Graduate studies at Western
Philosophical Investigations 26 (3):187–204 (2003)
|Abstract||It is customary to divide Wittgenstein’s work into two broad phases, the ﬁrst culminating in the Tractatus, and the second comprising the writings that began upon his return to philosophy in 1929 and culminating in the Investigations. It is also commonly assumed that the Tractatus propounds various doctrines concerning language and representation, doctrines which are repudiated in the later work, and often criticized explicitly. One problem with this view of the Trac- tatus is Wittgenstein’s claim in 6.54 that its propositions are “nonsensical,”2 a claim which on its face is at odds with the idea that they present substantive philosophical theories. The usual way of handling this problem is to assume that the claim is not to be taken literally, that the sentences of the Tractatus are not nonsense in the sense of mere gibberish, but are intended somehow to engender in the attentive reader a grasp of certain important aspects of the relationship between language and the world. Beginning with her seminal paper “Throwing Away the Ladder,” Cora Diamond has proposed reading the Tractatus in a way that takes literally 6.54’s claim of the book’s nonsensicality, and rejects the idea that its sentences represent a kind of elevated nonsense intended to..|
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