Nordic Wittgenstein Review 2 (1):57-80 (2013)

Authors
Daniele Mezzadri
United Arab Emirates University
Abstract
This paper investigates Wittgenstein’s account of the relation between elementary and molecular propositions (and thus, also, the propositions of logic) in the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. I start by sketching a natural reading of that relation – which I call the “bipartite reading” – holding that the Tractatus gives an account of elementary propositions, based on the so-called picture theory, and a different account of molecular ones, based on the principle of truth- functionality. I then show that such a reading cannot be attributed to Wittgenstein, because he holds the view that an explanation of logical complexity is already given by a correct account of the (pictorial) nature of elementary propositions; this is implied in his claim that “an elementary proposition contains all logical constants/operations in itself”. After clarifying Wittgenstein’s notion of an operation from the Notes on Logic to the Tractatus, I finally explain why Wittgenstein claims that an elementary proposition contains all logical operations in itself, and hence why he can be said to provide a unified (and thus not bipartite) account of language and logic.
Keywords molecular proposition  elementary proposition  Wittgenstein Ludwig  operation  Tractatus logico-philosophicus  language  20th Century Philosophy  logic
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DOI 10.1515/nwr.2013.2.1.57
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References found in this work BETA

Notebooks, 1914-1916.Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1969 - University of Chicago Press.
Wittgenstein's Notes on Logic.Michael Potter - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
A Companion to Wittgenstein’s Tractatus.Max Black - 1964 - Cambridge University Press.

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