This paper introduces a novel interpretation of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus, a work widely held to be one of the most intricate in the philosophical canon. What’s original to this interpretation is that it reads the Tractatus as advancing a new logical symbolism that enables one to “recognize the formal properties [the logic] of propositions by mere inspection of propositions themselves” (6.122). When viewed in this way, we discover that the Tractatus is a vehicle for elucidating our language. Unlike a mere physical (...) instrument that aids our ability simply to recognize things, however, the Tractarian conceptual notation stands to instruct us in better following the logic of the subject matter, and by that token it enhances our ability to think. Upon acquiring the thinking skills that one can develop by working with this symbolism, one can “discard the ladder,” as it were, and move on. The essay presents this original reading of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus as an alternative to the “resolute” or “radical” account that Cora Diamond, James Conant, and their friends champion. (shrink)
Recently, Michael Friedman has claimed that virtually all the seeds of Hempel’s philosophical development trace back to his early encounter with the Vienna Circle (Friedman 2003, 94). As opposed, however, to Friedman’s view of the principal early influences on Hempel, we shall see that those formative influences originated rather with the Berlin Group. Hempel, it is true, spent the fall term of 1929 as a student at the University of Vienna, and, thanks to a letter of recommendation from Hans Reichenbach, (...) he even attended some sessions of the Vienna Circle. But he spent much less time in Vienna than in Berlin, where he studied under Reichenbach from 1926 till 1933 and wrote a dissertation on probability, Reichenbach’s specialty. Hempel also attended seminars conducted by Walter Dubislav, another member of the Berlin Group. (shrink)
This paper advances an assessment of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason made from a bird’s eye view. Seen from this perspective, the task of Kant’s work was to ground the spontaneity of human reason, preserving at the same time the strict methods of science and mathematics. Kant accomplished this objective by reviving an old philosophical discipline: the peirastic dialectic of Plato and Aristotle. What is more, he managed to combine it with logic. From this blend, Kant’s transcendental idealism appeared as (...) a new logic that paralleled Aristotle’s syllogistic logic. The first result of this move was that philosophy became a formal study that treats even such subjects as ethics with rigour. Another outcome was that it established philosophy as a professional – school – discipline. In the twentieth century academy, this development was echoed by the emergence of analytic philosophy, in which Kant’s new logic evolved into a philosophical logic. (shrink)
The Berlin Group was an equal partner with the Vienna Circle as a school of scientific philosophy, albeit one that pursued an itinerary of its own. But while the latter presented its defining projects in readily discernible terms and became immediately popular, the Berlin Group, whose project was at least as sig-nificant as that of its Austrian counterpart, remained largely unrecognized. The task of this chapter is to distinguish the Berliners’ work from that of the Vienna Circle and to bring (...) to light its impact in the history of scientific philosophy. (shrink)
Between April and November 1912, Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein were engaged in a joint philosophical program. Wittgenstein‘s meeting with Gottlob Frege in December 1912 led, however, to its dissolution – the joint program was abandoned. Section 2 of this paper outlines the key points of that program, identifying what Russell and Wittgenstein each contributed to it. The third section determines precisely those features of their collaborative work that Frege criticized. Finally, building upon the evidence developed in the preceding two (...) sections, section 4 recasts along previously undeveloped lines Wittgenstein‘s logical–philosophical discoveries in the two years following his encounter with Frege in 1912. The paper concludes, in section 5, with an overview of the dramatic consequences the Frege-Wittgenstein critique had for Russell‘s philosophical development. (shrink)
The Berlin Group for scientific philosophy was active between 1928 and 1933 and was closely related to the Vienna Circle. In 1930, the leaders of the two Groups, Hans Reichenbach and Rudolf Carnap, launched the journal Erkenntnis. However, between the Berlin Group and the Vienna Circle, there was not only close relatedness but also significant difference. Above all, while the Berlin Group explored philosophical problems of the actual practice of science, the Vienna Circle, closely following Wittgenstein, was more interested in (...) problems of the language of science. The book includes first discussion ever (in three chapters) on Walter Dubislav’s logic and philosophy. Two chapters are devoted to another author scarcely explored in English, Kurt Grelling, and another one to Paul Oppenheim who became an important figure in the philosophy of science in the USA in the 1940s–1960s. Finally, the book discusses the precursor of the Nord-German tradition of scientific philosophy, Jacob Friedrich Fries. Mehr anzeigen Weniger anzeigen . (shrink)
Karl Popper has often been cast as one of the most solitary figures of twentieth-century philosophy. The received image is of a thinker who developed his scientific philosophy virtually alone and in opposition to a crowd of brilliant members of the Vienna Circle. This paper challenges the received view and undertakes to correctly situate on the map of the history of philosophy Popper’s contribution, in particular, his renowned fallibilist theory of knowledge. The motive for doing so is the conviction that (...) the mainstream perspective on Popper’s philosophy makes him more difficult to understand than might otherwise be the case. The thinker who figures most significantly in the account of Popper developed in these pages is Leonard Nelson. Both a neo-Friesian and neo-Kantian, this philosopher deeply influenced Popper through his student Julius Kraft, who met with Popper on numerous occasions in the mid 1920s. It is in the light of this influence that we understand Popper’s recollection that when he criticized the Vienna Circle in the early 1930s, he looked upon himself “as an unorthodox Kantian”. (shrink)
The paper presents a new approach to the history of analytic philosophy. Instead of exploring different kinds of analysis (Michael Beaney), or to marry analytic philosophy to the analytic / synthetic distinction (Scott Soames), we turn attention to the fact that it was rooted in two different types of logical constructing. The discrepancy between the two concepts of logical constructing produced much unclarity in our understanding of analytic philosophy.
This essay advances an original theory of mind-group and personal identity and at the same time critically examines related concepts in the work of Peter Strawson and Harry Frankfurt. A mind group is here defined as a kind of social group that is built up by way of the practical beliefs, desires, and preferences of those who make up the group. Part One of the paper introduces a summative model of mind-group identity. It explicates social life as a net of (...) beliefs and desires, the points of intersection of which are persons who share these beliefs and desires. The second Part propounds an account of “person” that strikes a balance between situationists, who hold that persons change their behavior in every new circumstance, and the champions of “character” in virtue ethics. In the interest of achieving this compromise position between these competing orientations, we consider persons as quasi-geometric figures that at once persist in the current of time yet concomitantly change under differing circumstances. Our practical preferences are what determine the frame that facilitates analysis of the person as a quasi-geometric figure. The paper concludes by showing, in Part Three, how the conception of person introduced here resolves diffi-culties of the summative model. (shrink)
Wittgenstein’s interpreters are undivided that the method plays a central role in his philosophy. This would be no surprise if we have in mind the Tractarian dictum: “philosophy is not a body of doctrine but an activity” (4.112). After 1929, Wittgenstein’s method evolved further. In its final form, articulated in Philosophical Investigations, it was formulated as different kinds of therapies of specific philosophical problems that torment our life (§§ 133, 255, 593). In this paper we follow the changes in Wittgenstein’s (...) thinking in four subsequent phases and in three dimensions: (i) in logic and ontology; (ii) in method proper; (iii) in style. (shrink)
Many philosophers affiliated with the analytic school contend that the history of philosophy is not relevant to their work. The present study challenges this claim by introducing a strong variant of the philosophical history of philosophy termed the “logical–contextual history of philosophy.” Its objective is to map the “logical geography” of the concepts and theories of past philosophical masters, concepts and theories that are not only genealogically, but also logically related. Such history of philosophy cannot be set in opposition to (...) the traditional “systematic philosophy.” Rather, the logical–contextual history of philosophy is, like the traditional school philosophies, systematic, although it develops along different lines. (shrink)
The present essay advances a theory of social reality which concurs with the formal ontology developed in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus. Furthermore, we identify this formal ontology as reistic but in a rather wide sense: in the sense that social objects are primary whereas social relations are super-structured over them. This thesis has been developed in opposition to John Searle’s claim, made in his book Construction of Social Reality (1995), that the building blocks of social reality are institutions. We do not claim (...) that this is the only valid theory of social reality. We simply hope that it has considerable ex-planatory power so that it can be used as a theory alternative to those already existing or to any new theory of society. The paper has two parts. Part One sets out the theoretical foundations of the approach followed in it, whereas Part Two advances details of its application to sociology and history. (shrink)
The paper follows an ontological approach in analyzing sexual experience. Sexual experience is defined as: (i) an experience in action. Correspondingly, its individuals are of two different types: (a) sense-data and (b) gestures. (ii) It is a kind of knowledge—a typical synthetic a posteriori knowledge (a virgin cannot know what sexual experience could be). (iii) It is a kind of anti-realist knowledge—its objects are constructed in the process of knowing. (iv) Sexual action proceeds in judgments that are micro-decisions of how (...) to proceed further. (v) The objects of sexual experience are seen in a specific perspective. This makes their meaning different from the meaning of physical objects. (shrink)
Hermann Lotze was a key figure in the philosophy of the second half of the nineteenth century, influencing practically all the leading philosophical schools of the late nineteenth and the coming twentieth century, including (i) the neo-Kantians; (ii) Brentano and his school; (iii) The British idealists; (iv) William James’s pragmatism; (v) Husserl’s phenomenology; (vi) Dilthey’s philosophy of life; (vii) Frege’s new logic; (viii) the early Cambridge analytic philosophy.
Between 1896 and 1898 Russell’s philosophy was considerably influenced by Hermann Lotze. Lotze’s influence on Russell was especially pronounced in introducing metaphysical—anthropological, in particular—assumptions in Russell’s logic and ontology. Three steps in his work reflect this influence. (i) The first such step can be discerned in the Principle of Differentiation, which Russell accepted in the Essay (finished in October 1986); according to this Principle, the objects of human cognition are segmented complexes which have diverse parts (individuals). (ii) After Russell reread (...) Lotze in June 1897, he claimed that the solution of the dilemma of pluralism or monism depends on how we see space and time: as relational or as adjectival? (iii) Russell decided for the relational conception only after he attended lectures by McTaggart on Lotze in January to February 1898. The lectures helped Russell to advance (from April to June 1898) a new theory of judgment according to which judgments relate terms (individuals) which are distinct one from another. Space and time moreover are series of moments and places with external relations between themselves. The discussions Russell had with Moore in May to June 1898 took place only after Russell developed this conception; they did not cause his philosophical turn. (shrink)
The following paper advances a new argument for the thesis that scientific and historical knowledge are not different in type. This argument makes use of a formal ontology of history which dispenses with generality, laws and causality. It views the past social world as composed of Wittgenstein’s Tractarian objects: of events, ordered in ontological dependencies. Theories in history advance models of past reality which connect—in experiment—faces of past events in complexes. The events themselves are multi-grained so that we can connect (...) together different faces of theirs without counterfeiting history. This means that, on the basis of the same set of facts, historians can produce different models of past events, in which different dependences are brought forth. A conception of this kind substantiates an objectivist account of the recurrent falsifications of the theories in history. (shrink)
In parts of his Notebooks, Tractatus and in “Lecture on Ethics”, Wittgenstein advanced a new approach to the problems of the meaning of life. It was developed as a reaction to the explorations on this theme by Bertrand Russell. Wittgenstein’s objective was to treat it with a higher degree of exactness. The present paper shows that he reached exactness by treating themes of philosophical anthropology using the formal method of topology.
Shortly before G. E. Moore wrote down the formative for the early analytic philosophy lectures on Some Main Problems of Philosophy (1910–1911), he had become acquainted with two books which influenced his thought: (1) a book by Husserl's pupil August Messer and (2) a book by the Greifswald objectivist Dimitri Michaltschew. Central to Michaltschew's book was the concept of the given. In Part I, I argue that Moore elaborated his concept of sense-data in the wake of the Greifswald concept. Carnap (...) did the same when he wrote his Aufbau, the only difference being that he spoke not of sense-data but of Erlebnisse. This means, I argue, that both Moore's sense-data and Carnap'sErlebnisse have little to do with either British empiricists or the neo-Kantians. In Part II, I try to ascertain what made early analytic philosophy different from all those philosophical groups and movements that either exercised influence on it, or were closely related to it: phenomenologists, Greifswald objectivists, Brentanists. For this purpose, I identify the sine qua non practices of the early analytic philosophers: exactness; acceptance of the propositional turn; descriptivism; objectivism. If one of these practices was not explored by a given philosophical school or group, in all probability, it was not truly analytic. (shrink)
The paper discusses Leo Tolstoy's philosophy as developed in his works 'A Synoptic Presentation of the Four Gospels' and 'The Gospel in Brief'. Tolstoy considered Christian religion not as a belief but as an ethical doctrine about how to live, so that our life does not lose its meaning when confronted with the death. Jesus' doctrine teaches that we must lead our life following our spirit, not our flesh. This means that we must strive to understand other persons and to (...) be good to them. Then God will stay with us and we will lose our fear of the death.. (shrink)
This investigation is a historical review of twentieth-century analytical philosophy in England. In seven chapters, the intellectual development of its most prominent representatives - Moore, Russell, Wittgenstein, Ryle, Austin, Strawson, Dummett - is traced. The book does not however aim to tell a story. Instead, it offers synopses of the main philosophical texts of these seven philosophers. The chief reason for adopting this approach was the wish to first of all cover as many of the problems discussed by them as (...) possible, and secondly to view these problems in juxtaposition. The study was thus conceived as a comprehensive and most objective review of the history of analytical philosophy as practised in England. The hope is that it will serve as a reference book covering all the central problems discussed by these seven authors. (shrink)
Susan Stebbing’s paper “Logical Positivism and Analysis” (March 1933) was unusually critical of Wittgenstein. It put up a sharp opposition between Cambridge analytic philosophy of Moore and Russell and the positivist philosophy of the Vienna Circle to which she included Wittgenstein from 1929–32. Above all, positivists were interested in analyzing language, analytic philosophers in analyzing facts. Moreover, whereas analytic philosophers were engaged in directional analysis which seeks to illuminate the multiplicity of the analyzed facts, positivists aimed at final analysis which (...) “proves” that there are simples. Stebbing’s paper urged Wittgenstein to recast his philosophy and 1933 abandon those components of it that linked him to the Vienna Circle. (shrink)
A few years ago, a group of American philosophers, Cora Diamond and James Conant among them, suggested a resolute, or radical reading of Wittgenstein's Tractatus. These two authors claim that the Tractatus has a body, and a frame. Wittgenstein minded the frame seriously, whereas all the remaining propositions of the Tractatus, which belong to its body, are written tongue in cheek. To the frame of the work belong the Preface, 3.32, 3.326, 4.003, 4.111, 4.112 and 6.53, 6.54. In it Wittgenstein (...) gave meta-theoretical instructions how to treat the rest of the book. The main idea of the frame is expressed in 6.54 which reads: "My propositions serve as elucidations in the following way: anyone who understands me eventually recognizes them as nonsensical, when he has used them 'as steps' to climb up beyond them. (He must, so to speak, throw away the ladder after he has climbed up it.)" This was the real message of the Tractatus. (shrink)
There are prominent similarities in the writings of Leo Tolstoy and Ludwig Wittgenstein that have two main sources. On the one hand, they arise because of influences of Tolstoy on Wittgenstein; on the other hand though, they are the outcome of the fact that the two thinkers were simply closely related to one another. Since the former similarities were already discussed in the literature, in this paper I make survey mainly of the similarities between this Russian writer and Wittgenstein after (...) 1930. (shrink)
This is an exploration of the importance of the collocation approach in investigating language. It underpins a new conception of grammar that is: (i) intrinsically connected with lexis; (ii) investigates the language as it is naturally used in life; (iii) can be developed as a corpus-driven grammar. The collocation approach in language exploration is also examined from the perspective of some recent developments in the philosophy of language. In conclusion, I defend the identity between philosophical ontology, linguistic ontology and computational (...) ontology. (shrink)
Two concepts of utmost importance for the analytic philosophy of the twentieth century, “sense-data” and “knowledge by acquaintance”, were introduced by Bertrand Russell under the influence of two idealist philosophers: F. H. Bradley and Alexius Meinong. This paper traces the exact history of their introduction. We shall see that between 1896 and 1898, Russell had a fully-elaborated theory of “sense-data”, which he abandoned after his analytic turn of the summer of 1898. Furthermore, following a subsequent turn of August 1900—-after he (...) became acquainted with the works of Peano and later of Frege—-Russell gradually developed another theory of sense-data. With the collaboration of G. E. Moore, Russell reintroduced the term “sense-data” in 1911. Concomitantly with this move, Russell introduced the epistemological term “knowledge by acquaintance”, which came to designate the grasping of sense-data and universals. (shrink)
In the Tractatus Wittgenstein often uses graphic metaphors: a ladder, which is to be thrown away after it has been climbed; pictures with feelers; networks with fine square meshes. Although they are illuminating, it is not always clear in exactly what sense Wittgenstein employs them. In this paper, we will try to eliminate this fuzziness with respect to the concept of scaffolding (Gerüst).
G.H. von Wright, G.E. Moore's and Wittgenstein's successor, and John Wisdom's predecessor as a Professor of Philosophy in Cambridge, wrote in 1993: «The history of the øanalytical! movement has not yet been written in full. With its increased diversification, it becomes pertinent to try to identify its most essential features and distinguish them from later additions which are alien to its origins.» In the same year A.J. Ayer's successor as a Wykeham Professor of Logic in Oxford, M. Dummett noted: «I (...) hope that such a history will be written: it would be fascinating.» The task of this book is to fulfill these hopes. (shrink)
Despite Wittgensein's anti-foundationalist stance, clearly expressed in his claim that philosophy is an activity of analyzing language, his philosophy is based on peculiar conceptual scheme. The post-Wittgensteinian philosophy uses this scheme as Wittgenstein had recommended: as an instrument ("ladder") that helps by forming good taste for judging. The latter is used by solving problems of science and life.