Wednesday, November 08, 2006

2.0121 It would, as it were, appear as an accident if there were later to be a state of things suitable for a thing that could [already] exist for itself, on its own.

If things can occur in states of affairs then this [possibility] must already be in them.

(Something logical cannot be merely possible. Logic deals with every possibility, and all possibilities are its facts.)

As we cannot conceive of spatial objects at all without space, or temporal objects without time, so we can conceive of no thing without the possibility of its uniting with other objects.

If I can conceive of an object in the context of a state of affairs then I cannot conceive of it without the possibility of this context.

I'm not very happy with this translation, but there (for now) you are. Wittgenstein is describing a state of things that he has just told us is illogical, so of course it is inconceivable (if he is right, and we still seem to be dealing with his definitions here, so he can't really be wrong) and therefore hard (to say the least) to put into words. But if the 'commentary' called for by 2.012 is nonsense, how much sense (or what kind of sense) can 2.012 make? It's tempting to leave this as a rhetorical question, but I'm not sure that's justified. We still don't really know what is being said, or presented as being said, so judging it is really not possible at this stage.

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