Synthese 87 (1):51 - 123 (1991)

Authors
David C. McCarty
Indiana University, Bloomington
Abstract
The present paper is one installment in a lengthy task, the replacement of atomistic interpretations of Wittgenstein's Tractatus by a wholistic interpretation on which the world-in-logical-space is not constructed out of objects but objects are abstracted from out of that space. Here, general arguments against atomism are directed toward a specific target, the four aspects of the atomistic reading of Tractatus given in the Hintikkas' Investigating Wittgenstein (Hintikka & Hintikka 1986). The aspects in question are called the semantical, metaphysical, epistemological and formal.What follows a précis of the Hintikkas' rendering of Wittgenstein's perspective is a characterization of the wholistic interpretation, comparing Wittgenstein's world and the transcendental conditions it sets upon possible notation to a blank page and the conditions it sets upon what is about to be written there. There will not be occasion to bring arguments against each plank in the atomist's platform or in support of each facet of wholism. But there is an extended treatment of the first two aspects — the semantical and metaphysical — which takes off from Wittgenstein's determination that, in his hands, logic must take care of itself.
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DOI 10.1007/BF00485330
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