Page:Wittengenstein - Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 1922.djvu/23

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INTRODUCTION

my world. The metaphysical subject does not belong to the world but is a boundary of the world.

We must take up next the question of molecular propositions which are at first sight not truth-functions, of the propositions that they contain, such, for example as "A believes p."

Wittgenstein introduces this subject in the statement of his position, namely, that all molecular functions are truth-functions. He says (5-54): *' In the general propositional form, propositions occur in a proposition only as bases of truth-operations." At first sight, he goes on to explain, it seems as if a proposition could also occur in other ways, e.g. "A believes p." Here it seems superficially as if the proposition p stood in a sort of relation to the object A. "But it is clear that 'A believes that p,' 'A thinks p,' 'A says p' are of the form p says p; and here we have no co-ordination of a fact and an object, but a co-ordination of facts by means of a co-ordination of their objects" (5.542).

What Mr Wittgenstein says here is said so shortly that its point is not likely to be clear to those who have not in mind the controversies with which he is concerned. The theory with which he is disagreeing will be found in my articles on the nature of truth and falsehood in Philosophical Essays and Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 1906-7. The problem at issue is the problem of the logical form of belief, i.e. what is the schema representing what occurs when a man believes. Of course, the problem applies not only to belief, but also to a host of other mental phenomena which may be called propositional attitudes: doubting, considering, desiring, etc. In all these cases it seems natural to express the phenomenon in the form "A doubts p" "A desires p," etc., which makes it appear as though we were dealing with a relation between a person and a proposition. This cannot, of course, be the ultimate analysis, since persons are fictions and so are propositions, except in the sense in which they are facts on their own account. A proposition, considered