Page:Wittengenstein - Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 1922.djvu/22

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

a subtlety and suggestiveness which at times make it seem almost like a live teacher. Notational irregularities are often the first sign of philosophical errors, and a perfect notation would be a substitute for thought. But although notation may have first suggested to Mr Wittgenstein the limitation of logic to things within the world as opposed to the world as a whole, yet the view, once suggested, is seen to have much else to recommend it. Whether it is ultimately true I do not, for my part, profess to know. In this Introduction I am concerned to expound it, not to pronounce upon it. According to this view we could only say things about the world as a whole if we could get outside the world, if, that is to say, it ceased to be for us the whole world. Our world may be bounded for some superior being who can survey it from above, but for us, however finite it may be, it cannot have a boundary, since it has nothing outside it. Wittgenstein uses, as an analogy, the field of vision. Our field of vision does not, for us, have a visual boundary, just because there is nothing outside it, and in like manner our logical world has no logical boundary because our logic knows of nothing outside it. These considerations lead him to a somewhat curious discussion of Solipsism. Logic, he says, fills the world. The boundaries of the world are also its boundaries. In logic, therefore, we cannot say, there is this and this in the world, but not that, for to say so would apparently presuppose that we exclude certain possibilities, and this cannot be the case, since it would require that logic should go beyond the boundaries of the world as if it could contemplate these boundaries from the other side also. What we cannot think we cannot think, therefore we also cannot say what we cannot think.

This, he says, gives the key to Solipsism. What Solipsism intends is quite correct, but this cannot be said, it can only be shown. That the world is my world appears in the fact that the boundaries of language (the only language I understand) indicate the boundaries of