Complete Analysis and Clarificatory Analysis in Wittgenstein's Tractatus

In Michael Beaney (ed.), The Analytic Turn: Analysis in Early Analytic Philosophy and Phenomenology. Routledge. pp. 164 (2007)
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Abstract

I examine the relationship between complete analysis and clarificatory analysis and explain why Wittgenstein thought he required both in his account of how to solve the problems of philosophy. I first describe Wittgenstein’s view of how philosophical confusions arise, by explaining how it is possible to misunderstand the logic of everyday language. I argue that any method of logical analysis in the Tractatus will inevitably be circular, but explain why this does not threaten the prospect of solving philosophical problems. I distinguish between complete and clarificatory analysis and argue that Wittgenstein’s ‘strictly correct’ philosophical method is clarificatory analysis. Finally I discuss the relationship between the two forms of analysis and claim that, although, at the time of writing the Tractatus, Wittgenstein believed that the possibility of complete analysis underpins clarificatory analysis, in fact this was a mistake. In the Philosophical Investigations complete analysis is rejected and clarificatory analysis is retained.

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