Crítica, Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía, Volume 48, number 143, agosto 2016
Propositions, The Tractatus, and “The Single Great Problem of Philosophy”
[Las proposiciones, el Tractatus, y “El único gran problema de la filosofía”]
Scott Soames
School of Philosophy
University of Southern California

soames@usc.edu

Abstract: Wittgenstein’s project in the Tractatus was to replace Frege-Russell propositions with a new conception capturing the essence of representational thought and language. This, he believed, was philosophy’s only real task. I argue that his account of atomic propositions was an incomplete realization of valuable insights, which, had they been slightly revised, could have been extended to all tractarian propositions. Had Wittgenstein followed this path, he would have made discoveries in the study of language and mind that are only beginning to emerge today. However, doing so would have meant stripping the Tractatus of its pretensions of fundamentally remaking philosophy.
Keywords: uses of sentences, truth bearers, meaning, thought, representation

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