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

Authors
Gilad Nir
Universität Potsdam
Abstract
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
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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.

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