From Tractatus to Later Writings and Back – New Implications from the Nachlass

by   Ruy J. G. B. de Queiroz, et al.

As a celebration of the Tractatus 100th anniversary it might be worth revisiting its relation to the later writings. From the former to the latter, David Pears recalls that “everyone is aware of the holistic character of Wittgenstein's later philosophy, but it is not so well known that it was already beginning to establish itself in the Tractatus" (The False Prison, 1987). From the latter to the former, Stephen Hilmy's (The Later Wittgenstein, 1987) extensive study of the Nachlass has helped removing classical misconceptions such as Hintikka's claim that “Wittgenstein in the Philosophical Investigations almost completely gave up the calculus analogy." Hilmy points out that even in the Investigations one finds the use of the calculus/game paradigm to the understanding of language, such as “in operating with the word" (Part I, 559) and “it plays a different part in the calculus". Hilmy also quotes from a late (1946) unpublished manuscript (MS 130) “this sentence has use in the calculus of language"), which seems to be compatible with “asking whether and how a proposition can be verified is only a particular way of asking `How do you mean?'." Central in this back and forth there is an aspect which seems to deserve attention in the discussion of a semantics for the language of mathematics which might be based on (normalisation of) proofs and/or Hintikka/Lorenzen game-dialogue: the explication of consequences. Such a discussion is substantially supported by the use of the open and searchable The Wittgenstein Archives at the University of Bergen. These findings are framed within the discussion of the meaning of logical constants in the context of natural deduction style rules of inference.


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