Disputatio 10 (18):165-185 (2021)

Gilad Nir
Universität Potsdam
Wittgenstein’s Tractatus construes the nature of reasoning in a manner which sharply conflicts with the conventional wisdom that logic is normative, not descriptive of thought. For although we sometimes seem to reason incorrectly, Wittgenstein denies that we can make logical mistakes (5.473). My aim in this paper is to show that the Tractatus provides us with good reasons to rethink some of the central assumptions that are standardly made in thinking about the relation between logic and thought. In particular, the rejection of logical mistakes is to be understood in connection with Wittgenstein’s non-psychological approach to the thinking subject (5.641). On Wittgenstein's view, inference, understanding, and meaning are holistically related; cases of defective reasoning are to be explained in terms of a defective grasp of meaning which manifests in an indeterminate use of signs. Invalid reasoning therefore does not count for Wittgenstein as a species of reasoning, but rather as the mere illusion of reasoning. The rejection of logical mistakes thus gives voice to a radical disjunctivist approach.
Keywords Wittgenstein  Inference  Logical mistakes  Normativity of logic  Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Philosophical Investigations.Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein - 1953 - New York, NY, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
What is Inference?Paul Boghossian - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (1):1-18.
On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme.Donald Davidson - 1973 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 47:5-20.
On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme.Donald Davidson - 2011 - In Robert B. Talisse & Scott F. Aikin (eds.), The Pragmatism Reader: From Peirce Through the Present. Princeton University Press. pp. 286-298.
Notebooks, 1914-1916.Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1961 - New York, NY, USA: University of Chicago Press.

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Clear as Mud.Dawn M. Phillips - 2006 - Journal of Philosophical Research 31:277-294.
Language and Logic in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus.Daniele Mezzadri - 2013 - Nordic Wittgenstein Review 2 (1):57-80.
Logic.Sebastian Sunday Grève - 2017 - In Anat Matar (ed.), Understanding Wittgenstein, Understanding Modernism. London: Bloomsbury. pp. 205-216.
Was Wittgenstein Frege's Heir?Karen Green - 1999 - Philosophical Quarterly 49 (196):289-308.
Non‐Analytic Logic.Hartley Slater - 2014 - Philosophical Investigations 37 (3):195-207.
Wittgenstein and Logic.Montgomery Link - 2009 - Synthese 166 (1):41-54.
Frege, the Normativity of Logic, and the Kantian Tradition.Anssi Korhonen - 2018 - In Gisela Bengtsson, Simo Säätelä & Alois Pichler (eds.), New Essays on Frege: Between Science and Literature. Springer. pp. 47-74.


Added to PP index

Total views
56 ( #203,237 of 2,507,894 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
18 ( #46,324 of 2,507,894 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes