Sunday, April 25, 2010

Of Ludwig Wittgenstein

“He claimed that language has a certain logical structure, and this structure mirrors the structure of the world. Wittgenstein distinguished what a statement says from what it shows. Propositions say that the world is a certain way, but they show us in their organization, what the world’s structure is.   Logic is about the structure of propositions.  It does not say anything, but it shows us what the structure of language and the world is.  Wittgenstein concluded that most philosophical problems spring from the misguided attempts to say what can only be shown.  He argued that philosophers encounter problems when they attempt to say the world has a certain structure, rather than making that structure apparent through logic.

“He believed philosophical problems arise from confusion about language. He argued difficulties arise only when we use words in nonstandard ways, or we ignore the variety of ways in which they can be used.  He wrote, ‘Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.’  Thus, Wittgenstein advocated a therapeutic conception of philosophy, in which the point is to clarify the meaning of language.” 

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