Wittgenstein (Arguments of the Philosophers) by Robert J. Fogelin

By Robert J. Fogelin

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It is a commonplace that many of the propositions that we formulate about the world are vague or in other ways indeterminate. 5563). But again, why should we believe that senses must be determinate, and what, more pointedly, does this mean? The idea that something can be determinate or exact in some wholly unrelativized way is precisely an illusion that Wittgenstein attacks in his later writings, and this constitutes one of the deep criticisms he has of the Tractarian system. Beyond this, why should we hold that determinacy can be made good only by way of a theory of simples?

4 Elementary propositions From what has come before, it should not be surprising that the truth conditions of a proposition are established via a relationship with states of affairs whose existence and non-existence constitute reality. Furthermore, the sense of a proposition is just that set of possibly existing and non-existing states of affairs that are projected into the prepositional sign. 1 Propositions represent the existence and non-existence of states of affairs. 2 The sense of a proposition is its agreement and disagreement with the possibilities of existence and non-existence of states of affairs.

And a proposition is a propositional sign in its projective relation to the world. Thus a proposition is not an entity distinct from a propositional sign, for example, it is not the meaning of the propositional sign; it is just the propositional sign taken together with its pictorial relation to the world. 14 What constitutes a picture is that its elements are co-ordinated with one another in a determinate way. 14 What constitutes a propositional sign is that in it its elements (the words) are co-ordinated with one another in a determinate way.

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