Wittgenstein on Verification and Seeing-As, 1930–1932

Inquiry 54 (6):614 - 632 (2011)
Abstract This article examines the little-explored remarks on verification in Wittgenstein's notebooks during the period between 1930 and 1932. In these remarks, Wittgenstein connects a verificationist theory of meaning with the notion of logical multiplicity, understood as a space of possibilities: a proposition is verified by a fact if and only if the proposition and the fact have the same logical multiplicity. But while in his early philosophy logical multiplicities were analysed as an outcome of the formal properties of simple objects and simple signs, Wittgenstein in the early 1930s connects the notion of logical multiplicity with the notion of ways of seeing. I will argue that the relevant ways of seeing are closely similar to seeing-as or aspect seeing. According to Wittgenstein's view in the early 1930s, logical multiplicities are part of our perceptual experience of propositions and facts. In this sense, the verification relation depends on how we experience propositions and facts as being surrounded by a logical space of possibilities. Strikingly, Wittgenstein's way of thinking about the verification relation offers solutions to a set of seemingly intractable problems connected with the versions of verificationism developed by members of the Vienna Circle
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DOI 10.1080/0020174X.2011.628081
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