Page:Wittengenstein - Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 1922.djvu/15

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INTRODUCTION

them the logical structure is common. (Like the two youths, their two horses and their lilies in the story. They are all in a certain sense one) " (4.014). The possibility of a proposition representing a fact rests upon the fact that in it objects are represented by signs. The so-called logical "constants" are not represented by signs, but are themselves present in the proposition as in the fact. The proposition and the fact must exhibit the same logical "manifold," and this cannot be itself represented since it has to be in common between the fact and the picture. Mr Wittgenstein maintains that everything properly philosophical belongs to what can only be shown, to what is in common between a fact and its logical picture. It results from this view that nothing correct can be said in philosophy. Every philosophical proposition is bad grammar, and the best that we can hope to achieve by philosophical discussion is to lead people to see that philosophical discussion is a mistake. "Philosophy is not one of the natural sciences. (The word 'philosophy' must mean something which stands above or below, but not beside the natural sciences.) The object of philosophy is the logical clarification of thoughts. Philosophy is not a theory but an activity. A philosophical work consists essentially of elucidations. The result of philosophy is not a number of 'philosophical propositions,' but to make propositions clear. Philosophy should make clear and delimit sharply the thoughts which otherwise are, as it were, opaque and blurred" (4.111 and 4.112). In accordance with this principle the things that have to be said in leading the reader to understand Mr Wittgenstein's theory are all of them things which that theory itself condemns as meaningless. With this proviso we will endeavour to convey the picture of the world which seems to underlie his system.

The world consists of facts : facts cannot strictly speaking be defined, but we can explain what we mean by saying that facts are what make propositions true, or false. Facts may contain parts which are facts or may

II