The proofs of the grundgedanke in Wittgenstein's tractatus

Synthese 120 (3):395-410 (1999)
Abstract
The Tractatus contains twodifferent proofs of the Grundgedanke, or thenonreferentiality of logical constants. In thispaper, I explicate the first proof in TLP 5.4s andreconstruct the less explicitly stated second proof. My explication of the first proof shows it to beelegant but based on an invalid inference. In myreconstruction of the second proof, the main argumentis that the sign of a logical constant does not denotebecause it possesses the punctuation-mark-nature. Andit possesses the punctuation-mark-nature because,given the analyticity thesis in TLP 5, one canestablish for everyday language an adequate symbolismwith N as the sole fundamental operation such that itssign is a bar indicating merely the order and scope ofits application.
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