The Proposition's Progress

Charles Travis

in The Oxford Handbook of Wittgenstein

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199287505
Published online January 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

The Proposition's Progress

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This article explores Ludwig Wittgenstein's views on the proposition by tracing a path, in steps, from Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus to Philosophical Investigations. It focuses on one intermediate step, found in Philosophical Grammar. As things now stand, a language unfolds the notions proposition and truth. In one way among indefinitely many it adds enough content to these notions for there to be an extension for ‘is a proposition’ and for ‘is either true or false’. Its grammar provides this content. Still bracketing conflict between grammar and logic, there is no perspective from outside a language from which its grammar is criticisable. The idea of language-games as objects of comparison gives the parochial a certain purchase on thought and its objects. Among other things, the parochial gains a role in how logic applies to thought, which raises questions about Gottlob Frege's conception of logic's distance from psychology.

Keywords: Ludwig Wittgenstein; Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus; Philosophical Investigations; Philosophical Grammar; proposition; truth; grammar; logic; Gottlob Frege; language-games

Article.  17620 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Language ; History of Western Philosophy

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