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Wittgenstein and unity in thought and world

Johnston, CP; (2006) Wittgenstein and unity in thought and world. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

In order to make space for the possibility of falsity, Russell switches in 1906 from the idea of judgment that it is a dual relation to a fact to the theory that it is a multiple relation to the several, separate elements of a fact. In so doing, Wittgenstein however thinks, Russell comes to have us 'stop short of the fact with what we think' (Philosophical Investigations 95). Specifically, Russell's theory has us stop w ith what we think at the collection of the elements of the truth-making fact (the objective) and so short of the unity of those elements which is the objective itself. A principle ambition of Wittgenstein's Tractarian theory of judgment ('the picture theory') is to redress this Russellian shortfall whilst allowing still for the possibility of falsity. Its idea is this: that we can stop with what we mean in thought or language at nothing short of a connection of things (a fact) - even if when that connection does not exist - by connecting up in that very same w ay our representatives of those things. The explicit insistence of Wittgenstein's that in a thought/proposition the elements are connected together in the same May as are the elements in the fact there represented is something many interpretations have struggled to embrace. Typically, such interpretations involve serious misunderstandings concerning the nature of fact-elements (objects), of proposition-elements (names), and of their (shared) manners of combination: Wittgenstein's objects are assimilated in logical role to those of Frege, and there is a failure properly to distinguish sign from symbol. This thesis offers an account of the atomic metaphysics and philosophy of language of the Tractatus in which is fully and centrally embraced the idea of an identity of modes of combination across the independently constituted domains of thought/language and reality.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Wittgenstein and unity in thought and world
Identifier: PQ ETD:593022
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1445698
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