Page:Wittengenstein - Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 1922.djvu/25

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INTRODUCTION

perhaps help to suggest the point of view which I am trying to indicate, to say that in the cases we have been considering the proposition occurs as a fact, not as a proposition. Such a statement, however, must not be taken too literally. The real point is that in believing, desiring, etc., what is logically fundamental is the relation of a proposition considered as a fact, to the fact which makes it true or false, and that this relation of two facts is reducible to a relation of their constituents. Thus the proposition does not occur at all in the same sense in which it occurs in a truth-function.

There are some respects, in which, as it seems to me, Mr Wittgenstein's theory stands in need of greater technical development. This applies in particular to his theory of number (6.02 ff.) which, as it stands, is only capable of dealing with finite numbers. No logic can be considered adequate until it has been shown to be capable of dealing with transfinite numbers. I do not think there is anything in Mr Wittgenstein's system to make it impossible for him to fill this lacuna.

More interesting than such questions of comparative detail is Mr Wittgenstein's attitude towards the mystical. His attitude upon this grows naturally out of his doctrine in pure logic, according to which the logical proposition is a picture (true or false) of the fact, and has in common with the fact a certain structure. It is this common structure which makes it capable of being a picture of the fact, but the structure cannot itself be put into words,since it is a structure of words, as well as of the facts to which they refer. Everything, therefore, which is involved in the very idea of the expressiveness of language must remain incapable of being expressed in language, and is, therefore, inexpressible in a perfectly precise sense. This inexpressible contains, according to Mr Wittgenstein, the whole of logic and philosophy. The right method of teaching philosophy, he says, would be to confine oneself to propositions of the sciences, stated with all possible clearness and exactness, leaving philosophical assertions

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