Page:Wittengenstein - Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 1922.djvu/13

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INTRODUCTION

The first requisite of an ideal language would be that there should be one name for every simple, and never the same name for two different simples. A name is a simple symbol in the sense that it has no parts which are themselves symbols. In a logically perfect language nothing that is not simple will have a simple symbol. The symbol for the whole will be a "complex," containing the symbols for the parts. In speaking of a "complex" we are, as will appear later, sinning against the rules of philosophical grammar, but this is unavoidable at the outset. "Most propositions and questions that have been written about philosophical matters are not false but senseless. We cannot, therefore, answer questions of this kind at all, but only state their senselessness. Most questions and propositions of the philosopher result from the fact that we do not understand the logic of our language. They are of the same kind as the question whether the Good is more or less identical than the Beautiful " (4.003). What is complex in the world is a fact. Facts which are not compounded of other facts are what Mr Wittgenstein calls Sachverhalte whereas a fact which may consist of two or more facts is called a Tatsache: thus, for example, "Socrates is wise" is a Sachverkalt, as well as a Tatsache whereas "Socrates is wise and Plato is his pupil" is a Tatsache but not a Sachverhalt.

He compares linguistic expression to projection in geometry. A geometrical figure may be projected in many ways: each of these ways corresponds to a different language, but the projective properties of the original figure remain unchanged whichever of these ways may be adopted. These projective properties correspond to that which in his theory the proposition and the fact must have in common, if the proposition is to assert the fact.

In certain elementary ways this is, of course, obvious. It is impossible, for example, to make a statement about two men (assuming for the moment that the men may be treated as simples), without employing two names, and

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