also called ideas, or Idea by Aristotle. They are supposedly some universal set that exist in the mind. If we add to that universal an actual expression, we can create a full thought. So, the universal could be a human being. Then the actual is for example Aristotle. Then we have a complete thought.

2.1) The logical system also finds an origin here. Each logical thought is comprised of a major and a minor premiss.

3) Immanuel Kant goes to far as to say that what we see (the phenomenon) is something else completely than the thing in itself (the noumenon). The phenomenon is how our brain captures the noumenon in a logical matrix of space and time. The noumenon therefore is nothing but a thought-object, that we treat as if it is the thing-in-itself.

So, Wittgenstein's Tractatus is a work in how the brain works, which was in the time of Andronicus of Rhodus part of metaphysics. Nowadays, perhaps we can call psycho-analysis a science. But not literally physic science. :)

Just a few thoughts that popped up in my mind.

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Re: early wittgenstein on metaphysics

Post by Fooloso4 » Yesterday, 11:10 am

Arjen:
Even though I am almost 5 years late …
It was from November and December of 2018.
Meta ta Physica means:
For Aristotle the book that came to be called metaphysics. It is the study of “being qua being”. It seeks to know the causes and principles of being, that is, of substance (ousiai). Substance is the “the what it was to be” of a thing. This was translated in Latin as, essentia, a term invented to translate the Greek, meaning “the what it is”. Substance, according Aristotle, is not matter or what stands under something, but rather, what it is to be what it is.
They are supposedly some universal set that exist in the mind.
The ‘eidos’, from which we get the term ‘idea’ do not exist in the mind, but in so far as they are know are known with the mind alone. They are the forms, or looks, or kinds that exist in the intelligible world and of which things in the visible world are copies.
The noumenon therefore is nothing but a thought-object, that we treat as if it is the thing-in-itself.
I think you meant to say phenomena.
So, Wittgenstein's Tractatus is a work in how the brain works, which was in the time of Andronicus of Rhodus part of metaphysics.
The Tractatus identifies logic as transcendental. Following Kant the term means the condition for the possibility of knowledge. Knowledge of the world is for Wittgenstein made possible by the logical structure of the world. Unlike Kant, there is no transcendental subject for Wittgenstein, that is to say, no categories of the understanding, no “brain work”. Elementary or simple objects are the substance of the world. They contain their own possibilities for how they can combine, they contain their own logical form.

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Re: early wittgenstein on metaphysics

Post by Arjen » Yesterday, 11:31 am

Fooloso4 wrote:
Yesterday, 11:10 am
It was from November and December of 2018.
I think I was looking at your join date. :) My bad.
For Aristotle the book that came to be called metaphysics. It is the study of “being qua being”. It seeks to know the causes and principles of being, that is, of substance (ousiai). Substance is the “the what it was to be” of a thing. This was translated in Latin as, essentia, a term invented to translate the Greek, meaning “the what it is”. Substance, according Aristotle, is not matter or what stands under something, but rather, what it is to be what it is.
It has been a while since the eductaion and Aristotle was never my favorite. I now remember eidos and ousiai, but I never knew about 'being que being'. I think Kant would call it a noumenon; a thing in itself.
The ‘eidos’, from which we get the term ‘idea’ do not exist in the mind, but in so far as they are know are known with the mind alone. They are the forms, or looks, or kinds that exist in the intelligible world and of which things in the visible world are copies.
Pardon me if I am mistaken, but Plato's logoi are the forms. And forms are universals. Aristotle's eidos are based on it. 2 wiki articles that I can't link to:
theory of universals (aristotle)
Theory of forms (Plato)

But as said, it was a long time ago. I can definitely be mistaken. But this is how I remember and understand it.
I think you meant to say phenomena.
You are right.
I stand corrected.
The Tractatus identifies logic as transcendental. Following Kant the term means the condition for the possibility of knowledge. Knowledge of the world is for Wittgenstein made possible by the logical structure of the world. Unlike Kant, there is no transcendental subject for Wittgenstein, that is to say, no categories of the understanding, no “brain work”. Elementary or simple objects are the substance of the world. They contain their own possibilities for how they can combine, they contain their own logical form.
That is in his tractatus.
Do you know about his linguistic turn (from the beetle in a box thought experiment)?

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Re: early wittgenstein on metaphysics

Post by Fooloso4 » Yesterday, 12:40 pm

Arjen:
It has been a while since the eductaion and Aristotle was never my favorite. I now remember eidos and ousiai, but I never knew about 'being que being'. I think Kant would call it a noumenon; a thing in itself.
Kant, as you pointed out, distinguishes between the thing in itself and the thing as it is for us. Although Aristotle does not make that distinction, being qua being, the what it is to be the thing that it is, is about what is accessible to us. This was prior to the subjective turn in philosophy.
Pardon me if I am mistaken, but Plato's logoi are the forms.
Logos in its originary sense meant to gather together, to collect, to give an account, and thus to speak or say. Dialogic or dialectic (etymologically, dia - through legein - speech) is held out as the way to the Forms. It should be noted though that the dialogues typically end in aporia.
Do you know about his linguistic turn (from the beetle in a box thought experiment)?
I am. It is a change in his concept of language from something that has the same logical form as the world to something whose logic (grammar) is determined by one’s activities, form of life, or games. The beetle in the box is about the problem of private language.

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Re: early wittgenstein on metaphysics

Post by Arjen » Yesterday, 1:23 pm

Fooloso4 wrote:
Yesterday, 12:40 pm
Kant, as you pointed out, distinguishes between the thing in itself and the thing as it is for us. Although Aristotle does not make that distinction, being qua being, the what it is to be the thing that it is, is about what is accessible to us. This was prior to the subjective turn in philosophy.
I know, what is so cool about the ancient Greek philosophy is that it is prior to a lot of philosophical doctrines. That is why a lot of things are much more applicable to many virginal (to philosophical thought) minds. Anyway, I was listing things that this topic could relate to, in order to get people into Wittgenstein. After all, we can only see the uniqueness of a thought when we compare it to other similar thoughts.
Logos in its originary sense meant to gather together, to collect, to give an account, and thus to speak or say. Dialogic or dialectic (etymologically, dia - through legein - speech) is held out as the way to the Forms. It should be noted though that the dialogues typically end in aporia.
Thank you for explaining all these ancient Greek terms to me. I knew some, but I am not sure if I knew them to the extent that you know them. I always used logos as thought. It is like the relations in logic, while the thought-objects are the predicates. Or, that thing which grasps (Frege's Fassen) things by using our senses and makes it into a thought-object by means of relating it to other thought-objects, creating some phenomenal construct of that which exists around us....

Us philosophers sure need a lot of difficult constructions in order to talk about how things work. :)
I am. It is a change in his concept of language from something that has the same logical form as the world to something whose logic (grammar) is determined by one’s activities, form of life, or games. The beetle in the box is about the problem of private language.
His initial thought was that if a person has a beetle in a box, we cannot discuss the beetle, because we do not know what is in the box. However, there are actually a good many things to say about said beetle, without ever seeing it. In the above sentence I have, after all, addressed the subject, without knowing what is in it. This is his linguistic turn: everyone can talk about everyone else's beetle, without ever seeing it. We might say incorrect things, but we can talk about it. Private language and common language overlap in some places. It is more or less the same relation as 2 phenomena concerning 1 noumenon. He didn't incorperate this in his Tractatus; which is why it is called a turn. That makes it not transcendental imho.

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Re: early wittgenstein on metaphysics

Post by Fooloso4 » Yesterday, 2:48 pm

Arjen:
This is his linguistic turn: everyone can talk about everyone else's beetle, without ever seeing it. We might say incorrect things, but we can talk about it.
From the Philosophical Investigations:
293. If I say of myself that it is only from my own case that I know what the word “pain” means - must I not say that of other people
too? And how can I generalize the one case so irresponsibly?

Well, everyone tells me that he knows what pain is only from his own case! —– Suppose that everyone had a box with something in it
which we call a “beetle”. No one can ever look into anyone else’s box, and everyone says he knows what a beetle is only by looking at his beetle. - Here it would be quite possible for everyone to have something different in his box. One might even imagine such a thing constantly changing. - But what if these people’s word “beetle” had a use nonetheless? - If so, it would not be as the name of a thing. The thing in the box doesn’t belong to the language-game at all; not even as a Something: for the box might even be empty. - No, one can ‘divide through’ by the thing in the box; it cancels out, whatever it is.

That is to say, if we construe the grammar of the expression of sensation on the model of ‘object and name’, the object drops out of
consideration as irrelevant.
The model of ‘object and name’ refers to the Tractatus where there is a one to one correspondence between objects and names. The meaning of a name is the object that it is the name of. Here, however, there is no object that corresponds to the name ‘beetle’. No one knows what is in anyone’s else box, whether they all contain the same object or even if all of them contain an object at all. The thing in the box, he says, is not part of the language game.

This problem arises within a discussion of pain. Pain does not name an object. Language games about pain are not about something private, something that only I can know what it is to have. So, we can talk about pain without experiencing or knowing the pain of someone else. My experience of pain, even the pain of something more specific such as toothache, may or may not be the same as your experience of pain from toothache. It does not matter. We can still talk about toothache and go to the dentist and solve the problem.

The immediacy of pain is not like having some object in a box. I cannot be mistaken about whether I am in pain. But suppose I say that the beetle is yellow and has long antennae and you say no it is black and doesn’t have any antennae. Who is correct? You may say that what I have in the box is not a beetle because it is not like what you have in your box and what you have is a beetle. W. says that we know what a beetle is only by looking into our own box. There is no common standard or paradigm of ‘beetle’. Beetle means whatever is in the box, and there might not be anything in the box. Denying that I have a beetle in the box is one thing but denying that I am in pain is quite another. You might say that I am not in pain because you know what pain is and what I have described is not like that. but again, pain is not the name of some object. It is in one sense private, but in another public since we are have experienced pain. Language games involving pain are not part of a private language.

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Re: early wittgenstein on metaphysics

Post by Arjen » Yesterday, 4:18 pm

1) I am not sure what your point is. I think you are confirming my point and adding your way of saying it?

2) This topic is about early Wittgenstein! :P

3) I wanted to ask you if you know Gottlob Frege's work? If not, his Begriffsschrift, Function, Begriff, Bedeutung and Die Grundlagen der Arithmetik are massively interesting. He is the first to create a mathematic-like written form of logic. Only, he makes the same mistake that Aristotle did and somehow confused the predicate and the subject (major and minor premiss), creating a load of logical problems. Later someone fixed this problem, but his name escapes me. Do you happen to recall the name? Else I am going to have to meditate an d hope that somehow my brain suddenly spews out this memory when I least expect it.

4) The tractatus was one of the major reasons for forming the Wiener Kreis, a hard core empiricist group that refute metaphysics. This concerning the Tractatus not being transcendental. ;)

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Re: early wittgenstein on metaphysics

Post by Fooloso4 » Yesterday, 5:15 pm

Arjen:
I am not sure what your point is. I think you are confirming my point and adding your way of saying it?
First of all, not everyone who might read this knows what the beetle in the box is about. Second, not everyone who thinks they know what it is about understands it. Third, language was always central to W. There is in that sense no linguistic turn, but rather a turn in his understanding of language. Fourth, he rejects the notion of a private language. We cannot talk in any meaningful way about someone else’s beetle. We do not even know that there is anything in the box let alone a beetle.
This topic is about early Wittgenstein!
And yet you brought up Plato, Aristotle, Kant, and with the beetle in the box, the later Wittgenstein.
I wanted to ask you if you know Gottlob Frege's work? If not, his Begriffsschrift, Function, Begriff, Bedeutung and Die Grundlagen der Arithmetik are massively interesting.
I know enough of his work to know that I do not find it interesting. But that is a comment about me and not his work.
The tractatus was one of the major reasons for forming the Wiener Kreis, a hard core empiricist group that refute metaphysics. This concerning the Tractatus not being transcendental.
There are two things that Wittgenstein identifies in the Tractatus as transcendental: logic and ethics. He rejects the idea of an a priori science of metaphysics, but was at that time deeply concerned with questions of God, soul, and world. Only he did not think that such questions could yield discursive answers. They were experiential matters.

I have been discussing this in detail in a topic on the Tractatus in another forum: aptly called, The Philosophy Forum.

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Re: early wittgenstein on metaphysics

Post by Arjen » Yesterday, 5:54 pm

Fooloso4 wrote:
Yesterday, 5:15 pm
First of all, not everyone who might read this knows what the beetle in the box is about. Second, not everyone who thinks they know what it is about understands it. Third, language was always central to W. There is in that sense no linguistic turn, but rather a turn in his understanding of language. Fourth, he rejects the notion of a private language. We cannot talk in any meaningful way about someone else’s beetle. We do not even know that there is anything in the box let alone a beetle.
I think you mean common language?
I agree with your other sentiments.
And yet you brought up Plato, Aristotle, Kant, and with the beetle in the box, the later Wittgenstein.
I did. Guilty as charged.
But the later Wittgenstein only because you started about transcendental, which is just not in his Tractatus.
I know enough of his work to know that I do not find it interesting. But that is a comment about me and not his work.
Too bad, I think it is massively interesting, but I am a geek about philosophy of mind and Logic is central to that.
There are two things that Wittgenstein identifies in the Tractatus as transcendental: logic and ethics.
Do you have a source for that?
I have been discussing this in detail in a topic on the Tractatus in another forum: aptly called, The Philosophy Forum.
I might take a look.
Arjen wrote: Else I am going to have to meditate an d hope that somehow my brain suddenly spews out this memory when I least expect it.
Faster than I expected: Bertrand Russel.

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Re: early wittgenstein on metaphysics

Post by Fooloso4 » Yesterday, 8:41 pm

Arjen:
I think you mean common language?
I do not know what this refers to. Common language as opposed to what? Private language? He rejects the idea that there is such a thing as a private language. If by common language you mean a shared or public language , that is the only kind of languages he recognized. But not all are common, some are specialized.
But the later Wittgenstein only because you started about transcendental, which is just not in his Tractatus.
He explicitly states in the Tractatus that logic is transcendental (6.13) and ethics/aesthetics is transcendental (6.421)
I am a geek about philosophy of mind and Logic is central to that.
The connection between mind and logic is related to the rejection of “psychologism” and idealism. But there has been a renewed interest in the self and criticisms of realism.

Do you think that Wittgenstein has a philosophy of mind?
Do you have a source for that?

Tractatus 6.13:
Logic is not a body of doctrine, but a mirror image of the world.
Logic is transcendental.
Tractatus 6.421:
It is clear that ethics cannot be put into words.
Ethics is transcendental.
(Ethics and aesthetics are one and the same.)

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Re: early wittgenstein on metaphysics

Post by Arjen » Today, 8:32 am

Fooloso4 wrote:
Yesterday, 8:41 pm
He explicitly states in the Tractatus that logic is transcendental (6.13) and ethics/aesthetics is transcendental (6.421)
Tractatus 6.13:
Wittgenstein wrote:Logic is not a body of doctrine, but a mirror image of the world.
Logic is transcendental.
Tractatus 6.421:
Wittgenstein wrote:It is clear that ethics cannot be put into words.
Ethics is transcendental.
(Ethics and aesthetics are one and the same.)
[/quote]
I looked it up, it is correct. It is nice that you are working on it at the moment. These quotes present a clearer picture of his ideas.

It does prove my point though:
Arjen wrote:But I mentioned the later Wittgenstein only because you started about transcendental, which is just not in his Tractatus.
Fooloso4 wrote: There is in that sense no linguistic turn, but rather a turn in his understanding of language.
Thought is lingual, so the linguistic turn is about thought. It is therefore part of the philosophy of language.Which is interesting, because logos is thought. Logic is an attempt at making thought scientific. Which Wittgenstein calls transcendental, but in his early work he only found truth in analytic philosophy, which is founded on empiricism. The later Wittgenstein, in his Philosophical Investigations, concludes to the importance of the philosophy of mind and the reality and existence of it, thus turning away from endeavors like the wiener Kreis.

Fooloso4 wrote: The connection between mind and logic is related to the rejection of “psychologism” and idealism. But there has been a renewed interest in the self and criticisms of realism.
What do you mean exactly?

Do you think that Wittgenstein has a philosophy of mind?
I think the philosophy of language IS the philosophy of mind. And his philosophical Investigations are just that.
Fooloso4 wrote: Common language as opposed to what? Private language? He rejects the idea that there is such a thing as a private language. If by common language you mean a shared or public language , that is the only kind of languages he recognized. But not all are common, some are specialized.
Do you suppose he somehow thought that all minds were connected? And that this is why he called it transcendental?
If that is the case, surely in denying private language, we must conclude to it because we do not know the thoughts of others; it is shielded somehow?

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