Tuesday, January 30, 2007

3.001 “A state of affairs is thinkable” means: we can imagine it [literally: we can make [for] ourselves a picture of it].

So yes, a thought is a picture we make for ourselves, i.e. a picture as this term has been used so far. Wittgenstein says (Letters to Ogden, p. 24) that there is meant to be a kind of pun here, which is why he uses “imagine” for the English translation, since “imagine” comes from “image.” Make of this what you will.


N. N. said...

I'm inclined to read 'picture' (here and elsewhere) quite literally.

TLP 3.001 descends from a notebook entry date November 1, 1914: 'A situation is thinkable' ('imaginable' [vorstellbar]) means: we can make ourselves a picture of it.

DR said...

Yes, that seems natural and reasonable. But what a literal reading of "logical picture," for instance, would be is obscure. Or so it seems to me.

N. N. said...

I don't think that there are any logical pictures that are not also other sorts a pictures, a purely logical picture so to speak. Every picture is also a logical picture, i.e., the logic of representation is what all pictures share. Thus, an instance of a logical picture will always be a picture in another, more concrete, sense.

N. N. said...

By the way. I've put your blog on the blogroll at my new blog. I don't expect that to increase your traffic much, as I've only received a single comment. :) Please give it a look:


DR said...

Thanks. I have looked at your blog, which looks very interesting, but I haven't had time to join in any discussion there yet. If I ever have a blogroll I will certainly include yours. I'm too in the stone age for that yet though.

As for pictures, what you say again sounds right. My problem, I suppose, is making sense of the idea that a sentence, say, is literally a picture. Especially a spoken sentence. Talk of pictures here seems to be metaphorical. Unless, perhaps, meanings are thought of as something like pictures in the mind's eye. Surely that isn't right though.