• Wayfarer
    21k
    Besides 'Concept', Frege uses the word 'object' in a stipulative way as well013zen

    Something more like 'an object of thought', or 'an intentional object'?
  • RussellA
    1.6k
    A proposition in some sense contains a thought, but a thought is not identical with a proposition............................Wittgenstein says it is becoming clear to him why he thought that thinking and language were the same. He didn't say that its become clear that they are the same013zen

    I don't believe that an isomorphism necessarily suggests a certain independence between each structure, but in practice I admit it is used to talk about independent structures.013zen

    It all depends on whether, in the Tractatus, for Wittgenstein, language and thought are the same thing.

    If not, then isomorphism may be the suitable world. If they are, then as an object such as an apple cannot be isomorphic with itself, isomorphism may not be the suitable word.

    A starting position to determine whether in the Tractatus language and thought are the same thing could be the article The Thought (Gedanke): the Early Wittgenstein, written by Sushobhona Pal

    His conclusion is " Apart from this, apparently, the Tractatus implies that the realms of thought and language coincide", or as he says elsewhere " are "coextensive".

    As he writes:
    Wittgenstein writes in unequivocal terms that we cannot think what we cannot think and therefore what we cannot think we cannot say either. It means what cannot be thought cannot possibly be spoken about either. These entries suggest that thinking and language (speaking) are coextensive.

    For Wittgenstein, if a thought is a picture of the world and a proposition is a picture of the world, then how can a thought not be a proposition?
    ===============================================================================
    First of all...why did you say grass is red and not green? xD Secondly, I don't take "Grass is red" or "Grass is green" or anything of the sort to be representative of an elementary proposition for Witt. These are examples of propositions.013zen

    In Wittgenstein's terms (as I understand it), grass is red, grass is green, not grass is red and not grass is green are States of Affairs.

    The elementary propositions "grass is red" "grass is green" "not grass is red" and "not grass is green" may be true or false

    If the elementary proposition "grass is green" is true, then grass is green is a fact. Alternatively, if grass is green is a fact, then the elementary proposition "grass is green" is true.
  • Fooloso4
    5.6k
    He complicates this by using the term 'object' in both cases without always making the distinction clear.
    — Fooloso4

    I don't think that this is necessarily a bug, as much as a feature. Part of the work seems to be dealing with the idea that the meaning of a word or proposition is dependent upon how its being used.
    013zen

    The word 'object' refer to the object, but an object is not a word. One of Wittgenstein's main concern was clarity.

    Philosophy aims at the logical clarification of thoughts ...
    Philosophy does not result in ‘philosophical propositions’, but rather in the clarification of propositions.

    Without philosophy thoughts are, as it were, cloudy and indistinct: its task is to make them clear and to give them sharp boundaries.
    (4.112)

    Perhaps he assumed that the reader who followed his argument would make the distinction.
  • Fooloso4
    5.6k
    Objects make up the substance of the world. (2.021)

    It is obvious that an imagined world, however different it may be from the real one, must have something—a form—in common with it. (2.022)

    Objects are just what constitute this unalterable form. (2.023)

    The substance is what subsists independently of what is the case. (2.024)

    It is form and content. (2.025)

    There must be objects, if the world is to have unalterable form. (2.026)

    Objects, the unalterable, and the subsistent are one and the same. (2.027)

    Objects are what is unalterable and subsistent; their configuration is what is changing
    and unstable. (2.0271)

    This is as close as we get to a sustained discussion of objects. The term ‘substance’ has a long and varied history. For this reason, none of them will serve as a reliable starting point for determining what Wittgenstein means by the term.

    Every world, real or imagined, must have a logical form in common. However different and changeable they are, their shared logical form subsists. This form consists of unchangeable objects. Their configuration is what is changeable. That substance is form and content means that it is logical and consists of unchangeable objects.

    Added: Before moving forward I would like to clarify a potential source of confusion.Logic as the term is used in the Tractatus, is not primarily a human activity. Logic is not propositional. Propositions are logical. Logic deals with what is necessary rather than contingent.
  • RussellA
    1.6k
    Wittgenstein's objects are "simples"

    Tractatus 2.02 Objects are simple.

    From Wikipedia - Simple (Philosophy)
    In contemporary mereology, a simple is any thing that has no proper parts. Sometimes the term "atom" is used, although in recent years the term "simple" has become the standard.

    From Jeff Speaks Wittgenstein on facts and objects: the metaphysics of the Tractatus
    What does it mean to say that an object is simple? One thing Wittgenstein seems to mean is that it cannot be analyzed as a complex of other objects. This seems to indicate that if objects are simple, they cannot have any parts; for, if they did, they would be analyzable as a complex of those parts.
  • AmadeusD
    1.9k
    He goes on to say:013zen

    I can't make a huge amount from those passages. I realise Frege is who he is in the history of Phil and particularly language use. So, may i despair a little...
  • Paine
    2.1k
    Logic as the term is used in the Tractatus, is not primarily a human activity. Logic is not propositional. Propositions are logical. Logic deals with what is necessary rather than contingent.Fooloso4

    That is a pivotal matter in the question of how much this work presents an epistemology or not.
  • Wayfarer
    21k
    Objects are what is unalterable and subsistent; their configuration is what is changing and unstable. (2.0271)Fooloso4

    I don't know if anyone has mentioned this, but the idea bears resemblance to the classical conception of substance (ouisia).
  • Fooloso4
    5.6k
    I don't know if anyone has mentioned this, but the idea bears resemblance to the classical conception of substance (ouisia).Wayfarer

    Which classical conception? Certainly not Aristotle,

    The term ‘substance’ has a long and varied history. For this reason, none of them will serve as a reliable starting point for determining what Wittgenstein means by the term.Fooloso4
  • Wayfarer
    21k
    :up: Right, had missed that comment. Thank you.
  • Fooloso4
    5.6k
    That is a pivotal matter in the question of how much this work presents an epistemology or not.Paine

    Good point. Objects are not treated as things to be known. To the extent there is knowledge of the world it comes from science not logic.
  • 013zen
    124
    It all depends on whether, in the Tractatus, for Wittgenstein, language and thought are the same thing.RussellA

    I don't believe that they are the same in the Tractatus. Wittgenstein says:

    "Language disguises the thought; so that from the external form of the clothes one cannot infer the form of the thought they clothe, because the external form of the clothes is constructed with quite another object than to let the form of the body be recognized" (4.002).

    Here Wittgenstein draws an analogy between "clothes" and "a body" with "language" being the clothing and "thought" being the body that is clothed. So, there is a distinction that is made between the two.

    The elementary propositions "grass is red" "grass is green" "not grass is red" and "not grass is green" may be true or falseRussellA

    These are examples of propositions, not elementary propositions, though.
  • 013zen
    124
    I can't make a huge amount from those passages. I realise Frege is who he is in the history of Phil and particularly language use. So, may i despair a little...AmadeusD

    Frege was originally a mathematician, so his approach stems from that. When he began analyzing language, the tradition had always been to follow Aristotle. So, any proposition, say:

    "Socrates is mortal"

    is analyzed into two logical categories: "subject" and "predicate". I doesn't matter the proposition.

    "The ball is red", "Pink penguins are dancing furiously", etc.

    Frege thought this was imprecise, and limited. He thought language should be thought of as being more like a mathematical functions which are satisfied by certain inputs. Just as different mathematical functions can have different forms, and inputs, so can propositions in language. By thinking of it in this way, Frege was able to analyze a wider range of sentences and we now have second-order logic after centuries of only having Aristotle's first order logic.

    My point, is that when Aristotle said that a proposition is a "subject-predicate" relation, he was saying that there was a meaningful difference between the role a subject plays logically in a sentence, and the role a predicate plays in the sentence; there's a difference. And he coined the terms "subject" and "predicate" to differentiate them. Frege, is doing the same thing, and coining his own words for logically distinct categories that he believes haven't yet been properly delineated in language. But, instead of inventing a new word, he chose to use stipulative definitions for words that we are already familiar with, because he wants to appeal to some familiar aspects associated with the word to help guide the reader or listener in the right direction. Frege called these "elucidations".

    I see Wittgenstein as following this tradition, since he directly references elucidations in the Tractatus.
  • 013zen
    124

    Logic as the term is used in the Tractatus, is not primarily a human activity. Logic is not propositional. Propositions are logical. Logic deals with what is necessary rather than contingent.

    That is a pivotal matter in the question of how much this work presents an epistemology or not.
    — Paine

    Good point. Objects are not treated as things to be known. To the extent there is knowledge of the world it comes from science not logic.
    Fooloso4

    I agree with this; its a good point.
  • 013zen
    124
    Every world, real or imagined, must have a logical form in common. However different and changeable they are, their shared logical form subsists. This form consists of unchangeable objects. Their configuration is what is changeable. That substance is form and content means that it is logical and consists of unchangeable objects.Fooloso4

    Well put. How we are to understand "form" and "content" exactly, however, is still somewhat unclear, but I think you're on the right track by tying it to logic. And, as you point out, we can't appeal to classical conceptions of the word 'substance', it definitely doesn't seem synonymous with Aristotle's being since, logic deals with all possibilities, not simply what is the case. This was helpful.
  • Fooloso4
    5.6k
    How we are to understand "form" and "content" exactly, however, is still somewhat unclear, but I think you're on the right track by tying it to logic.013zen

    Substance is logical form. The form of reality. (2.18) Objects are its content. (2.023)

    This might make more sense in my next post.
  • RussellA
    1.6k
    Here Wittgenstein draws an analogy between "clothes" and "a body" with "language" being the clothing and "thought" being the body that is clothed. So, there is a distinction that is made between the two013zen

    4.002 may be correct that language disguises thought, but is not inconsistent with the idea that language is thought.

    I see a one-storey brick building, think one-storey brick building and say "house". I see a two-storey stone building, think a two-storey stone building and say "house".

    It is true that the word "house" has disguised the thoughts, but this does not detract from the fact that the word "house" is the thought of a one-storey brick building and the word "house" is also the thought of a two-storey stone building.
    ===============================================================================
    These are examples of propositions, not elementary propositions, though.013zen

    As I understand it, for the Tractatus:

    The world is a logical space in which can only exist logical objects in logical configurations.

    A state of affairs is a logical configuration of logical objects. A state of affairs may or may not obtain. If it obtains then it is a fact. For example, grass is green and grass is red are possible states of affairs. Grass is green obtains and grass is red doesn't obtain.

    All states of affairs are independent of each other, in that either grass is green or grass is red. It cannot be the case that grass is both green and red at the same time.

    An elementary proposition stands for a state of affairs

    A name stands for an object.

    Therefore an elementary proposition will be an arrangement of names.

    An elementary proposition will be true if the state of affairs obtains.

    For example, the elementary proposition "grass is green" is true if the state of affairs grass is green obtains.

    All elementary propositions are independent of each other, in that either "grass is green" or "grass is red". It cannot be the case that "grass is both red and green at the same time".

    That an elementary proposition is conceivable does not mean that it is true, for example "grass is red". In the same way, because a state of affairs is possible it doesn't mean that it obtains, for example grass is red.

    For Wittgenstein, propositions are truth-functions of elementary propositions, for example,
    "grass is green and the sky is blue"

    (The Theory of elementary propositions, Jeff Speaks, Phil 43904, 8 Nov 2007)
  • Fooloso4
    5.6k
    4.002 may be correct that language disguises thought, but is not inconsistent with the idea that language is thought.RussellA

    As he says in the preface, language is the expression of thought. At 4.002 he says:

    Language disguises thought. So much so, that from the outward form of the clothing it is impossible to infer the form of the thought beneath it, because the outward form of the clothing is not designed to reveal the form of the body, but for entirely different purposes.
    (Emphasis added.)

    From the outward form, how the thought is expressed, we do not see the logical form that underlies it.

    As I understand it, for the Tractatus:

    The world is a logical space in which can only exist logical objects in logical configurations.
    RussellA

    See, for example:

    Just as we are quite unable to imagine spatial objects outside space or temporal objects outside time, so too there is no object that we can imagine excluded from the possibility of combining with others.
    (2.0121)

    Perhaps you have in mind:

    The facts in logical space are the world.
    (1.13)

    I will be saying more about logic space and the possibility of objects combining with others.
  • RussellA
    1.6k
    From the outward form, how the thought is expressed, we do not see the logical form that underlies it.Fooloso4

    It is clearly the case that from the outward form of clothing we can infer the form of the body beneath it.

    It is also clearly the case that from the outward form of language we can infer the form of the thought beneath it, otherwise language would be meaningless.

    What use would language be if when someone said "please pass the sugar", no-one knew the thought behind these words.

    From the outward form of language we clearly do know the form of thought beneath it.

    Wittgenstein in the Tractatus does away with universals in favour of particulars, where the form of language maps directly not only with the form of thought but also with the form of states of affairs in the world.

    ===============================================================================
    1.13 - The facts in logical space are the worldFooloso4

    The world is a logical space.
    In this logical space are possible states of affairs.
    A state of affairs consists of logical objects in logical configurations
    If a state of affairs obtains, then it is a fact
  • Fooloso4
    5.6k
    It is clearly the case that from the outward form of clothing we can infer the form of the body beneath it.RussellA

    If we must infer what the form is then it is hidden by the clothing. Some people wear baggy clothing to hide what is underneath. What they think there might be too much of or too little of.

    It is also clearly the case that from the outward form of language we can infer the form of the thought beneath it, otherwise language would be meaningless.RussellA

    And yet, the meaning is often not understood. Your reading of Wittgenstein is a case in point. If we must infer what is meant then it is not evident from the outward form.

    What use would language be if when someone said "please pass the sugar", no-one knew the thought behind these words.RussellA

    It does not follow from one example where the meaning is evident that it is in all cases. You have been reading philosophy long enough to know that not all sentences are transparent. But even in this case there is room for misunderstanding (and I don't mean there is a room somewhere where misunderstanding can be found). If in response to the request to pass the sugar someone says "Go long" (a term from American football) they did not get the meaning.

    From the outward form of language we clearly do know the form of thought beneath it.RussellA

    The form of thought is not beneath the form of language. Are poetry and prose the same form of language?

    Wittgenstein in the Tractatus does away with universals in favour of particulars,RussellA

    Objects are particulars. A universal property of objects is to combine with other objects.
  • schopenhauer1
    10.1k
    Objects are particulars. A universal property of objects is to combine with other objects.Fooloso4


    Objects are necessarily linked to atomic facts, as atomic facts are about the objects in the world and their possibilities.

    One can perhaps understand Wittgenstein as a coherentist and not a correspondent theorist (although this view is contrary to popular opinion). That is to say, if Wittgenstein forfeits defining what objects are beyond vague notions, then the tower of babel is simply axiomatic and self-referential and points to nothing. That is to say, objects are a gesture to science, but really a pseudo-version of atomic facts. It's "atomic facts in drag". There is no "there" there. It's atomic facts all the way down. No object to be found.
  • Fooloso4
    5.6k
    Objects are necessarily linked to atomic facts, as atomic facts are about the objects in the world and their possibilities.schopenhauer1

    Simple or elementary objects, which are what this thread is about, are not objects in the world.

    That is to say, if Wittgenstein forfeits defining what objects are beyond vague notions, then the tower of babel is simply axiomatic and self-referential and points to nothing.schopenhauer1

    I included a link to this thread thinking you might read it before posting.
  • RussellA
    1.6k
    And yet, the meaning is often not understood. Your reading of Wittgenstein is a case in point. If we must infer what is meant then it is not evident from the outward form.Fooloso4

    Yes, that's the nature of language, where the meaning of a word often depends on context.

    Where Wittgenstein writes in 4.002 "Language disguises thought", according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, "disguise" can mean "to change the appearance of", "gives a false appearance to" and "obscures".

    But as Wittgenstein points out, knowing what is the case also means knowing what is not the case.

    So we know that "disguises" doesn't mean "jumps", "thinks", "stands", etc, etc.

    Therefore we have some good idea as to the possible meanings of "Language disguises thought".

    But as the Tractatus must be read as a whole, we can further narrow down its meaning by reading it in the context of the whole.
    ===============================================================================
    Objects are particulars. A universal property of objects is to combine with other objects.Fooloso4

    However, one feature of the Tractatus is Wittgenstein's removal of relations and properties from his ontology. Another feature is his removal of universals in favour of particulars.

    For the Tractatus, objects combine as particulars not as universals.
  • Fooloso4
    5.6k
    However, one feature of the Tractatus is Wittgenstein's removal of relations and properties from his ontology.RussellA

    He doesn't.

    In a certain sense we can talk about formal properties of objects and states of affairs, or, in the case of facts, about structural properties: and in the same sense about formal relations and structural relations.
    (Instead of ‘structural property’ I also say ‘internal property’; instead of ‘structural relation’, ‘internal relation’.
    I introduce these expressions in order to indicate the source of the confusion between
    internal relations and relations proper (external relations)
    , which is very widespread among philosophers.)
    It is impossible, however, to assert by means of propositions that such internal properties and relations obtain: rather, this makes itself manifest in the propositions that represent the relevant states of affairs and are concerned with the relevant objects.

    For the Tractatus, objects combine as particulars not as universals.RussellA

    Do objects count as particulars? If a particular is something that can only exist in one place at one time then objects are not particulars. Every object in the world is composed of simple objects. These simple objects are in this sense universal. They exist independently of whether or not they are instantiated.

    There are, however, problems with classifying them as universals too. I think it best to not try and shoehorn them into on or the other of these problematic categories.
  • Fooloso4
    5.6k
    Logic is not a body of doctrine, but a mirror image of the world. Logic is transcendental.
    (6.13)

    Logic is transcendental in the Kantian sense of a condition for the possibility of a world. A world is made possible by the formal properties and relations of its objects and the structural properties and relations of facts. (4.122) Objects have within them the possibility of combining into states of affairs. ( 2.0121) Logic is a mirror image of the world in that their structure is the same, but it is the reverse in that logic determines only what is possible, and the world determines which of those possibilities is actually the case.

    The facts in logical space are the world.
    (1.13)

    Logical space is the space of what is possible and impossible. The facts of the world are a subset of what is possible.

    Just as we are quite unable to imagine spatial objects outside space or temporal objects outside time, so too there is no object that we can imagine excluded from the possibility of combining with others.

    If I can imagine objects combined in states of affairs, I cannot imagine them excluded from
    the possibility of such combinations.
    (2.0121)

    The formal or internal property of an object is the possibility of combining with other objects.

    In logic nothing is accidental: if a thing can occur in a state of affairs, the possibility of the
    state of affairs must be written into the thing itself.
    (2.012)

    With regard to their possibilities both a ‘thing’ and an ‘object’ have them as part of their logical properties. What this means for things in the world is that what is possible and impossible is fixed and determined. States of affairs are independent of each other (2.061). They do not determine what is necessary or possible. What is possible is determined by things themselves, whether they be simple objects or complex. To say what is possible and impossible, however, cannot be determined unless objects are known, and to know them requires being able to identify them.
  • schopenhauer1
    10.1k
    Simple or elementary objects, which are what this thread is about, are not objects in the world.Fooloso4

    And that ambiguity of definition to me, is where all these problems stem from and will go around in circles. His definition is like one in computer programming it seems:
    "From Gemini: General purpose: More broadly, an object can simply refer to a variable, a data structure, or even a function. In this sense, it's a way to organize data in memory and refer to it using an identifier (like a name)."

    That is to say, it is a logical marker, a name. But then what's the use of distinguishing objects and atomic facts if you leave objects so undefined? You mine as well just start with atomic facts..

    I included a link to this thread thinking you might read it before posting.Fooloso4

    Wait, you're being dismissive on a philosophy forum? How so out of place :roll:.

    Also Witt's assertion here:
    “The facts in logical space are the world” (1.13 ).013zen
    The world is about some logical space consisting of "the facts" (whence facts? What are facts?.. All of this kind of thing Kant tried to tackle... The operative word is he tried, whether or not he succeeded.. It's called epistemology and metaphysics, not mere assertion of claims of reality without basis).

    is muddled with what he says here:
    “An atomic fact is a combination of objects (entities, things)” (2.01).
    and
    “In the atomic fact objects hang one in another, like the members of a chain” (2.03).
    013zen

    Clearly he is differentiating between facts and objects, but how, why- what is the mechanism by which this distinction can be made? All of this not explained but asserted.
  • Fooloso4
    5.6k
    His definition is like one in computer programming it seemsschopenhauer1

    It is not. An object is not a logical marker or a name.

    As I mentioned in a prior post:

    Logic as the term is used in the Tractatus, is not primarily a human activity. Logic is not propositional. Propositions are logical. Logic deals with what is necessary rather than contingent.Fooloso4

    You mine [might?] as well just start with atomic facts..schopenhauer1

    Facts are contingent. It is not necessary that these elementary facts and not others exist. Objects are the answer to your question "whence facts"
  • schopenhauer1
    10.1k
    As I mentioned in a prior post:

    Logic as the term is used in the Tractatus, is not primarily a human activity. Logic is not propositional. Propositions are logical. Logic deals with what is necessary rather than contingent.
    — Fooloso4

    You mine [might?] as well just start with atomic facts..
    — schopenhauer1

    Might :up:

    Facts are contingent. It is not necessary that these elementary facts and not others exist. Objects are the answer to your question "whence facts"
    Fooloso4

    As per usual with this subject, all muddle, and no sense. What do you mean "Objects are the answer to your question 'whence facts'"? Objects are [you tell me what Wittgenstein is saying without being self-referential and double-dipping into his own neologisms of family resemblances (facts, objects, oh my)].

    That is to say, objects are given short-shrift. He doesn't define them other than they exist and facts are about them. Yet they aren't necessarily "physical", yet, according to you, they aren't like the computer programming definition of them either. So, it is simply an assertion of a metaphysics that exists in some ideal space but is NOT like the computer programming definition of an object (which is basically an idealized entity)? To me it's just a place holder for "go pound sand and don't look behind the curtain cause I just want to move forward with my argument and not go further into those pesky philosophical metaphysical things".
  • Banno
    23.5k
    ...all muddle...schopenhauer1

    Yep. Folk hereabouts have missed Tractatus 1.1. They are trying to understand of the Tractatus as founded on objects, when it is founded on facts.

    This is the worst thread so far on Wittgenstein. Quite an accomplishment.
  • schopenhauer1
    10.1k
    Yep. Folk hereabouts have missed Tractatus 1.1. They are trying to understand of the Tractatus as founded on objects, when it is founded on facts.Banno

    That is why I said here:

    That is to say, if Wittgenstein forfeits defining what objects are beyond vague notions, then the tower of babel is simply axiomatic and self-referential and points to nothing. That is to say, objects are a gesture to science, but really a pseudo-version of atomic facts. It's "atomic facts in drag". There is no "there" there. It's atomic facts all the way down. No object to be found.schopenhauer1

    And especially:

    That is to say, it is a logical marker, a name. But then what's the use of distinguishing objects and atomic facts if you leave objects so undefined? You mine as well just start with atomic facts..schopenhauer1
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