On Wittgenstein's Kantian solution of the problem of philosophy

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In 1931 Wittgenstein wrote: ‘the limit of language manifests itself in the impossibility of describing the fact that corresponds to (is the translation of) a sentence without simply repeating the sentence’. Here, Wittgenstein claims, ‘we are involved … with the Kantian solution of the problem of philosophy’. This paper shows how this remark fits with Wittgenstein's early account of the substance of the world, his account of logic, and ultimately his view of philosophy. By contrast to the currently influential resolute reading of the Tractatus, the paper argues that the early Wittgenstein did not aim at destroying the idea of a limit of language, but that the notion lies at the very heart of Wittgenstein's early view. In doing so, the paper employs and defends the Kantian interpretation of Wittgenstein's early philosophy.

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... I have argued elsewhere that Wittgenstein's use of the term transcendental in relation to ethics-cum-aesthetics ought to be understood in the same sense as the transcendentality of the Tractarian logic (Appelqvist, 2013(Appelqvist, , 2016. ...
... For a defense of the Kantian interpretation, see, for example, Stenius (1960), Kannisto (1986), Glock (1992Glock ( , 1997Glock ( , 1999, Moore (1987Moore ( , 2013, and Nordmann (2005). See also Appelqvist (2012Appelqvist ( , 2013Appelqvist ( , 2016. ...
This paper argues that there is an important continuity between Wittgenstein's early remarks on religion and his later treatment of the theme as it appears in his lectures in the 1930s and in his personal diary notes at that time. This continuity pertains to 3 features. First, the early and later Wittgenstein share a critical stance on methodological naturalism, that is, the view that the method of philosophy is relevantly similar to that of the natural sciences. Importantly, religion figures as one of Wittgenstein's examples of the limits of the factual language of natural sciences. Second, both the early and the later Wittgenstein connect religion to the problem of seeing one's life as meaningful while denying the possibility of establishing any objectively understood meaning of life. Third, both evoke the idea of different types of judgments, the conditions of which are independent of each other. Although religious faith is not grounded in factual knowledge and cannot be justified by appeal to empirical evidence or conceptual argumentation, it is not groundless either. Rather, in accordance with Kant who claims that faith may have a nontheoretical justification, Wittgenstein shows that religious faith may result from a personal experience of one's life as a meaningful whole.
... Logic as well as ethics and aesthetics (which Wittgenstein claims to be one) are concerned with the a priori conditions for the possibility of thought (in the case of logic) and evaluative judgments (in the case of ethics and aesthetics). By contrast to Plato, then, whose "essences" were "transcendent", objective ideas, independent of the subject, Wittgenstein's early view may be read (and has been read) as a variant of transcendental idealism with the important qualification that any doctrine of the transcendent is eliminated (see Moore, 2013;Appelqvist, 2013Appelqvist, , 2016. ...
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This article defends a formalist interpretation of Wittgenstein's later thought on music by comparing it with Eduard Hanslick's musical formalism. In doing so, it returns to a disagreement I have had with Bela Szabados who, in his book Wittgenstein as a Philosophical Tone-Poet, claims that the attribution of formalism obscures the role that music played in the development of Wittgenstein's thought. The paper scrutinizes the four arguments Szabados presents to defend his claim, pertaining to alleged differences between Wittgenstein and Hanslick on their accounts of theory, beauty, rules, and the broader significance of music. I will argue that in each case the similarities between Wittgenstein's and Hanslick's respective views outshine possible differences. Ultimately, I will argue that instead of rendering music a marginal phenomenon suited for mere entertainment, formalism-as presented by Hanslick and Wittgenstein, whom I read as influenced by Kant's aesthetics-underscores music's ability to show fundamental features of reality and our relation to it. Music does this precisely as a sensuous yet structured medium that is irreducible to any conceptually determined domain. Resumen: Este artículo defiende una interpretación formalista del pensamiento posterior de Wittgenstein so-bre la música comparándolo con el formalismo musical de Eduard Hanslick. Con ese fin, reconsidera un des-acuerdo que he tenido con Bela Szabados. Este, en su libro Wittgenstein as a Philosophical Tone-Poet, afirma que la atribución de formalismo oscurece el papel que la música desempeñó en el desarrollo del pensamiento de Wittgenstein. El artículo estudia en detalle los cuatro argumentos que Szabados presenta para defender su tesis, que conciernen a supuestas diferencias entre Wittgenstein y Hanslick sobre sus enfoques de la teoría, la belleza, las reglas y la importancia en general de la música. Argumentaré que en cada caso las semejanzas entre los puntos de vista de Wittgenstein y Hanslick eclipsan las posibles diferencias. En última instancia, argumen-taré que en lugar de presentar la música como un fenómeno marginal adecuado para el mero entretenimiento, el formalismo-tal y como es presentado por Hanslick y Wittgenstein, a quienes entiendo bajo la influencia de la estética de Kant-subraya la habilidad de la música para mostrar características fundamentales de la realidad y de nuestra relación con ella. La música es capaz de hacer esto precisamente al ser tratada como un medio sensual pero estructurado que es irreductible a cualquier campo determinado conceptualmente.
Conference Paper
The thesis investigates into the relation between transcendental idealism and Wittgenstein’s Tractatus while paying due attention to recent discussions on this issue. As a result of this investigation, the thesis aims to describe the process in which Wittgenstein came to endorse its version of transcendental idealism. In order to address this question, the thesis will begin by observing the recent dispute between two leading scholars, A. W. Moore and P. Sullivan. In particular, I shall focus on Sullivan’s claim developed in his 1996 paper. According to Sullivan, Wittgenstein presents a species of transcendental idealism in the 5.6s in order to eventually dissociate himself from it. Furthermore, Sullivan argued that the oft neglected proposition 5.634 ‘This is connected to the fact that no part of our experience is also a priori’ should be understood as saying that the Kantian conception of the a priori is to be repudiated as a consequence of Wittgenstein’s refutation of idealism. Contrary to this, by carefully analysing Wittgenstein’s inquiry in the Notebooks, I shall show that Wittgenstein’s philosophical journey led him to a version of transcendental idealism. The Tractarian version of transcendental idealism, I suggest, can best be understood as one that emerges through working out on the essential insights contained in Schopenhauer’s version.
Cambridge Core - Twentieth-Century Philosophy - Wittgenstein in the 1930s - edited by David G. Stern
This paper investigates Wittgenstein's remarks on happiness and harmony in the context of Wittgensteinian antitheodicy. Philosophers of religion inspired by Wittgenstein's philosophy often criticize theodicies seeking to justify apparently meaningless evil and suffering within God's overall harmonious plan. The paper analyses Wittgenstein's early views on happiness as harmony with the world, examining whether they are incompatible with an antitheodicist approach abandoning the very project of theodicy by acknowledging a certain kind of disharmony. However, antitheodicy may also, at the transcendental meta-level, be considered a “harmonious” way of “seeing the world aright,” which raises a reflexive problem for any Wittgenstein-inspired antitheodicy.
This paper considers the role of constitutivity and normativity in Frege’s conception of logic. It outlines an historical interpretation with two goals. First, it traces these concepts back to their origins in Kant’s philosophy. Second, it considers some of the different ways in which the issue of normativity and its proper grounding was addressed in the neo-Kantian tradition and in early analytic philosophy. Some neo-Kantians worked out an epistemic-normative conception of objective judgment, according to which the objectivity of cognition is constituted by distinctively logical norms. In Frege we find an original and sophisticated version of this line of thought. For Frege, the normative and constitutive roles of logic come to the fore in the articulation of scientific reason which follows the classical model of demonstrative science as cognitio ex principiis (cognition from principles). Wittgenstein’s Tractatus then opens up a fresh Kantian perspective on the constitutivity of logic, one that grounds logic in structure rather than norms, and does so in conscious opposition to Frege and his normative science. Logic is transcendental, according to Wittgenstein, being the essence of the world and of all description. Hence, the normative function of logic becomes, in a way, superfluous.
The overall goal of this article is to show that aesthetics plays a major role in a debate at the very center of philosophy. Drawing on the work of David Bell, the article spells out how Kant and Wittgenstein use reflective judgment, epitomized by a judgment of beauty, as a key in their respective solutions to the rule-following problem they share. The more specific goal is to offer a Kantian account of semantic normativity as understood by Wittgenstein. The article argues that Wittgenstein's reason for describing language as a collection of language games is to allow for a perspective that shows those games as internally purposive without any extralinguistic purpose. This perspective also allows for that union of the general rule and its particular application in practice that the original paradox of rule-following is wanting.
In this paper, I develop a Kantian reading of Ludwig Wittgenstein's early notions of immortality and the problem of life. I argue that, in spite of his rejection of the assumption of temporal immortality as a solution to the problem of life, Wittgenstein's understanding of the problem itself reflects the Kantian setting of his early system. Moreover, while there is no room for any postulates of practical reason in Wittgenstein's early thought, God and immortality are still notions that figure in his preferred solution to the problem.
The status of Wittgenstein's work in contemporary philosophy of mind is peculiar. While few philosophers of mind would deny that Wittgenstein had at least some helpful things to say concerning philosophical questions about the mind-some clever ways of undermining imagistic conceptions of thought perhaps, or some fruitful questions concerning the conditions of grasping a rule- one could read the most reputable journals in the profession and attend all of the main conferences bearing on the philosophy of mind and come away with the sense that Wittgenstein's work has quite limited and dubious significance for this area of philosophy. There are some philosophers, however-in fact, some of the most respected in the world-who believe that Wittgenstein's work constitutes one of the most significant contributions to philosophical questions about the mind in the history of philosophy, and who believe that despite the limited attention, sometimes even disdain, Wittgenstein's work receives, it is largely of unrealized and untapped significance. This volume brings together some of the most influential figures in contemporary philosophy to discuss the significance of Wittgenstein's philosophy for understanding the mind.
Several authors have detected profound analogies between Kant and Wittgenstein. Their claims have been contradicted by scholars, such being the agreed penalty for attributions to authorities. Many of the alleged similarities have either been left unsubstantiated at a detailed exegetical level, or have been confined to highly general points. At the same time, the ‘scholarly’ backlash has tended to ignore the importance of some of these general points, or has focused on very specific issues or purely terminological matters. To advance the debate, I distinguish four different topics: questions of actual influence; parallels at the methodological level; substantial similarities in philosophical logic; substantial similarities in the philosophy of mind. The article concentrates on the second and third topic. Section I argues that the critical conception of philosophy shared by Kant and Wittgenstein is itself due to the fact that they explain the a priori status of necessary propositions by reference t...
This chapter gives a survey of the field of philosophy where (1) the philosophical foundations of modern logic were discussed and (2) where such themes of logic were discussed that were on the borderline between logic and other branches of the philosophical enterprise, such as metaphysics and epistemology. The contributions made by Gottlob Frege and Charles Peirce are included since their work in logic is closely related to and also strongly motivated by their philosophical views and interests. In addition, the chapter pays attention to a few philosophers to whom logic amounted to traditional Aristotelian logic and to those who commented on the nature of logic from a philosophical perspective without making any significant contribution to the development of formal logic.
There are criteria of ineffability whereby, even if the concept of ineffability can never serve to modify truth, it can sometimes (non-trivially) serve to modify other things, specifically understanding. This allows for a reappraisal of the dispute between those who adopt a traditional reading of Wittgenstein's Tractatus and those who adopt the new reading recently championed by Diamond, Conant, and others. By maintaining that what the nonsense in the Tractatus is supposed to convey is ineffable understanding, rather than ineffable truth, we can do considerable justice to each of these readings. We can also do considerable justice to the Tractatus.
Wittgenstein's Tractatus contains an insubstantial form of transcendental idealism. It is insubstantial because it rejects the substantial a priori. Yet despite this, the Tractatus still contains two fundamental transcendental idealist insights, (a) the identity of form between thought and reality, and (b) the transcendental unity of apperception. I argue for (a) by connecting general themes in the Tractatus and in Kant, and for (b) by giving a detailed interpretation of Tractatus 5.6ff., where Wittgenstein talks about solipsism and the metaphysical subject. Tractarian solipsism, on this interpretation, is a special, insubstantial form of transcendental idealism.
This brief argument has presented an abiding challenge to Wittgenstein's interpreters. One of its many mysteries concerns its invocation of the notion of substance. Because'objects form the substance of the world'(2.021), the argument must be intended to establish the existence of Tractarian objects. But since that is so, why doesn't Wittgenstein argue directly for objects? Why does he introduce the concept of substance at all? This question forms the point of departure for the present essay. The answer, I shall claim, is that in portraying objects as comprising'the substance of the world'Wittgenstein means to be exploiting the reader's presumed familiarity with the philosophical tradition. Specifically, he is alluding to Kant's conception of substance as that which persists through all existence changes. The allusion, I take it, is intended to convey some (partial and provisional) understanding of the notion of a Tractarian'object'. The reader who picks up on it will be able to follow Wittgenstein along as he traces the metaphysical picture he intends, later in the book, to undermine. I shall argue that proceeding on the assumption of a Kantian allusion sheds much light both on the argument for substance itself and on Wittgenstein's so-called'ontological remarks'at the beginning of the Tractatus. It will emerge that in contending for substance Wittgenstein is arguing not merely for the existence of simple things, but for things that exist necessarily. Moreover, certain (relatively coarse-grained) instabilities and tensions that commentators have discerned in Wittgenstein's talk of'objects'and'configurations'will be shown to be resoluble so long as the Kantian background is kept firmly in mind. In what follows, I will be defending an interpretation according to which Tractarian substance is the modal analogue of Kant's (temporal) notion. Having made this case, I will offer my own interpretation and evaluation of the argument
Incluye bibliografía e índice
Peter Winch's translation of Wittgenstein's remarks on culture and value presents all entries chronologically, with the German text alongside the English and a subject index for reference. "It was Wittgenstein's habit to record his thoughts in sequences of more or less closely related 'remarks' which he kept in notebooks throughout his life. The editor of this collection has gone through these notebooks in order to select those 'remarks' which deal with Wittgenstein's views abou the less technical issues in his philosophy. So here we have Wittgenstein's thoughts about religion, music, architecture, the nature of philosophy, the spirit of our times, genius, being Jewish, and so on. The work is a masterpiece by a mastermind."—Leonard Linsky
This paper is concerned with the status of a symbol in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus. It is claimed in the first section that a Tractarian symbol, whilst essentially a syntactic entity to be distinguished from the mark or sound that is its sign, bears its semantic significance only inessentially. In the second and third sections I pursue this point of exegesis through the Tractarian discussions of nonsense and the context principle respectively. The final section of the paper places the forgoing work in a secondary context, addressing in particular a debate regarding the realism of the Tractatus.
1. The Problem Let me start with a well-known story. Kant held that logic and concep- tual analysis alone cannot account for our knowledge of arithmetic: "however we might turn and twist our concepts, we could never, by the mere analysis of them, and without the aid of intuition, discover what is the sum (7+5)" (KrV, B16). Frege took himself to have shown that Kant was wrong about this. According to Frege's logicist thesis, every arithmetical concept can be defined in purely logical terms, and every theorem of arithmetic can be proved using only the basic laws of logic. Hence, Kant was wrong to think that our grasp of arithmetical concepts and our knowledge of arithmetical truth depend on an extralogical source—the pure intuition of time (Frege 1884, §89, §109). Arith- metic, properly understood, is just a part of logic. Never mind whether Frege was right about this. I want to address a different question: Does Frege's position on arithmetic really contra- dict Kant's? I do not deny that Frege endorsed (F) Arithmetic is reducible to logic
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