Reference, Simplicity and Necessary Existence in the Tractatus

In José L. Zalabardo (ed.), Wittgenstein's Early Philosophy. Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press. pp. 119-150 (2012)
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Many interpreters of the Tractatus accept that the book endorses an argument for simples based on the reflection that, since complexes exist only contingently, if names referred to complexes the propositions in which they figure would lack sense if their referents went out of existence. More specifically, most interpreters read 2.0211-2.0212 as putting forward this argument. My main goal in this paper is to attack this reading and to put forward an alternative. I argue that there is no good reason for thinking that the Tractatus advances this argument. I argue that 2.0211-2, in particular, should not be read in this way, and put forward an alternative reading of the passage.



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José L. Zalabardo
University College London

Citations of this work

‘Ultimate’ Facts? Zalabardo on the Metaphysics of Truth.Juliet Floyd - 2018 - Australasian Philosophical Review 2 (3):299-314.

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References found in this work

Philosophical Investigations.Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1953 - New York, NY, USA: Wiley-Blackwell. Edited by G. E. M. Anscombe.
Naming and necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 2010 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Arguing about language. New York: Routledge. pp. 431-433.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.
The Principles of Mathematics.Bertrand Russell - 1903 - Cambridge, England: Allen & Unwin.
Philosophical investigations.Ludwig Wittgenstein & G. E. M. Anscombe - 1953 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 161:124-124.

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