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The Enchantment of WordsWittgenstein's “Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus”$
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Denis McManus

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199288021

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199288021.001.0001

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The General Form of the Proposition

The General Form of the Proposition

Chapter:
(p.140) 11 The General Form of the Proposition
Source:
The Enchantment of Words
Author(s):

Denis McManus (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199288021.003.0011

This chapter explores Wittgenstein’s remarks on ‘the general form of the proposition’ and argues that these too are informed by his desire to show that the impression that there are substantial ‘logical truths’ is an illusion. It explores Wittgenstein’s understanding of logical inference as ‘unpacking’, his analysis of truth-functional connectives using truth-tables, his account of logical propositions as tautologies and contradictions, and the philosophical significance for Wittgenstein of providing a ‘topic-neutral’ account of logical inference and the logical connectives. Drawing on retrospective remarks of Wittgenstein’s, an explanation is offered on how he could have failed to recognize that his notion of the general form of the proposition is laden with problematic metaphysical commitments.

Keywords:   form, inference, logic, metaphysics, negation, pictures, proposition, truth-functions, truth-tables

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