Talk: Warren Goldfarb (Harvard) and Tom Ricketts (Pittsburgh)
The Logic of the Tractatus
In the Tractatus, Wittgenstein held that all meaningful sentences are truth-functions of logically independent elementary parts. Wittgenstein’s remarks from ten years later suggest that this this vision cannot accommodate material implications such as color exclusion or spatial asymmetries, and that this lack is a refutation of the Tractatus view. But those later remarks are misleading. Wittgenstein had in his early view the wherewithal to account for such material implications, and almost certainly had worked out a procedure for doing so. Among the tools he used for this was his notion of a “formal series”, a notion that he also used to criticize the Frege-Russell logicist reduction and to supply him with an alternative grounding for arithmetic.