David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Erkenntnis 19 (1-3):217 - 223 (1983)
Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus can be seen as an attempt at a characterization of a formal language, in which all meaningful scientific and philosophical discourse can be expressed. This characterization is fairly definite in some respects-e.g., he eliminates quantifiers in favour of propositional connectives; however, it is deliberately underdetermined in others-e.g., his choice of non-logical primitives. So much is clear, however: the class of languages so characterized is not fit for expressing non-logical necessity. So it is only consistent that Wittgenstein should deny its existence.At this point two questions arise. Where in the resulting dichotomy between the contingent and the logically true, does Wittgenstein intent to place the actual laws of science? Where can he place them? Our reading of the text yields no conclusive answer to the first question; the second we can answer in the spirit of logicism: certain choices of primitives will make all scientific laws logical.
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