By D. Hutto

What's the real worthy of Wittgenstein's contribution to philosophy? solutions to this question are strongly divided. despite the fact that, so much exams relaxation on sure renowned misreadings of his objective. This booklet demanding situations either "theoretical" and "therapeutic" interpretations. of their position, it seeks to set up that, from commencing to finish, Wittgenstein seemed rationalization because the real finish of philosophy. It argues that, appropriately understood, his process exemplifies instead of betrays severe philosophy and offers a possible substitute to different modern choices.

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Example text

To articulate the laws of thought that necessarily lead to the truth is at one and the same time to identify positively the laws that ought to govern all correct forms of thinking, universally and absolutely. In this way, logic could then be a potentially informative science, no different from any other. Properly characterised, its laws could play a practical role in guiding our thinking about any particular subject matter. Frege is explicit about this: In one sense a law asserts what is; in the other it prescribes what ought to be.

338) In accordance with this philosophical ambition, his new order analysis was employed not only on the sorts of entities that had troubled his early metaphysics but also on ordinary names, such as ‘Socrates’ and ‘Plato’. For upon rigorous analysis, he found that these too were merely putatively referring expressions, or dummy names. Even in such homely cases what appears grammatically simple turns out to be logically complex. With exemplary metaphysical parsimony, Russell was thus moved to endorse the view that only logical forms and non-logical sense data really exist.

His full recognition of this was at least partly what led him to draw his famous distinction between sense and reference. My point is just that by reminding ourselves of the context of his work we can see that his concerns were not metaphysical, but practical. His focus in all this was not on discovering the furniture of the universe, as it was for Russell, but on the fact that, clearly, having two different names for the same object can cause a variety of confusions and make us prone to cognitive errors, which we will wish to avoid if we are seeking truth.

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