Wittgenstein and the Liberating Word

Matthew B. Ostrow

in From Frege to Wittgenstein

Published in print January 2002 | ISBN: 9780195133264
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833580 | DOI:
Wittgenstein and the Liberating Word

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I argue that the Tractatus’ central distinction between what can be said and what can only be shown must be treated within the context of what I call a “dialectical” approach to the text. Rather than attempting to determine, in general, whether Wittgenstein holds that there are ineffable features of reality, or whether such a notion is to be described as nonsense, I seek to show that this issue cannot be settled apart from an understanding of the nature of the fundamental question that the Tractatus is concerned to characterize. The second half of the paper then serves to clarify that question through a detailed consideration of part of the picture theory.

Keywords: dialectics; meaning; nonsense; picture theory; saying; showing; Tractatus; Wittgenstein

Chapter.  11951 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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